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ChrisGraley (29.89)

Reagan comments on Government Healthcare

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February 24, 2010 – Comments (86) | RELATED TICKERS: AM.DL2 , CRIS

I'll try to embed it

 

If you don't want to listen to the whole thing, at least listen to the end. 

86 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

Yep, everyone hates Medicare. Thanks, Ronnie!

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#2) On February 24, 2010 at 8:03 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Really? That's the only comment I have so far? Everyone hates Ronnie?

OK, how about if I add this?

Nobody seems to understand why their health care costs are so high. We have a system where government dictates what a doctor charges a Medicare patient. The same doctor has the same costs no matter who he treats. So when the doctor accepts $20 from the the government and the Medicare patient for something that he normally charges $250 for, who pays the difference? 

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#3) On February 24, 2010 at 8:50 PM, blake303 (29.24) wrote:

Maybe CAPS members are smart enough to see through his absurd slippery slope socialism scare tactics and your equally absurd $20 vs $250 reimbursement scenario. How did Ronnie spend his sunset years?

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#4) On February 24, 2010 at 9:30 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

I'm not a huge Ronnie fan, but I thought the analogies were well spoken.

As far as my absurd $20 vs $250 reimbursement scenario. I pay my grandfather's medical bills and have a stack of them in front of me. I get a statement from Medicare that shows me the market price. Please challenge me further on my scenario.

Also I handled my aunt's estate when she passed away. She did not qualify for Medicare. If you really want to see a high medical bill, just look at what somebody without health insurance gets billed. I paid $180k in medical bills alone. If my aunt had health insurance, I figure she would have paid about 55k. If she had medicare, she would have paid about 17k and some other poor shmuck without insurance would have covered her bill. It's pretty common for hospitals to float out the high bills and hope that they leapfrog other creditors when a patient dies.The 180k doesn't even include the bill for the hospital that she died at. It would have been another $54k, but it is a training hospital and they don't bill out anything if a patient dies.

I agree that it's a piss poor system, but making government involvement bigger is just going to make it worse. When they don't have any stupid uninsured people to pay everyone else's bills, they will either stop doing medicine or raise their prices for everyone. 

The supply/demand curve will stay the same. If you want to change the price curve, somebody is going to pay for it. 

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#5) On February 25, 2010 at 12:56 AM, blake303 (29.24) wrote:

Explain how the "stupid uninsured" pay everyone else's bills. 

Where does your paranoia about the government stem from? 

What bills would you or any relatives have paid out of pocket in Canada, the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, France, Japan, Taiwan, etc.?  All of these countries provide universal coverage, most with private physicians and hospitals. Why is that so hard for the right to swallow? We have dozens of models for healthcare systems work better than ours, cover all citizens, and achieve both at a lower cost and yet we deprive 50,000,000 of our fellow Americans of insurance because we are afraid of the socialist bogeyman that Ronnie and the GOP have been lying about for decades. I wonder who provided Ronnie's health care.

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#6) On February 25, 2010 at 9:34 AM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Anyone with health insurance pays a negotiated price and anyone without it pays full price.

It's not a paranoia of the government blake. I don't want to make an inept and corrupt organisation bigger.

You are right that people in those countries would not pay medical bills directly, but they would still pay them in their taxes and a percentage of them would probably die during the 4 month wait to see a doctor. 

Thanks for calling me a conservative blake. I've been called both a conservative and a libertarian in a 24 hour span. (Both incorrect by the way)

If you have actually looked at the proposals you would have to admit that the "cover everyone with lower costs" scenario is impossible. We had to offer bribes to the State of Nevada and to the Unions for a reason. If you wanted to lower costs you would have to eliminate state control and push tort reform and you don't need to nationalize the system to do that.

I'm glad that you brought up who provided Ronnie's healthcare. Could you show me any provision, in any of the bills where members of the Federal government would be covered under the same health care system as the public? I wonder why they wouldn't want to participate in such a great system? 

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#7) On February 25, 2010 at 9:44 AM, Turfscape (40.57) wrote:

ChrisGraley wrote:
"Anyone with health insurance pays a negotiated price and anyone without it pays full price."

Incorrect, sir. On all points.

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#8) On February 25, 2010 at 10:37 AM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Really turfscape 

please show me the error in that assessment. 

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#9) On February 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM, ETFsRule (99.94) wrote:

"socialized medicine"? Who has ever proposed that in the US? Seems like a straw man argument to me.

There's a BIG difference between "socialized insurance" and "socialized medicine".

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#10) On February 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM, blake303 (29.24) wrote:

You are right that people in those countries would not pay medical bills directly, but they would still pay them in their taxes and a percentage of them would probably die during the 4 month wait to see a doctor.

Yes, they pay via taxes, but do you honestly believe that your taxes in these countries would amount to anything near the figures you claim to have paid above in #4. Your assertion about wait times is patently false. 

If you wanted to lower costs you would have to eliminate state control and push tort reform and you don't need to nationalize the system to do that.

You claim not to be a conservative, yet continue to repeat the same two GOP talking points even after those points have been refuted in other threads - the Democratic bills will allow insurance to be sold across state lines and tort reform will not result in any meaningful savings according to the CBO. No one has proposed nationalizing the healthcare system. 

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#11) On February 25, 2010 at 1:40 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

As a physician who has worked in the US and Canada I find it hard to understand the fear of "socialised medicine'. If the state runs things so badly why be so scared of a system that at least gives you the possibility of opting for a Federally run plan? Why are insurance companies so scared of a public option if they are so bad?

Maybe Medicare pays less (in theory) then some plans but at least they pay you (as a physician and a as a patient). The aim of insurance companies is NOT paying patients and doctors... And of dropping you as quickly as they legally can if you become 'financially troublesome'.

How many young people did my US hospital put into dire financial situation per day?  They happened to be middle class and didn't have coverage. Even some nurses I worked with couldn't get or afford coverage without dropping maternity coverage. One of them got pregnant and had to be put on bed rest then was admitted for a week and had a c-section. She almost went broke, had to sell her car etc... I have an almost endless list of these cases. Great system!

 

JPG 

 PS: Reagan was a big spending deficit creater who increased the size of "the beast' he said he wanted to cut. How can he be the hero of fiscally responsible taxpayers?

PPS:  The military isn't a private business and the right wingers seem to love using this publicly funded institution... How many older Americans could live without SOCIAL Security or afford health coverage without Medicare?

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#12) On February 25, 2010 at 2:01 PM, Turfscape (40.57) wrote:

ChrisGraley wrote:
"Really turfscape 

please show me the error in that assessment."

Not worth my time. You clearly have your heels dug in on your opinion and facts won't matter to you.

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#13) On February 25, 2010 at 2:22 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

I actually like some of the ideas proposed by the Republicans. Yes, there really are some. They are the well know tort reform and selling across state lines combined with some HSA changes. I am currently using an HSA and have positive feelings about it, although I am still young (Just turned 30 this month). My medical bills have been near zero for half a decade so any insurance premiums have been a losing bet. However, I don't have a problem with some government regulation, which will be required with the cross state lines issue. I'm not especially against a public option either. As long as I am allowed to purchase supplmental insurance, or pay out of pocket, the long lines and death panels are a total strawman argument.

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#14) On February 25, 2010 at 2:44 PM, ocddave (< 20) wrote:

Turfscape

"Not worth my time. You clearly have your heels dug in on your opinion and facts won't matter to you."

Facts are hard to swallow...

Doctors threaten Medicare backlash

http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/24/news/economy/doctors_ditching_medicare_patients/index.htm

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#15) On February 25, 2010 at 3:08 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

blake, you confuse me being against this liberal policy as being conservative. I'm against it because it doesn't make financial sense. I used the above 2 arguments because they are valid.

Looking at what they charge for malpractice insurance and saying tort reform would not have an impact, is a lie. The reason that your party has to lie about it is because they are sponsored by trial lawyers.

As far as wait times go...

http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/761.asp

http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/cpa/mediasite/waitlist/median.html

http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/waittime/index.html?/index.html

http://www1.gnb.ca/0217/SurgicalWaitTimes/Index-e.aspx

http://gov.ns.ca/health/waittimes/data/

http://www.health.gov.on.ca/transformation/wait_times/public/wt_public_mn.html#

http://wpp01.msss.gouv.qc.ca/appl/g74web/default.asp

http://www.sasksurgery.ca/wli-wait-list-info.htm

There are the wait times for every province in Canada supplied by the provinces themselves.

JPG this might surprise you but I agree on your PS and the first half of your PPS. Medicare and Social Security were not initially designed to be a total support system for the elderly. They are both ponzi schemes that will eventually fail. I'm not counting on either to be around when I retire. They are really good evidence that the government can't run anything efficiently and a good argument against this health care bill as well. 

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#16) On February 25, 2010 at 3:29 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

dargus I love my HSA as well. Make sure to keep putting money into it while your healthy.

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#17) On February 25, 2010 at 3:49 PM, Turfscape (40.57) wrote:

ocddave wrote:
"Doctors threaten Medicare backlash"

Wow...that's interesting. If only it had even a tiny little bit at all to do with the post to which you were responding...

But, again, never let facts get in the way....

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#18) On February 25, 2010 at 3:54 PM, mhonarvar (< 20) wrote:

Lol..I love the  Canada waittimes criticism thats always used...

first of all - ATLEAST WE HAVE A LINE TO WAIT IN...you have over 50 million people without any coverage(more than the Canadian population)...you have millions of people AVOIDING doctors and hospitals becuase they cant afford to get help even though they NEED HELP.

A John Hopkins research study published a report in the “Journal of Public Health” on October 29, 2009, that stated a lack of health insurance was the most probable cause of 17,000 preventable deaths over a 17 year period (1988-2005). This study used more than 23 million hospital records from 37 states.

Second - the wait times are in general terms - if it says 20 week wait times...that doesnt mean everyone wait 20 weeks.Most people who need help get it much quicker than that. 

Third- we dont have "limits" to our coverage...if your sick your sick...we dont get TURNED DOWN by insurance companies or have 50% of our bankruptcies because of healthcare costs.

fourth- our life expectancy is 2 years more than yours

OH!.....and we pay less of our GDP then you...we spend 9.4% and you pay 13.9% (even though 15% of your population isnt covered)....you must have a really efficient system

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#19) On February 25, 2010 at 4:30 PM, blake303 (29.24) wrote:

Chris - I don't care what you classify yourself as. Whether or not you are discussing healthcare, climate change, or other topics on this site, you continue to parrot the same republican talking points. Thus, I don't think it is that out of line to characterize you as right wing, especially in your post glorifying Reagan. You can label yourself whatever you want, but I will call them like I see them.

Please post a non-partisan study on the benefits of tort reform showing that the conclusions of other non-partisan studies are lies.

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#20) On February 25, 2010 at 4:43 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

Chris, the tort reform numbers come from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. These are not "party" numbers.

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#21) On February 25, 2010 at 5:01 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

You repeat Fox News in every theme you post on. If you and your kind really believe all this stuff I'm scared for the future of the US (and by extension Canada: we are very interconnected). Go to a few countries where social fabric really has totally fallen apart and see the consequences. The right wing (represented by Fox) seems to want this extreme scenario to actually happen? Be careful what you wish for: it isn't pretty...

I do agree tort reform is needed and is a part of the problem but it's certainly not THE solution. The US medical system is very sick and need much more then simply tort reform. The health care system is becoming a destabilising element for social cohesion and business in the US.  

Since you changed the subject to Social Security... Social Security is relatively easily fundable if the rich pay into it in a reasonable way. As Buffet says: it doessn't make sense that he pays less in taxes then his secretary. It's just that the rich just don't want to pay anything and that some in the middle class seems to repeat  what billionaires like Murdoch tell Fox 'News' to say for himelf and his class.

When in the richest and most powerful country in the world 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 4 kids need food stamps to eat there is a serious problem of redistribution. And obviously how many without health coverage? Those who think they got rich simply by personel merit are naive. They couldn't have gotten to the top of America without the system in which they evolved backing them and giving them a chance to get rich. If they would have been born in the Congo things would have been a bit more difficult for them... If the rich pay a 'fair' share of taxes the systems you mentioned will be long term entitlements. If the rich refuse to pay you won't have any social safety net and eventually you will have civil unrest and whatever  comes next. Think England pre WWI. The US is going to go through (or is going through) class warfare and the rich are winning big time if you hadn't noticed.  Goldman Sachs anyone? I'm from the middle class and this scares me. If I was rich maybe it wouldn't scare me as much (I would simply feel guilty I guess)? I doubt you are from the upper or super rich class? If so your opinions are coherent. If you are from the middle to upper middle class what you say goes against your own self interests. You have just been brainwashed by Fox it seems... Travelling outside the US and reading The Guardian or some other European paper might help?

As for waiting times in Canada: they exist but not for urgent care. If not urgent care waits are a few weeks to a few months depending how quickly you need an operation and how necessary your surgery is. Waiting times for many many Americans: years and years and years if you don't have coverage or can't afford the copayments. For insured patients (outside Medicare) your provider might use every trick in the book to stop you from getting surgery.

Look at California premiums by Wellpoint: 30 to 40% rise because healthy people are droping out.

 

Sick sick system! 

 JPG

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#22) On February 25, 2010 at 5:49 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

dargus The head of the CBO was appointed by Nancy Pelosi and Robert Bird. He'll say whatever they tell him to say.

JPG is a doctor and will concede that much as he knows what malpractice insurance costs.

 http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-25/hospital-clout-spurs-higher-california-health-costs-study-says.html

 The link above is for you JPG. It was posted in Business Week today. If you are a doctor and you consider yourself part of the middle class, you must be currently practicing in Canada. (Small Joke)

OK blake it's obvious now you are trying to paint a picture. If you look above, I mention that I didn't care much about Ronnie either, so drop the "glorifying Ronnie" thing. Believe me, I hate the right wing as much as the left wing, but the right wing doesn't have enough power right now to screw anything up. You are right, that I am totally against your party's Climate and Health Care agenda. You can even call me right wing on those 2 things if you want to, if it makes you feel better. The fact is blindly following an agenda for either the right side or the left side just shows that you aren't capable of independent thought.

If you really want a health care plan to work. Work on controlling the costs. (The inputs) 

All this bill does is try to control the price.

Call me evil for not wanting to mimic Venezuela. 

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#23) On February 25, 2010 at 5:57 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

Chris, I think you assesment of the CBO is way off. I trusted the CBO during the Bush years and I trust it now. The head ia appointed by Congress, but the claim that they are shills or hacks is way off base.

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#24) On February 25, 2010 at 6:15 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

The CBO office is just like any congressional committee. It's only honest when there is a balance of power. Douglas Elmendorf replaced Jason Furman to run Robert Rubin's Hamilton project when Furman joined Obama's campaign. He's about as left wing as you can get and in both Obama's and Pelosi's pockets.

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#25) On February 25, 2010 at 7:40 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

There's No Place Like Home
What I learned from my wife's month in the British medical system.

Seems relevant and unbiased. It is from the Wall St Journal.

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#26) On February 25, 2010 at 8:03 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks for the article. My basic point is pretty simple. Fundamentalists who oppose reform to the status quo find holes in anything and everything and just don't want to see any point... The real problem is a vision of society at large and like you I guess, they just don't ever want to comment on things like social justice, redistribution and fairness. Their real motivations would just not be pleasant and people would see them for who they really are. Strangely enough the Tea Party crowd compares the current administration with Hitler and Stalin almost at the same time! Do they ever listen to what they sound like?

Being in Canada I haven't had contact with Republican extremists (and/or Tea Party and/or climate sceptics and/or anti-evolutionists and/or whatever you want to call yourself)  in a long time. As their 'representative' could you answer 4 points:

1. Health care: Your thoughts on sharing American wealth and social harmony for universal health care.

 2. Energy: Should we continue with the carbon intensive way of dealing with energy? What level of scientific evidence needs to be provided to convince you that fossil fuels (not just the CO2 part) are not a good long term solution? How long will we continue the status quo?

3.  Do you see it as possible that Fox and the rich are playing you for the interests of the super rich (and the just very rich) and that you 'angry at everything' people don't see it?

4. Is America an Empire?

 

Thanks and I really really would love an answer to those 4 questions if you have the time!

JPG

 

 

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#27) On February 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Who owns the Wall Street Journal? Who does the Wall Street Journal represent?

The Wall Street Journal belongs to Murdoch who owns Fox... Unbiased!!! The Wall Street Journal is the perfect voice of those billionaires who are playing the 'below very rich' right wing like puppets. You are calling the journal of  your exploitors unbiased!

I"m a 'capitalist' so  everyone gets a chance at a better life. The Wall St J is the voice of capitalism for the super rich so they have an unfair advantage (to paraphrase Hank Greenburg of AIG fame!): England during the darkest days of the Industrial Revolution must seem like paradise to these guys!

Read http://www.guardian.co.uk/world once in a while. It's probably the most respected English language paper worldwide. At least have the courage to get a second opinion outside of the US media! 

JPG

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#28) On February 25, 2010 at 9:48 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

I do read the guardian when I'm trying to find the faults of the right wing.

It's just as biased to the left.

Did you actually read the article?

I'm not affiliated with any of the above groups that you mention but I'll address your 4 points anyway.

1) Healthcare

If you really want to fix it, the first thing you want to do is to eliminate state control. I actually sell property and casualty insurance and see the differences in Auto insurance rates because of state control. I'll charge the same person $3000 for a car insurance policy in Detroit that he paid $300 for in Cleveland. Why? because the laws in Michigan support the trial lawyers. same driver, same car, the only thing that changed is is the laws of the 2 states.

The next thing is tort reform. I'll give you another Auto insurance example. In PA, drivers have the option of lowering their car insurance by choosing to limit their their tort options. This one choice alone saves them about 15% on their insurance and they can still sue for anything that's easy to put a dollar amount on.

Next is HSA's. I have one of these myself and it is a godsend. I choose a higher deductable health care plan and pay less even with what I contribute to my HSA.

Here are a few more that you actually might like.

I'm not opposed to Universal Free preventative care. I'll even tell you how to pay for it.

Tax the hell out of cigarettes, High Fructose Corn Syrup, anything hydrogenated, alcohol. etc... See! I'm not opposed to taxes when they are used as the deterrent that they are. Most of the increases in Healthcare spending are due to diseases that are caused by poor life choices. This should also be more sustainable. If people make more poor choices then there should be more money for care.

Last, how about honest packaging on food sold in the US. If it has a sugar alcohol in it, it has sugar in it! Those calories did not disappear. 

What did all of this cost the public? Nothing unless they make poor life choices. Also I actually make money in my HSA to help with my future Medical bills. I prefer not having government as my daddy.

 

For #2 you have to be more specific. There are a lot of different issues with our energy use and on some of those I'm on your side. If you are talking about Global Warming, you could actually convince me if you showed me real, unmolested science that proves the point. That science does not exist today. The IPCC has bent and twisted every bit of data it's reported to make it's point. Even if you did convince me, I would never support Cap and Trade. It's basically an extortion scheme and you'll find plenty of liberals that would agree with that. If you do believe in global warming, you should understand that it's a logarithmic function and you have to continue to double the doubling of Carbon every time. We will run out of fossil fuels before we reach the doomsday scenario.

3) I use Fox for what it is. (Pretty accurate about the flaws of the Left) If both sides could just admit that what the other side is saying about them is correct then at least we would be calling a spade a spade.

4) In some ways yes. Especially how we try to force our will on others

5) What's with the issues with Capitalism? Last I checked Canada wasn't be run by a Czar and your economic system isn't much different then ours. 

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#29) On February 26, 2010 at 1:19 AM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Good article I agree. Basically it says insurance are passing on (with their cut added on) cost increases of a very broken system. Hospital have been forming groups to amongst other multiple reasons protect themselves from insurance companies. Doctors have been forming group to amongst other reasons protect themselves from insurance companies and hospitals... I've spent the last 20 years in and out of this system so I get it pretty well!

Why are cost increasing so much?

-Lawsuits definetely has a place in it all.  Crazy lawsuits but also real ones also. Don't under estimate how bad medical care can be. Lawyers keep hospitals and doctors on their toes so they aren't all bad. Why is medicine so often bad?

-People have no idea how 'modern' medicine lives in a difficult and chaotic low tech world. Just the paperwork demand from insurance companies is a nightmare. I once worked in a system where I had multiple passwords for the same system and had to change them all (at different times) at regular intervals. Today one of my 2 'important for patient care' passwords failed and I couldn't remember the stupid thing and spent 20 minutes trying to get a hold of a comtuter geek only to be told to call back in 1 hour...  The average doctor gets most information (usually unknowingly) through a system payed for by big pharma. Etc Etc...   

-The uninsured get emergency treatment, don't pay and pass on the costs.  Medicare and insurance plans.

-Patients regularly want things that don't make any sense.

-Health care is a labor intensive business with a lot of very educated people and that is expensive.

-An aging population gets more complications (especially in a system designed for another era)

For your points...

1- Health care: I don't know the car insurance market in the US but obviously you can build any system (public or private) very badly and make it very very expensive. Just look at the great gifts deregulation of the banking industry has given us all. Ask Greece, homebuyers and the economy in general if they are now happy with Goldman Sachs! The end of risk? Yes the end of risk for deregulated banks. They made a killing with deregulationand when it fell apart we apid the price. 2 years later they think they are 'masters of the universe' again and deserve billion dollar bonuses! If you want to read a funny take of this big Ponzi scheme look at the recent Rolling Stone article about banking in the US. Talk about the worst of both worlds. Look who is running the Federal US gouvernment. Seems you have to be from Goldman Sachs to get a Federal job in finance (Republican and Democrates alike)... We should just stop having elections and name Goldman Sachs in charge for life!

Until Americans get a grip on their lobbying problem or addiction things will not change. Corruption, graft and lack of efficiency of the gouvernment (left or right, up or down...) and private sector is what makes things expensive and wastful.  There are 8 lobbists for every Congressman just for health care! The US is paralysed by special interest groups. The ordinary person doesn't count in the equation.  America is a Plutocracy and the faster the population understands this the better.    I'm jumping ahead to your #5 point but it goes with the Plutocracy thing... I think fairly regulated Capitalism is a decent system and the only one that works but I fear we are decending into crony capitalism and that certainly isn't good for me or you.

I certainly agree with taxing bad things like cigarettes, High Fructose Corn Syrup, anything hydrogenated, alcohol etc but do you know how much of your taxpayer dollars go to pay farmers producing corn syrop? At least start by stopping those kickbacks to farmers (oh I forgot the corn lobby will not stand for that!). Same with tobacco.  Hydrogenated fats are probably one of the biggest secret killers of Americans and shouldn't be taxed but banned (oh I forgot some food processor says they are essential and can't be banned although they are being banned in Europe and in New York City...).

2 The same taxation logic applies to carbon and I agree that cap and trade is not efficient and a give away to... Wall Street again. Carbon is a great thing to trade it seems. A carbon tax is much simpler and a lot more efficient if you want a low carbon future. Why didn't that pass? Same reason: lobbiest. Powerful groups saw a way of making a buck off cap and trade while the only group that could make a buck off a carbon tax where citizens (represented by the gouvernement!). By the time proof of climate change is overwhelming enough to convince sceptics that CO2 is a problem we will be NY City will be underwater and the same group of climate sceptics will now be calling this the 2nd great biblical flood or something and be convinced it is a punishment from God because we teached evolution in school or something... By the way I would say maybe 1% of people I talk to seem have a basic understanding of science and now all these people claim to really be able to analyse this stuff. When I talk to climate sceptics  I ask them 3 very very basic non technical science question in biology, physics and chemistry. I usually get 0 out of 3 correct answers. If they can't answer these simple questions they can't understand why a plane stays in the air, why a car runs on gasoline or why living things die without oxygen. I really doubt they will get this very complex thing that is climate science. They are simply being played by Exxon and Fox...

4- Check how many countries have a US military presence... How many of these countries want an American military presence? Pax Americana? Ever hear of Noam Chomsky?

 

Thanks for the answer! This was fun... We actually agree on more then I would have thought. There is hope! As I said I don't get much of a chance to exchange with Tea Party Republicans (or whatever you want or don't want to label yoursellf as: you know better then me or any one else!). And if you don't know where you fit in to all this: move over to the 'mad at Plutocrat lobbists that are destroying America' side! Want to start a new party?

 

JPG

 

 

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#30) On February 26, 2010 at 11:19 AM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

See, we do agree more than you thought!

Thanks for mentioning the low-tech process of the medical world. I forgot to mention that one. I'm all in favor of e-prescriptions,  I'm also in favor of medical dictating machines that type out what the doctor says into the mike. You are probably aware of the dreaded TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms) that doctors love to use but can't agree on? In Cardiology RDA is right axis deviation, in Orthopedics it's radial angular distortion, and in lung medicine it's restrictive airway disease. Given that most doctors do not have the best hand writing and these charts are being read by non-doctors as well the potential for errors is amazing. I'm also in favor of electronic medical records that a patient has access to.

I agree totally on the lobbyists on both sides corrupting government.

I also agree on dropping food subsidies. (or any subsidies for that matter)

I agree that if Global Warming was proven, a straight carbon tax would be the way to go, but both the carbon tax and cap and trade would be unenforcible globally. So what you would get is a shift of carbon to the third world countries and a decline of industry in this one. I wouldn't worry about NYC being underwater anytime soon, signs are pointing to another period of glaciation and if that is the case, we'll be hoping for a little bit of global warming.

We actually have ticked off enough countries that we are always going to need to have a strong military, but if we brought everyone back home and limited our military to responses without occupation, we might get to the point that we could reduce our military to a more sustainable level.

Actually I have my own party.

I call it the party of 1 and we are always unanimous!

Free your mind and the rest will follow my brother. 

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#31) On February 26, 2010 at 11:43 AM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

I know Elmdorff's background. Of course Congress is going to put someone friendly to their side, but that doesn't mean one should throw out the CBO's analysis as worthless. The CBO's scoring of Democratic and Republican bills seemed quite fair and honest to me. Can you give provide me with some analyses that contradict the CBO's and demonstrate its bias?

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#32) On February 26, 2010 at 11:46 AM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

Chris, I'm also curious how you reconcile using the government for social engineering when it comes to taxes, yet you are against subsidies. These two things appear like essentially the same concept to me.

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#33) On February 26, 2010 at 12:58 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Good questions Dargus. first off I'm not condemning this CBO chief in particular, I'm condemning most of them. On occasions when you have one party in control of the senate and another party in control of the house, you do occasionally get a CBO chief that is neutral. Those occasions are rare.

As far as why I know it's incorrect, I actually work in the insurance industry and see the fraud. JPG is a doctor and pays malpractice insurance and he can attest to the cost. Also, they have revised their previous estimate from 4 billion dollars to 54 billion. A revision of 1350%, and I think that they will revise that number even higher if Obama finally decides to accept tort reform.

I've went over this in a few of my other posts about taxes and central planning dargus but I'll put it in a nutshell.

As far as taxes

You have the freedom to be stupid, but I shouldn't have to pay for it. If you want to smoke, it shouldn't raise my healthcare costs. The solution is to tax stupidity. You will either continue to be stupid, but be financially responsible or you will get smarter. Either way society is rewarded as a whole.

As far as subsidies go, you are basically pouring my money into something that isn't a viable industry on it's own. That money could have been invested into something that was financially productive rather than something that was financially taxing. The impact to society is twice as bad in this scenario. You are investing in a losing proposition and have an opportunity cost of missing a winning one.

I see where you see an idealogical conflict here, but my approach in both cases is looking at the end result first. I don't subscribe to anyone's ideology.

If more people would just put the advancement of society above their own political views, we would be much better off. 

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#34) On February 26, 2010 at 1:53 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

I would assume there will be fraud in any insurance system. What percentage of a doctor's operating costs go to malpractice insurance? I'm sure this varies from place to place. Perhaps doctors in California and Florida save a lot, but doctors in Oklahoma and Kansas do not. If it is a small percentage, I have a hard time believing tort reform is a big part of the solution. Even with tort reform, malpractice costs won’t be zero.

I also don't see a lot of people claiming tort reform is a bad idea. You can talk about trial lawyers owning the Democrats, but I think they aren't heartily endorsing it because they'd like the Republicans to actually make some compromises. If the Dems put it in there, the Republicans will probably find a way to attack it. All we are watching is political theater, and I’d like to actually see something get done. I can think of a lot of good compromises, but no one seems to want to go that route.

I see a problem with your tax as a social engineering mechanism. In the hypothetical, it is easy to say we will tax x, y and z because they are bad and I shouldn't have to pay for others stupidity. However, who determines what is stupid and therefore taxed? I'd wager it will be a government organization like the CBO, which you don't like very much. Do you want the CBO or IRS determining what choices are bad and should be taxed? It will undoubtedly become a partisan honey pot.

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#35) On February 26, 2010 at 2:41 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Well in the example with PA (which was very limited tort reform) it saved 15%. You are right it does vary from place to place. PA (other than the Philadelphia) did not have a big fraud problem to begin with.  Also medical fraud is a whole lot more common than auto insurance fraud, because the payouts are usually bigger and you don't have to stage an accident.

Here's a good article on Malpractice insurance. 

Why not put it in there? A compromise goes 2 ways. Even if it didn't do a thing, at least you could say that you took the first step to compromise. Wouldn't that give you more bargaining power? Do you think that tort reform would hurt the process in any way?

You are right that the CBO would probably have a lot of influence on that tax, but taxes always have to be ran past the voters. It's not like these taxes aren't already happening, but the problem is that the states are using the revenue for things unrelated to the problem. If smokers cost healthcare $50 billion dollars annually, and I tax them $50 billion and direct that $50 billion to healthcare, I don't see the problem in that. It is a voluntary tax. You can choose not to pay it by not smoking. I could choose to ban tobacco, but we have learned in the past that banning stupidity does not work. Do you think that I wouldn't fall into the stupid category from time to time? I like a good cheeseburger every now and then, but I'll like them a lot less if they cost me more?

Does the young man putting the cigarette in his mouth think about the women struggling on SSI that has to pay for his smoking? If he doesn't who should?

You have inspired me to do a new blog post about taxes. I think you'll like it. 

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#36) On February 26, 2010 at 3:16 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

I think tort reform is probably a net positive. If I were a dictator, I’d put it in the bill, but then I wouldn’t need a bill. However, this isn’t how the system works. Even if the Democratic leadership thinks it is a good idea, they still have to get people to vote for it. Politicians seem to prefer getting reelected to making positive change. This is the nature of politics and why libertarianism holds a lot of appeal for me.

 

I’m glad I could inspire you. I would argue your point about taxes getting run by the people. This happens in local elections, but not national ones. I vote for a representative and he or she votes on tax policy in Congress. I’m always skeptical about the amount of influence the people have in this. Lobbyists have a lot of direct influence. We can vote the bums out, but everything is marketed like commercial goods these days so I sadly don’t trust that the will of the people will arrive at the “right” answer. The herd seems too easily influenced and confused. The “bad” things taxed will probably be pet peeves of congressmen and goods that compete in the market with other goods backed by strong lobbies. Sadly, this is how I expect the federal government to operate. Move closer to home (local and to a lesser extent state) and I am more comfortable with the government making these types of choices. At least I can walk to my mayor’s office and complain. This certainly still leaves room to screw things up. For example, I live in a state where it is illegal to homebrew beer. I believe most people would find that a pretty oppressive government position. Luckily, it isn’t enforced. However, it could be used as an excuse to harass me if someone so desired.

 

I have the same reservations about health care reform in general. The government could really, really screw it up. I won’t be as terrified as the hard right wingers are as long as I can buy supplemental insurance and pay out of my own pocket. This way I can take care of myself if the government makes choices about care that I disagree with. They can still greatly skew the pricing of care, but at least I still have options. Frankly, I hate the whole idea that insurance is provided by my employer. I turned down my employer’s plan in lieu of an individual one that qualifies for an HSA. My employer’s plan had a much lower deductable, but I felt the HSA was better in the long term. I received no compensation for turning down the plan. I also feel like I’m at the mercy of my insurance company, and all alone. I want to feel more confident about how my insurance company will treat me when I need to submit a large claim, but I’m not sure how to do that. Insurance is such a tricky game for the individual because by the time we need the insurance the insurers already have a lot of our money. I can’t decide if I’m more afraid of the government influencing health care or getting screwed by my insurer. Right now, I think modest government intervention is the most palatable to me.I'd say intellegent government intervention, but I fear that sets the bar too high.

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#37) On February 26, 2010 at 4:05 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Wow! we do think a lot alike when it comes to healthcare.

Beware of any time the government says it wants to take care of you, at least the current government. Who knows? Maybe enough Libertarians get elected in the next election to make it a 3 party system. That could change the balance of power enough to make the other 2 parties more accountable.

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#38) On February 26, 2010 at 5:29 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

I don’t find this government particularly bad or untrustworthy, especially compared to the last one. It is only fair to say that part of the reason is because I align ideologically more with the current administration. Not so much the idea that government should fix everything, but rather the positions they take on particular issues rub me less the wrong way. I tend to be more afraid of right wing oppression than left for purely subjective reasons.

 

I'm not especially optimistic about a libertarian party or large influence. The Campaign for Liberty seems to represent the best hope. The problem is you have a bunch of splinter groups. The current incarnation of the Tea Parties are a good example. What started as a libertarian movement is being hijacked by neo cons and the political machine. The problem with libertarianism is everyone loves the freedoms they exercise, but don’t defend freedoms they choose not to exercise with the same zeal. In fact, there are many freedoms people dislike. Alcohol, as I mentioned in my state, and marijuana in most places as examples. How does some guy smoking pot in his living room injure anyone? It can be traced back to “terrorists”? Fine, let him grow his own then. Oh, that’s an even stiffer penalty? Makes sense. There are too many examples of this phenomenon to list. Sadly, this particular good was originally banned using the tax code. Still sure you want to use the tax code to socially engineer? I, for example, am no fan of religion. I would be perfectly happy if no one wanted to exercise their right to express it. However, I will still stand up for their right to do so. Most people don’t seem to be able to stomach the idea of people doing things they don’t personally endorse. I fear the number of people who can step outside their own bias isn’t large enough to sustain a major party. People also have entrenched loyalties to one party or the other, and most assuredly both would mercilessly attack any viable third party threat and attempt to absorb the leftovers. Libertarians also would cut the bureaucracy, which would create a resistance from entrenched bureaucrats. Maybe we really won’t fix these problems until we collapse and start over again. Hopefully I’m just a bit too cynical for my age.

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#39) On February 26, 2010 at 8:35 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

LOL, you have a better view on things than I gave you credit for, but trust me both sides are equally bad  I agree on the different splinter groups, but I think that is good thing. The more the power base is diluted, the more they will all have to negotiate.

I actually think that taxing something that has a negative effect on society is much better than taking someone's freedom away.

What you may call social engineering, I call equitable freedoms. You can smoke 20 packs a day if you want to and I'm not paying for the problem. We are both happy and neither of our freedoms were taken away.

As far as merciless attacks, get used to that if you have a different opinion. I get attacked by all sides because I refuse to blindly follow what they keep dishing out as fact. If you look at any one party line, there will be flaws, but these guys all accept the entire platform with a smile on their face and are afraid to question any of it.

Look how they attacked Fox News above. They attacked it because if they didn't, some people in their party might actually read it and find something that they agree with. As long as everybody in their group reads only the "acceptable publications" they only get information that agrees with party opinion. That reinforces the party lines and makes them stronger. 

Most of the guys that posted above are still convinced that I'm a right-winger because of my stance on 2 issues. Yesterday someone else was convinced that I was a libertarian based on a different issue. He even played a video of a massacre of a bunch of miners explaining that "my party platform" would lead to that type of world again.

The fact is I don't agree with any one platform entirely. Anyone that does is a fool.

Look at these guys pleading for this health care bill. It's not what they want. It's nothing like what they want, but they are fighting for it anyway, because their side proposed it. In trying to be stronger for the party, the are weaker as individuals.

Keep your mind open my friend. 

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#40) On February 27, 2010 at 1:34 AM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

I don't think you are a right winger because of your stance on 2 issues. I think you see issues through the narrow American vision of right and left. I think you are moderately informed on health care and formed a shallow opinion based on a social position that fits with a segment of the right wing individuallistic crowd.

As for your views on climate change I simply think you are ill informed and at best naive and influenced by the lobbies. I seriously doubt you are scientifically literate. I should have asked you if you believe in evolution!

At least you seem to enjoy exchanging with people of different views. I doubt you ever change your mind though by their arguements.

 

The health care thing isn't that important to me. I, my familly and friends have all the health care we want, Top quality health care and for a fraction of what Americans pay for it. My biotech companies will do well with or without intelligent health care reform. For the climate and evolution I really care what the radicals, evenagelicals, climate deniers and 'crazies' think. They matter and influence debat. They will sink North America economically, socially and politically if they get to set the agenda for to long. They (you maybe?) scare me.

 

JPG 

 

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#41) On February 27, 2010 at 8:20 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

JPG, I really enjoy your opinions.

You my friend are actually on the fringe.

You think critically, which probably has a little to do with your education as doctor and you are open to discourse which is extremely rare, period.

But how did you come to the determination that I "see issues through the narrow American vision of the right and left"? Because that is about the opposite of the way that I think that I see issues.

For instance, our version of what is liberal in the Americas is much different than what is liberal in Europe. I actually agree with a couple of liberal views from a European standpoint, that would not even float over here.

As far as Climate Change goes, do you think that there is any possibility that you could be ill informed or influenced by the lobbies? If you are willing to answer that there is an equal chance for either of us to be influenced the same, then you might be the person that could change my mind on climate science.

As far as changing my mind, I change my mind constantly! If I do change my mind though, it's gonna be by talking to somebody like you, that's willing to admit the flaws of your side's argument. It won't be a blake, devoish, or lucas that will convince me. They only want to beat me over the head with their ideoisms. Yes, I do stir them up by posting the opposite of what they believe, but they could win an argument by being open to discourse and willing to concede small losses for the greater victory. Actually don't tell devoish this, but other than the fact that he throws his politics around too much, he's a pretty decent guy.

The health care thing should be important to you! (Well maybe not you since you are in Canada) But if you are going to argue for it, it should be important to you! As far as top quality, the only experience that I had in Canada was when I blew out my knee out in Vancouver in about 1996 or 1997. I waited in pain for about 7 hours in a public facility. It was considered not urgent so I was told that it would be about 16 weeks to operate. A good friend pointed me to a private clinic and although they gave me an estimated price of $7300, (without more than a nurse looking at my knee),  they couldn't tell me if they had a physician specialized in sports medicine. I decided to wait a week and a half until I could get back to the states. The private facility seemed pretty clean but crowded, and the public one was both dirty and crowded.

I didn't get surgery in the private facility, so I can't really judge them. I wouldn't have had surgery in the public one if they would have been ready to do it right then and there.  That was a long time ago and health care could have came a long way in Canada since then, but it does taint my opinion.

OK now a few things...

I seriously doubt you are scientifically literate. I should have asked you if you believe in evolution!

For the climate and evolution I really care what the radicals, evenagelicals, climate deniers and 'crazies' think. They matter and influence debat. They will sink North America economically, socially and politically if they get to set the agenda for to long. They (you maybe?) scare me.

Re-read your words above. Those aren't your words. Those are the words of your party. Although I don't have a party I'm guilty of the same thing. I'll repeat a doomsday scenario that I heard or read when I get someone that thinks the opposite that I do. I'm trying not to do it, but sometimes I still do. If I'm talking about doom to a liberal, it's usually economic doom. You guys just suck at economics. (It's a joke, but a true one)

OK maybe I'll blow your mind a little if I answer the religious zealot / evolution question next. First off, I don't believe in any religion. I believe that it's just another form of control. I think it's a stronger form of control than political parties, but not much stronger. Second, I do believe in God. If you simply look at only the mathematic possibilities of our existence, I think that you have to believe in God. Just looking at the big bang and the possibilities of everything coming from nothing should be proof enough. Then taking it further, to believe that a lightning strike in a primordial soup could lead to single cell life. Then looking at multi-cell organisms arising from that, and then intelligent thought and now to the point of moving beyond self awareness to environmental control.

Evolution is intelligent design!

I have still never figured out God and probably won't in my lifetime. God could be an undiscovered particle or an undiscovered dimension. (I think that Kaku's string theory still believes in 11 dimensions)

I'm not going to believe that God wants me to blow up a bus or that God is dying for my admiration. I don't think that God is asking anything of me other than doing what I'm already doing. He wants me to figure things out.

He doesn't want me to follow any political party any more than he wants me to follow a religious book written by men that weren't smart enough to understand that "fire and brimstone" came from a volcano. 

God wants to challenge me. 

More than that, God wants me to challenge you.

What we eventually come up with together will bring us closer to God.

I do believe that God wants our thoughts over both party beliefs and religious beliefs. 

Eventually I'll meet someone with the same beliefs but opposite opinions. 

That might be good or bad, but we won't know until it happens.

JPG, I've told dargus that I was gonna post next about taxes next, but I think my next post will be more about political systems.

You guys have both been great, but both are very wary about the man behind the curtain. I'm sure that most nonbelievers in your opinion are scary, but if I show you the inside of my head maybe it will be less scary. Don't be afraid, I'm not trying to convert you to any opinion. I'll just show you my entire thought process and let you decide for yourself.

BTW, I'm hoping after all of this that if you want to label me, you label me as someone that thinks independently.

I usually end with the statement that "I hope this helps"

I hope this helps you, as it has helped me.

Chris 

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#42) On February 27, 2010 at 8:51 PM, blesto (31.59) wrote:

"Evolution is intelligent design! "

Chris,

That's my new mantra.

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#43) On February 28, 2010 at 1:27 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

I don't believe in God. People are free to believe what they want but being a believer directly and indirectly slants and distorts your understanding of science. The 2 are not mutually exclusive obviously but true hardcore believers in different religious texts cannot accept scientific proof without having to change thier views on religious text. Religions ask that you accept dogma without thinking: this is the truth and if you don't believe or question it you are not a true believer etc..

The religious thing I certainly agree is about control on a grand scale. On a personel scale believing in God is about having a place to 'logically' put what we don't as an individual understand. Religion and god evolved over the years to suite or personel and collective lack of comprehension about the world around us. You say people blow up buses and things for religion and that certainly is part of the reality we see today. Expolosives certainly seem popular to support whichever 'true cause of the day'! Thinking this is done only for religious reasons by whichever side is simply naive. We have had crusades for religion (and treasure), inquisitions for 'truth and purety' (and control) and countless warriors (all sides in Iraq) claiming god is on their side.You through out Kaku strings (which you and I and 99.999999% of humans don't understand anyway) as a possible god? That just goes with what I'm saying about god being what we don't understand. Why not the sun, moon, eagle, bear, thunder or some other natural force liike so many ancient people before the 'one god thing'? They didn't understand: god. We don't understand: god. To complicated: must be god. It's not my fault: must be god.

I certainly am influenced by the climate change lobby. I am part of the climate change lobby and am proud of it! I'm a 'believer' (not religious but scientific believer: as I said very different...). Again it's important to realise that the climate change lobby has been outspent easily 100 to one by the climate sceptics. The climate sceptics have a much much more powerful organisation behind them. What is the link between big tobacco and big oil? 

I've been following this science (and understanding most of it) for the last 24 years. I've been a supporter of various 'green groups' for the same period of time. My ah moment about how unfair the fight was came about 10 years ago when my mom asked me to stop hanging around with 'radicals from Greenpeace'. She said they bombed a ship once and killed a few people... I coudn't get where she got that info. Turns out she was refering to a bomb put by the French gouvernment under a Greenpeace boat (which killed a few Greenpeace members) in New Zealand a few years before. The French gouvernment killers were caught and put through the legal system in New Zealand. Later some articles (paid or supported by???) said Greenpeace was caught up in a 'controversial bombing campaign'! They were not victims but 'involved'... The best spin I have ever seen: they went from being victims to being almost proven guilty with a simple spin of words. That is an example of the power of what we 'greens' are up against. The west wages wars for oil and the greens are seen as the radical extremists!

Evolution is not a creationist thing. Evolution is science at its best (and weakest: see recent 'extracted leaks' and spin to discredit the science and flawed individuals behind climate change!). Creationism is pure political spin simply to get a bit of doubt going.  Evolution is complicated scientifically. Creationism is dogma. Evolution is not intelligent design. There is nothing intelligent about evolution sorry. Evolution is logical but not intelligent. Not a catch phrase or spin.

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#44) On February 28, 2010 at 6:39 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

JPG I'm saddened for you.

How can your mind be so open to some thinking and so closed to other thinking?

Some of that medical equipment in your hospital is a result of quantum physics.

You can trust the equipment made from a science requires, dark energy, dark matter, and a half-dead cat, but you can't leave your mind open to the possibility of God?

You admit that one of the problems with government is the lobbyists and then you contribute to a lobbyist group? 

You claim that climate change is an issue but why doesn't your side care about the next glaciation?

History has proven that one will occur again and do far more damage than Global warming ever could. In fact, we are actually a little overdue for the next glaciation. Why is anyone from your group worried about that?

I'll give you the answer. It's because it doesn't fit into your platform. You can't point the finger at anyone for glaciation. Yet, it is a bigger threat.

You'll freeze to death because of your ideology. That is the biggest problem with any "Group Think", people just stop thinking independently.

The next biggest problem with "Group Think" is the hatred toward the other side always escalates what is acceptable by the group.

Ramming a Japanese research vessel is not acceptable to me. No matter what that research vessel was doing.

Breaking into a power plant and causing $50,000 worth of damage is not acceptable to me. 

It's not acceptable to me to blow up abortion clinics.

It's not acceptable to me to break into research facilities. 

Your annual contributions helped fund the first and second episodes of "Group Think". They will get worse and they get $270 million a year from people like you to do it.

Are you saying that evolution can't be intelligent design?

Did you ever wonder how the universe can be both infinite and expanding?

What is it now? Infinty +1?

What is it expanding into?

" This thing [a scale model of our solar system] is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you, as an atheist, profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?"

Sir Isaac Newton 

 

Free your mind JPG 

 

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#45) On February 28, 2010 at 10:09 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Hi Chris,

Don't be sorry for me because in that case we will both be sorry for each other! Just sad to see both of us sorry...

Show me proof god exists and I'l consider it.  Maybe god exists but there is no scientific evidence to prove this thing you don't seem to be able to even define. I don't believe in flying saucers, green men from Mars and angels either. If you believe in a the bigfoot monster I don't have to. To me the debate about believing in god is as significant as the debate about believing in angels or bigfoot. It's a product of your mind. The problem is that god believers act on their god beliefs and do funny things that really really matter using god as a first step in the logic underlying their actions. When your first paradigm isn't scientifc often everthing that follows is strangely tilted.

Newton was a product of his time. That his opinion. I admire his science not his philosophy I guess!

You state: Some of that medical equipment in your hospital is a result of quantum physics.

Science lesson#1- EVERY single thing is based on quantum physics not just the equipment in my hospital!   

#2- String theory and quantum physics aren't the same. String theory and the 11 dimension thing would be more classified as metaphysics with the state of understanding experts have right now. If you are willing to accept 11 dimensions as fact you can as easily accept god as factual. There is at least some very very theoretical basis for string theory that I don't pretend to understand!

Glaciers:  I have to admit that with the glaciers shrinking all over the world and the last 10 years having been kind of hot I'm not to concerned about glaciers overwhelming us right now. Science certainly isn't on your side on this one. Maybe bigfoot and Exxon but not science... Even Exxon and their 'scientists' would have difficulty stating that with a straight face! Yes some guy came up with that recently but then again I actually really know a few million who think the world is 10000 years old. Group think eventually accepted the world as being round after a few hundred years of being proven wrong. Strangely enough the Greeks knew that 1000 years before and the church made it become flat for some obscure (but logical to them) reason. If evidence comes in on glaciers become a danger Exxon and big coal can always increase output significantly and we will get ride of all those dangerous solar panels and wind turbines.

Group think: Just speaking English and being born in North America  automatically creats group think. There is no way around having a certain degree of group thinking. If you were born in India and grew up speaking Tamil you would have a completely different view of the world. If born in a country that gets bombed you will see military action very differently then when born in a country that does the bombing. Being at the center of an Empire is very different then being at the periphery of it. 

No evolution cannot be intelligent design. 

Blowing up things, ramming whaling ships or any violent act is not a typical action by any mainstream green group. As an example of spin you seem to think Greenpeace did that an you would be very wrong. Just like my mom got it wrong with the blowing up of the ship you were spun into believing Greenpeace did it. Look it up and give me the correct name of the group responsible for that and the way it happened. You might learn something.

As for your 2 riddles about the universe:  Easy answer but probably not the question that metaphysicians are into right now!

 

JPG

PS: Do you really believe all these things or are you just trying to be a constant contrarian? You can make a fortune in the market when you go against the crowd and are right or loose a lot of money. The crowd is not always wrong... If 'we' listen to you we risk loosing the world and civilisation if the glaciers don't do as you say and 'we' are right... 

I'd be really curious as to your favorite biotech companies! I'll short them ...

 

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#46) On February 28, 2010 at 10:25 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Newton was also a lousy investor!

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#47) On February 28, 2010 at 10:52 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

Chris,

Everytime I hear Reagan now he sounds like a friggin' genius.  He was painted as stupid and a guy that would get us into a nuclear war.  I remember those times, bought my first car at 14% interest rate.

You said, "You can trust the equipment made from a science requires, dark energy, dark matter, and a half-dead cat, but you can't leave your mind open to the possibility of God?".  Priceless.

Quantum mechanics?  If god does place dice with the universe does that make him not exist? lol.  How is that mutually exclusive?

If we ever find a Higgs boson will probably be embedded in a chunk of dark matter, lol...

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#48) On February 28, 2010 at 11:37 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Show me proof god exists and I'l consider it.  Maybe god exists but there is no scientific evidence to prove this thing you don't seem to be able to even define. I don't believe in flying saucers, green men from Mars and angels either. If you believe in a the bigfoot monster I don't have to. To me the debate about believing in god is as significant as the debate about believing in angels or bigfoot. It's a product of your mind. The problem is that god believers act on their god beliefs and do funny things that really really matter using god as a first step in the logic underlying their actions. When your first paradigm isn't scientifc often everthing that follows is strangely tilted.

Thank you!

Substitute Global warming for God in the statement above and re-read.

Science lesson#1- EVERY single thing is based on quantum physics not just the equipment in my hospital!

What about those gowns that you guys make me wear with my rear-end hanging out?

As for #2 never automatically doubt what you don't understand. You don't have to believe in it either, but not too long ago, a group of people believed that you couldn't own land, so they traded it for shiny beads. 

For somebody that's studied climate change for he last 24 years, you don't understand glaciation or even glaciers very well. Your own people are willingly admitting now, that while glaciers are shrinking in the north, they are growing at a faster rate in the south. 

Group think: Just speaking English and being born in North America  automatically creats group think. There is no way around having a certain degree of group thinking. If you were born in India and grew up speaking Tamil you would have a completely different view of the world. If born in a country that gets bombed you will see military action very differently then when born in a country that does the bombing. Being at the center of an Empire is very different then being at the periphery of it. 

A certain degree? Maybe. But it is a degree that you can control. Group think also accepted the world as being flat for a few years after it was proven.

No evolution cannot be intelligent design

Do you have a proof? If you were God, would you pick a design different from evolution? 

Just like my mom got it wrong with the blowing up of the ship you were spun into believing Greenpeace did it. Look it up and give me the correct name of the group responsible for that and the way it happened. You might learn something.

I'll use the guardian for the second link since that is an acceptable publication for you

Also have you heard of the Earth First group? they do a few nastier things and have ties to Greenpeace.

 PS: Do you really believe all these things or are you just trying to be a constant contrarian? You can make a fortune in the market when you go against the crowd and are right or loose a lot of money. The crowd is not always wrong... If 'we' listen to you we risk loosing the world and civilisation if the glaciers don't do as you say and 'we' are right... 

Is right correct because the group says it is or is it correct because it's fact? A broken watch is also correct a couple of times a day. I don't want you to listen to me. I want you to figure out by yourself. Just don't buy into a group that figures it out for you!

As far as biotech goes, I don't invest in it much in strong markets and I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole in this market. You might want to go "all-In". 

 

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#49) On February 28, 2010 at 11:58 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

*after it was proven wrong

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#50) On March 01, 2010 at 12:07 AM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

thanks Notvuffet,

 

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#51) On March 01, 2010 at 12:18 AM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

 A good example of your sides propaganda!  Look up which group owns the Steve Irwin boat (hint: not Greenpeace)! Then look up who the captain is and his relation with Greenpeace and try posting something factual...

You guys use any spin news source that has no factual basis for your narrow political agenda. Got the glacier info from the same trusted 'news' source?

 

As for #2 never automatically doubt what you don't understand

Do you have a proof? If you were God, would you pick a design different from evolution?

 

You really don't get science!

JPG

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#52) On March 01, 2010 at 8:59 AM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Paul Watson was a founding member of Greenpeace Quebec. He did start his own splinter group after a split with Greenpeace, but I betting at least a few Greenpeace dollars wound up in their coffers.

Also you didn't address the second link.

Signal of things to come?

You said that it "cannot" be Intelligent design. You made it a solvable logic problem. You should be able to put forth a proof.

 

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#53) On March 01, 2010 at 9:16 AM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

Government run healthcare to believing in a higher power to Greenpeace? Send me an email when the topic of conversation returns to the intended topic.

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#54) On March 01, 2010 at 12:15 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

I stop reading this thread over the weekend and you starting debating God? I guess I’ll have to weigh in on that too. I live in a place where I am surrounded by religious fanatics. They wouldn’t describe themselves that way, but I feel it is accurate. To me, the question about the existence of a god or gods is somewhat pointless, at least until it causes believers/non-believers to act. Anyone who takes an objective stance is forced to admit that we can’t prove the existence or non-existence of divine beings. However, many people will not concede this point. These people “know” there is a God and this God takes an active role in their lives, directing their actions, and bending chance to their favor. As strange as this seems to me, people are completely entitled to their own opinions. The trouble is often people use these opinions as a basis for denying rights to others, or the way they would frame the arguments, to protect them. We must protect their traditions and sensibilities, because God has willed it so. Once you run afoul of this mentality of few times, you grow rather tired of it. There is no rational argument to defeat it because it isn’t a rational position. Nothing can be done to change this sort of mind because the arguments of a man can’t compare with arguments one has deemed divine.

 

Chris, why do you believe in God? Your God doesn’t seem to take much interest in the world. He doesn’t demand your attention and He doesn’t ask you to do things for Him. What compels you to believe in such a God? In fact, God seems to exist only to bolster your own ego. It seems to me that it is a great coincidence that God wants you to do the things you feel compelled to do. Would your life be different if you believed a God didn’t exist? Would you feel you actions are less valid without a stamp of approval from the divine?

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#55) On March 01, 2010 at 1:04 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

That's a simple answer dargus,

I believe in God because of the mathmatic possibilities of my own existence.

The fact that I believe that he wants me to think is because I have the ability to do so.

I'm not sure how he bolsters my EGO.

If he wanted me to do something I'm sure he would have told me so in one way or another.

If I'm wrong nothing in this world changes, but what if I'm right?

So far I have not received that stamp of approval, so there's nothing to base my own validity on yet.

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#56) On March 01, 2010 at 1:43 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

God bolsters your ego because He wants you to do the things you are doing, thinking, debating, learning. You chould choose to not do any of those things. Since you believe God wants you to do these things, it strokes your own ego by aligning your desires/actions with God's. The stamp of approval comes from within, or from God if you believe he touches your soul. I can see a chicken and egg debate coming since you will probably argue that you feel the way you do because that is how you were designed.

Can you provide me with a rational basis for your belief? Why you decided on the personna for God that you have chosen? If it is based on your nature, why insert the devine to begin with?

What if you are right? What do you gain? What if one of the other 6 billion people on Earth is right? Perhaps you should have been practing Shinto. 

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#57) On March 01, 2010 at 2:06 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Discussions of god are not possible logically because it's not possible to analyse something which is based on no data. It's the difference between science and faith. A sterile discussion.

Mathmatical probability of your existance??? What do you know about math? What or who are you parroting?  I've lived amongst the religious fanatics while living abroad and in the US. They are not exactly math or logic based!  They themselves are proud to say they are faith based. Until they get on a plane: then they like the science part! When they get of the plane they see no irony or paradox in calling the scientists, who made the plane possible, all sorts of names... 

Greenpeace and Watson split a long time ago and NO funding of Watsons organisation come from Greenpeace. Get your facts straight.  Look up why they split. As for the Guardian articles: if you knew about the history of Greenpeace you would know this is the way they operate an have operated for decades. They are not violent. The only people they put at risk is themselves. If you want to look at violent groups I think you can find a few better targets! Daisy cutters and 500 pound bombs would be a good place to start... Follow up with what some of our oil companies are doing in the Niger delta as we speak. I think they might be better targets of your rightous campagne if non violence is important to you across the board and not only when dealing with those 'dangerous enviromental groups' you seem to consider as being your enemies.

You said that it "cannot" be Intelligent design. You made it a solvable logic problem. You should be able to put forth a proof.

It isn't intelligent design because that is a spin word used by the religious lobby.  This goes against the basis of what Darwin said. Read his book... It's not a logical solvable problem: science vs religion again. You want science answers for religious questions... Not possible. You don't get science.

I reread a few of your posts and this reminds me of Middle Ages religious philosophers I was forced to read back in school. They sound or try to sound logical but their premise is flawed and the whole premise is based on illogical theorems. For them a way up in a church system based on flawed paradigms. For you I don't get it? Simply a confused mind trying to break from Fox docrine hopefully?

 

JPG

 

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#58) On March 01, 2010 at 2:10 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Hmm, I don't think you get the fact that I don't think that I have a stamp of approval yet.

It is a continuous struggle for the "Grand Solution" I may figure that solution before I die, I might not.

I can't quantify something that is beyond our obsevation any more than I can grab a handful of infinity.

Now that I think about it, I do get something. A purpose.

If I'm right or wrong, I still die with a purpose.

 

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#59) On March 01, 2010 at 2:17 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Hmm, if one zealot says something on a plane and all religious people are zealots then all religous people think the same as the zealot on the plane.

You are great at science JPG!

Darwin was not anti-religon.

Darwinism can co-exist with God.

Why are the oil companies my oil companies again?

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#60) On March 01, 2010 at 2:22 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

PS: You never did give me those glacier references! Same place you got the Greenpeace spin? Or was it directly from Fox news?  Fair and balanced!

I think Dargus has a point about you and your personel god!

What if you are wrong? What gives you the self importance to making up your own god? Would god permit you to do that? He might be very upset with you... The fun part about your god is that you can change him to suit your mood. On Monday he could be a rock. The next day some string theory thing or 'dark matter' sounds fun! No really she is an eagle or maybe a worm or molecule of iron but worms and iron aren't cool so forget about that.  lets go back to the string theory thing... Sounds much more scientific and cooler!

It took me a while but I'm starting to figure out your way of thinking it seems!

Frre your mind and give up Fox and string theories Chris!

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#61) On March 01, 2010 at 2:54 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

It is a continuous struggle for the "Grand Solution" I may figure that solution before I die, I might not.

Happy you found yourself a lifetime quest! Happy to have helped you out a bit maybe. The religious fanatics have their answer and so do my 'group' of non fanatical non believers and of fanatical non believers!

Darwin: read his history and the fear he had of religion and why it took him so long to even admit to his theories. Look at what age he did the theoretical fact finding mission and at what age he published (and especially why he waited so long). It's all written by him. Get some facts. Darwin can coexist with some gods but not all gods. That's the whole point of this new Intelligent Design thing and the cultural war against evolution that has been going on since he published his theories.  If god and Darwin can easily coexist it hasn't sunk into the minds of a lot of religious people!

 

Why are the oil companies my oil companies again?

Because you seem to be an unpaid lobbist for them! At least ask them for a salary... Fox and Murdoch get their cut. Why souldn't you?

Hmm, if one zealot says something on a plane and all religious people are zealots then all religous people think the same as the zealot on the plane.

No. Religious zeolots attack science but get on a plane without fear as if science didn't make the thing work. They like science when it suits them but attack it when it scares them. I treat them using knowledge and drugs based of biological sciences. At the basis of this knowledge is evolutionary biology. Just kind of funny (or scary) to see a diabetic Creationist using recombinent insulin going on TV and saying the knowledge that biotech uses to creat the drug that is keeping him alive is 'evil and wrong'.  Kind of Middle Ages scary...

Free your mind Chris!

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#62) On March 01, 2010 at 3:16 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

If god and Darwin can easily coexist it hasn't sunk into the minds of a lot of religious people!

You are supossedly a Man of science don't generalize.

I've read Darwin and he had a right to be worried at the time, and still does with some. that doesn't change the facts.

Because you seem to be an unpaid lobbist for them! At least ask them for a salary... Fox and Murdoch get their cut. Why souldn't you?

No, I'm pretty sure you could change my mind if Climate science wasn't corrupted. Why is it so easy for you to generalize people that you don't agree with?

Ever heard of Einstein, he was a religious gut that was pretty good at science.

Science does not equal anti-religon as much as you want it to.

My mind is free and that is what's bothering you the most, otherwise you wouldn't result to the personal attacks.

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#63) On March 01, 2010 at 3:25 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

*guy

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#64) On March 01, 2010 at 4:52 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

I didn't want my comments to be disrespectful. Sorry if they offended you. It's just that your logic makes me think of the flat earth crowd of the middle ages. They had justifications for everything and lived within the walls of their logic. They ended up being so wrong. Time will tell about climate change (and we will unfortunetly know for sure in the next 20 yrs if 'my' side is right). For the god thing you have a life time to figure it out but will still probably go in circles on that one! As for Einstein and god he was also a product of his time. Look up what recently came out about him, god and wife beating and you might be a bit reluctant to quote him as a devence of god next time! 

Speaking of corruption and the climate... As I had been fearing would happen the next step has been taken by the very powerful groups behind the climate sceptics. They are using the powers of leglislators to silence debat. What can a simple scientist do against this? Simple: shut up and hide. A bit like scientists in the Middle Ages had to do. Kind of reminds me why Darwin was so scared to publish his origin of species.

 

From The Guardian:

US Senate's top climate sceptic accused of waging 'McCarthyite witch-hunt'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/01/inhofe-climate-mccarthyite

 

 

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#65) On March 01, 2010 at 5:05 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Amazing! Just read your post on 'globe cooling'! The reference is from Fox Fair and Balanced!!! Look at the original reference and spot the spin!

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/15/global-warming-insignificant-years-admits-uks-climate-scientist/?test=latestnews

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#66) On March 01, 2010 at 5:07 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

All they have to do is dump the previous reports and issue one the has been idependently reviewed. Share all their data and be honest.

Trying to manipulate data to prove their point is what got them in trouble. Honesty will get them out of trouble.

As far as what Einstein did in his personal life, I don't condone it, but it has nothing to do with a belief in God. It's probably not adhering to his religon, but that isn't for me to say.

I'm just saying that all scientists aren't anti-god and all religious people are not anti-science.

Also I care care how good of an investor Newton was.

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#67) On March 01, 2010 at 5:09 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

BTW

Apologies aren't needed, like I said, I'm used to attacks from all sides.

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#68) On March 01, 2010 at 5:28 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

So you don’t have a stamp of approval. How do you know the things you do please the god you believe exists? Do you spend time contemplating that? If you have no way to know what your god wants from you, why bother believing in one? It seems like something you use a psychological tool to help you conceptualize the world. Isn’t this the real benefit of your “purpose”?

 

As an aside, you should check out Richard Dawkin’s discussions about the purpose of purpose. Basically, his contention is you are taking biological drives and attempting to assign an outside purpose to them. Their real purpose was evolutionary survival.

 

I can certainly sympathize with the comfort belief offers, and the stronger the belief, the more comfort offered. From what you’ve said so far, you don’t strike me as someone who lets religious dogma guide your decisions. This is really where I have a problem with religion. Either one of us could have the correct conception of the universe, but neither of us will ever know. Personally, I feel that if there is a god, no human has the answer. This again leads me to my opening question. If you can’t know what god wants from you, why care if he exists? Further, why would you create a god for which you have no evidence? Isn’t it better, in rational terms, to begin with a tabula rasa?  

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#69) On March 01, 2010 at 6:03 PM, farmnut1985 (35.49) wrote:

Dargus,

God left the world his word in that book called the Bible, provides good solid guidelines to live by.  

 "Why care if he exists?"

We aren't going to be in either heave or hell following this life, which do you choose?  I accept his grace and try to live humbly as commanded and look in wonder at what he has created here on earth.

My question for you Dargus is have you ever asked god what he wants from you? and if he doesn't answer right away, well thats why we call it faith. I ask a lot of questions and rarely do I get a solid direct answer, usually involves me having to have patience. 

 

RPM 

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#70) On March 01, 2010 at 7:54 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

So you don’t have a stamp of approval. How do you know the things you do please the god you believe exists? Do you spend time contemplating that? If you have no way to know what your god wants from you, why bother believing in one? It seems like something you use a psychological tool to help you conceptualize the world. Isn’t this the real benefit of your “purpose”?

I'm not sure that God wants me to please him. Why bother believing in an infinite universe? I could choose to believe or not believe and it wouldn't effect the fact. I don't get anything from believing or not believing it. If I chose not to believe in God wouldn't it still be a tool to conceptualize the world?

LOL, as for Darwin's Rottweiler, (I didn't pick that nickname for Mr Dawkins) I'll admit that I have read quotes from him, but I've never read one of his books. I'll will attempt to do so. I was intrigued for what he came up with for his book "The God Dillusion" anyway. 

I try not to let any dogma guide my decisions. If I just sought to receive a reward for my beliefs, wouldn't that make me Pavlov's dog waiting for the bell to ring? 

 That's all I can give you for a reason dargus. I don't even think it's for comfort. I certainly don't think I created a God, but God somehow fits into my understanding of my existence.

Just the fact that we all exist is amazing! So amazing that I have to believe in God. 

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#71) On March 01, 2010 at 7:58 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

JPG there is spin on both sides, if you look for it, you'll find it.

Al Gore got a Nobel Peace Prize for spin. 

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#72) On March 01, 2010 at 8:00 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

I think this is officially the longest 7 rec thread on the fool now.

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#73) On March 01, 2010 at 9:11 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

An infinite universe is a scientific concept not religious dogma. Heaven and hell and the bible are religious dogma. Big difference. Read a book by Dawkinsand let me know what you think.

The Nobel Prize is political I agree. Choosen by a few and people make a big deal out of it.  There is spin on both sides but one sides tries to base conclusions on science while the other hires consulting firms that used to work for big tobacco and that certainly don't have any scientific credibility.

I know that science thing pops up all the time...

JPG

 

PS: The longest post I have ever been involved in!

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#74) On March 01, 2010 at 10:24 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Careful JPG,

You are confusing religion with believing in God. I'm under no one's religious control and so I don't have a mandate. 

I agree that both sides hire those spin doctors, but not all skeptics are spin doctors. If the scientists would not have engaged in "creative" science, there wouldn't be anything to argue.

PS, I've got to rent that movie again. (Dogma) It was a funny movie. 

 

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#75) On March 02, 2010 at 1:02 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

Honestly, I’ve never read Dawkins either. I was lucky enough to see him speak at my local university. His presence caused quite a stir in my state. Legislation was introduced to protest his lecture, which wasn’t even about atheism. The topic was the purpose of purpose I mentioned. I did read Hitchens’ “God is Not Great”, but I wouldn’t suggest that as reading to sway someone’s opinion. If you are familiar with Hitchens, all I can say is the book is very Hitchens.

 

I never said I believe in an infinite universe. I believe in the things that can be observed, tested, and predicted. I agree all of these things could exist in a system created by a God, but that doesn’t appear, to me, to be a necessary condition. You are amazed by the fact that we exist and that compels you to believe in a God. Basically, you are saying that you can’t explain our existence so a God makes sense to you. That strikes me as an ancient mindset, but we all figure things out in our own way.

 

I’ve said it several times, but my real issue is with people like farmnut1985 above. I live amongst a lot of people with his mindset. “We aren't [sic] going to be in either heave or hell following this life, which do you choose?” He’s so very sure of his God. You, on the other hand, do not appear to be. God is more like something you want to believe in, at least that’s what I gather. Judging from this limited conversation, I suspect if you were surrounded by people sure of their God, you’d challenge them too. Anyway, it’s been a great discussion. I’ll be looking to throw some comments in your other posts.

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#76) On March 02, 2010 at 2:17 PM, farmnut1985 (35.49) wrote:

Dargus,

 Sorry if I come across a little strong, but they are my beliefs and I am entitled to them, just as you have free will.  As for being sure of my God, well, depends on the day but in the end I always come to the final conclusion that we were created.  When Chris mentions the mathematical probability of the big bang theory he is very correct and supports my analytical thinking.  I'm trying to track down some statistical papers on the subject to share.  God and science have no problem existing together, he created science so it will work out, and until science can explain everything I will keep my beliefs as you will probably keep yours.  

 RPM 

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#77) On March 02, 2010 at 2:35 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

So you have trouble believing that the universe or life could come into existence without a creator, yet you have no trouble with the idea that no one created the creator? You, like Chris, can’t explain something so you look to the mystical. Why add the middleman with no direct evidence that such a creature exists?

 

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#78) On March 02, 2010 at 2:49 PM, LegalizeMe (41.09) wrote:

 JPG101 (94.37) Why is government run health care so bad?  The government could undercut all private insurers because they don't have to make a profit to be solvent.  Private insurers go broke and lay off thousands of employees. That's the problem.

Have any of you read the Constitution?  The amount of government invasion in our lives is already far too much.  Read the Constitution and then the health care bill the Democrats have proposed.  First, it's Constitutionally illegal to mandate anyone buy anything from the government simply because we are breathing.

As for tort reform, how about this fun fact:

The United States has 5% of the world's population and 66% of the world's lawyers! Tort (Legal) reform legislation has been introduced in congress several times in the last several years to limit punitive damages in ridiculous lawsuits such as "spilling hot coffee on yourself and suing the establishment that sold it to you" and also to limit punitive damages in huge medical malpractice lawsuits. This legislation has continually been blocked from even being voted on by the Democrat
Party. When you see that 97% of the political contributions from the American Trial Lawyers Association goes to the Democrat Party, then you realize who is responsible for our medical and product costs being so high!

Still think the Democrats are on your side with this health care non-sense?

 

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#79) On March 02, 2010 at 3:15 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

Using the Big Bang and math to try to somehow prove the existance of God again reminds me of the Middle Age philosophers who twisted logic to its extremes to be 'in' with the church.  As science has progressed in explaining reality religion has regressed and fought back hard. Those that think religion and science can naturally coexist are optimists. Knowledge and dogma are and will always come into conflict. Scientists have often found a way to make coexistance possible for their own sake. Religion has sometimes also bent to make room for new knowledge. Look at the Big Bang  position paper of the Catholic Church under JPII. A perfect example of a religious institution backing down in front of science but of keeping the dogma alive with their 'first one billionth of a second' clause. Truely twisted logic but it worked to a certain degree.

My family grew up in a very Catholic society and we have been scientists for many generations. The crazy things my father, grandfather and great grandfather had to do to not get in trouble with the church and dogma seem out of a book on the middle ages. I still see that happening in the US. Just look at the constant battle in the US between evolution and creationism. Anyone who says there is no inherent friction between science and religion is just no reading any newspapers...

Heaven, hell and the bible... I've meet quite a few Evangelicals who have told me that the Bible was handed down directly from God. They said that no other book is worth reading. I've seen and heard the same attitudes throught the world from different religious groups and they were all sure they were the choosen people and religion. If your God is so powerful and oversees such a huge universe: why does he waste his time writting all these books and giving differnet verions to different people but only one would be saved?  Are humans so important important in a cosmic sense? They all once had direct conflicting communication with God?  Would he be doing a big experiment that he didn't include as a footnote in these sacred texts? Religions have spread with the might of Empires. So the logical conclusion is that God wants use to fight it out until the most powerful Empire can establish its religion? The search for an individual god is simply a logical step after understanding that this organised religious thing doesn't make a lot of sense. The next step away from the belief in god is harder and scarier. Humans I think are not naturally hardwired into accepting that there might not be 'cosmic purpose' to the existance of a biological creature.

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#80) On March 02, 2010 at 5:50 PM, farmnut1985 (35.49) wrote:

Direct evidence is hard to come by, its part of the faith, and unless you want to believe you don't see the miracles.  Reproduction is an absolute miracle, but its how you want to look at it.  I see it every day in the fact that I believe the science was created by God.  He shared wisdom with Solomon why not share it with Einstein and Newton. 

JPG, you are right that the church has tried to deny science, but things are changing, and the Catholic church is one of the worst at this.  I come from a conservative church background, but work in a science field and the more I learn the more I see how we are created not evolved.  Evolution exists just not on the scale that we evolved from apes, it exists in incremental changes allowing animals to survive in their habitat.

Everyone thinks that religion is a way of explaining the "mystical," that we are "inside the box" so to speak, when it is the ability to think outside the box and believe in something so great you cannot even fathom the extents of it.  I guess at the end of my life I will find out, and if I was wrong, oh well guess I should have had a few more beers, but if I was right.........

We also might be hardwired for religion considering we are made in his image;)  You all ask good questions that force me to think, hope my thoughts might do the same for you.

God is great

Beer is good

People are crazy!

RPM

 

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#81) On March 02, 2010 at 7:40 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Wow! I checked this thread this morning and I  thought it was dead!

Lots of good stuff here, so lets take it to another level.

dargus I didn't mean to imply that you believe in an infinite universe. I meant to use that as a comparison of my own thoughts. As far as not understanding our existence and then explaining it with "It must be God". I think you are missing my point. My point is that I think that I'm understanding our existence enough to believe that we are out of the realm of normal probability. I believe that means that something actively changed probability. The best answer that I can come up with at this point is God. I don't think my God exists instead of science, I think he exists because of science. God is not my belief because I want it to be. He's my belief because so far he's the best answer.

Your are right about me challenging other people. I challenge everybody. That might be why everybody challenges me. But if everybody just kept their thoughts to themselves and nobody debated stuff like this, how far along would we really get?

Thank you farmnut,  You be surprised how few I can get to understand me when I relate God to the Big Bang, let alone agree.

dargus I can give you a scenario for who created the creator below. stay tuned.

Good point legalizeme! sorry but we have drifted way off topic and have little chance getting back now.

JPG you lost points with the last post. Your are arguing people vs ideas. Your are also still arguing religion when the rest of us are talking about God. You lose mega points for talking about spin and then using the word Dogma 20 times. Also you need to open up to more than 2 sides to an argument. That being said you still have added enough good points to keep me enthralled. I especially like how you gave me a little of your family history, which may shape your views. the last paragraph is profound at the end. The beginning is just another heap of anti-religion stuff,

If your God is so powerful and oversees such a huge universe: why does he waste his time writting all these books and giving differnet verions to different people but only one would be saved? 

My god has no books. 

Are humans so important important in a cosmic sense? They all once had direct conflicting communication with God?  Would he be doing a big experiment that he didn't include as a footnote in these sacred texts?

I do believe that they are important in the cosmic sense, but not the same way as you. As far as the rest of it, your talking about religion. 

Religions have spread with the might of Empires. So the logical conclusion is that God wants use to fight it out until the most powerful Empire can establish its religion?

Truck drivers get a spread of hemoroids. So the logical conclusion is that God owns stock in Preparation-H. 

The search for an individual god is simply a logical step after understanding that this organised religious thing doesn't make a lot of sense. The next step away from the belief in god is harder and scarier.

I found God after science, not science after God. You are right about the next step away from God, because so far that step seems incorrect. 

Humans I think are not naturally hardwired into accepting that there might not be 'cosmic purpose' to the existance of a biological creature. 

Really? My experience is that a majority can't spell comic purpose, let alone think that they might have one.

Stay tuned for my next post in this thread JPG. If "Evolution is Intelligent Design!" upset you, this will do worse.

God post again farmnut, especially the song!

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#82) On March 02, 2010 at 8:24 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Evolution may lead to Creationism!!!!!

Ok, that was designed to get your attention JPG.

These aren't my beliefs, but I just wanted to lead you to a scenario where science leads you back to God.

I'm sure you'll agree that evolution is a continuous process and all creatures on this planet may be very different in the distant future.

I'm also pretty sure that you agree that man is to the point that he can influence his own evolution and the evolution of other creatures. (especially in the field of genetics) 

We are to the point where you can buy a video game where you can control a machine that floats a ping-pong ball solely with the use of your mind. 

We have prosthetics that are now controlled with human thought.

We are very close to being able to download your thoughts to a computer. This will eventually happen as the brain is among other things, a storage device. 

We are also very close to Quantum computing.

Well what would happen if you were able to download your consciousness to a quantum computer that also has artificial intelligence and connected to a huge database of information on the cloud?

Do you think that your mind might evolve a little faster?

Considering that you could also use pretty much unlimited computer power to figure things out, knowledge might happen quickly.  Now consider that everyone else sees what you did and does the same. You all network together, and everything moves at an even more frantic pace.

You eventually figure out how all of your collective thoughts can exist outside the computer. Everyone's collective thoughts decide that since they no longer have a lifespan, they will explore the outer reaches of space. 

Eons go by and the collective knowledge builds. The universe does eventually seem to collapse on itself until there is nothing left but empty space. You have collectivly figured out everything that is possible to figure out and there is nothing to explore but empty space.

A decision is made to create a big bang. The only new things to discover are if history will repeat itself or diverge in a different direction. It was a God-like event where everything came from nothing.

You are amused with the lifeforms below and hope that they can eventually evolve to the point where they can make contact with you.

They seem to evolve quickly.

You think this may be a repeating cycle.

 

Again, I don't believe this JPG, but I wanted to open your mind to possibilities. 

I will free your mind somehow. 

 

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#83) On March 02, 2010 at 9:00 PM, JPG101 (< 20) wrote:

I'm arguing against dogma (I used that word again!) which is the basis of religion and god. Just because individuals make up their own personel god doesn't make it any less dogmatic (changed the word a bit to make you happy) and less illogical. More original then sharing the exact same belief as a few million maybe but no more provable. Also a religion of one is a lot less dangerous then a religion of millions. Still an act of faith (and dogma!) and not of science. 

The Empires of past and present are responsible for spreading their faith by any means they see fit. Religion is part of Empire building. Read some Jared Diamond as an introduction and you will think your prepH thing is not exactly a sign of high knowledge... You lost a lot of points on that one also. Ignorance of history is a big point loser!  

As to the Catholic church being a bit rigid... Certainly but don't forget the other fundamentalists: they certainly aren't any better or anymore tolerant. The list is long!

Farmnut said it best: Direct evidence is hard to come by, its part of the faith, and unless you want to believe you don't see the miracles.

Its part of the faith. Faith =dogma by definition and not science. You guys see miracles and I see scientifically explainable stuff. You then say science is religion... Talk of moving the goal posts!

God talked to Solomon (did he really? and who says so???) and Newton and Einstein. Did he talk to Darwin also? I presume the answer to that will be no. Darwin was talking to the devil or something! If you change the definition enough everything will be religious. That's how failng logic tends to finish... Pre enlightenment logic at best.

The religious crowd sees the creationist miracles in what is beautiful but why not the miracle in those worms slowly and very painfully coming out of the eyes and bodies of Africans infected with them. What a miracle! Not as fun to spin as the beauty of birth but as  true.

Sad I'm losing point... This points thing works both ways though! 

 

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#84) On March 02, 2010 at 10:56 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Better points this tiime JPG!!!

Lost a few points when you said dogma is the basis for both religion and God though.

In some cases religion is the basis for dogma. In no cases is dogma the basis for God although God may be the basis for both religion and dogma.

More original then sharing the exact same belief as a few million maybe but no more provable.

Lots of points there! Honest, and very telling.

Also a religion of one is a lot less dangerous then a religion of millions. Still an act of faith (and dogma!) and not of science

Really? Could you post a dictionary version of dogma from any web location of your choice and then explain to me how my religion of one has any dogma? 

The Empires of past and present are responsible for spreading their faith by any means they see fit. Religion is part of Empire building. Read some Jared Diamond as an introduction and you will think your prepH thing is not exactly a sign of high knowledge... You lost a lot of points on that one also. Ignorance of history is a big point loser! 

Really? It's about as easy to digest as the religion is spread by the conquering party thing. So is herpes, and everything else. To the victor goes the spoils. I get your point about religious entities wanting to clash, but that's not what you said. You picked a political  statement and the Prep-H statement is about as valid.

I've read a lot of Jared Diamond and you get no points there. Even his best book " Guns, Knives and Mommie's underwear" got lawsuits from tribal nations.

I didn't say anything about the Catholic church being rigid. I just said that your experience was telling. I'm not going to push or brag. You should figure out for yourself why you wanted to tell me that it is rigid. It might help you, it might not and I won't take advantage either way. In fact if you want to talk about it outside the blogosphere, let me know and I'd be happy to give you my contact info.

Farmnut always equals bonus points.

Its part of the faith. Faith =dogma by definition and not science. You guys see miracles and I see scientifically explainable stuff. You then say science is religion... Talk of moving the goal posts!

Honestly JPG, I don't know whether it's your beliefs or or your politics, but you don't even explain science that well. You seem to want to pick the political explanation over science every time. The only time that you want to mention science seems to be when you want to enhance your credibility.

 

 

God talked to Solomon (did he really? and who says so???) and Newton and Einstein. Did he talk to Darwin also? I presume the answer to that will be no. Darwin was talking to the devil or something! If you change the definition enough everything will be religious. That's how failng logic tends to finish... Pre enlightenment logic at best.

The religious crowd sees the creationist miracles in what is beautiful but why not the miracle in those worms slowly and very painfully coming out of the eyes and bodies of Africans infected with them. What a miracle! Not as fun to spin as the beauty of birth but as  true

All of the above is just sad. Just read that 2 or 3 times. You are out to win more than you are out to help things.

I understand why, after seeing a little more of what you have posted before, but eventually you have to think less about winning and more about a positive contribution. At some time you are gonna have to be flexible. You don't ever have to agree on my point of view, but you do have to contribute based on your own point of view.

I've been trying to talk to you JPG, but you seem more concerned about the political play book. Drop you defenses and talk more about what you know and you'll get more points.

 

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#85) On March 03, 2010 at 1:00 PM, dargus (78.71) wrote:

Normal probability. This is an interesting concept. So you are saying that organic life is so improbable there must have been some cause to bring it into being? Why choose a god as the originator? Why not believe Earth was seeded with life by some unconceived, non-organic form of life? We again have the problem of how this form of life came about, but since we haven’t conceived of it yet, perhaps its origin is easily explainable. This is the same problem we have with a God. How did it come about? You never really answered who created the creator and why you decided to add this middleman. Other than your assumed probability, do you have a reason to pick God out of the nearly infinite possibilities this assumption creates? A further question to answer is why you place this being outside the bounds of science and reason. Maybe you don’t, but when someone talks about a god, I assume omniscience and omnipotence. Why not a being bound by the laws of the universe? Any sufficiently advanced being will appear mystical merely because we can’t explain it, but that doesn’t mean it is magical or omnipotent.

 

I firmly believe we will find extraterrestrial forms of life, probably in the not too distant future. I don’t mean little green men, but some type of organism. I assume if this happens, your views of normal probability will adjust accordingly.

 

I’m enjoying this discussion. Why people choose to believe something is just as important as what they choose to believe. I understand that you think life is an improbable event and therefore something must have helped it along. I don’t understand why you choose to call it God. If you didn’t believe in a god, would your life be different? God doesn’t seem all that important to you in terms of your everyday decision making process. If you were tempted to steal something, would the notion of God stop you? I’m trying to understand if the belief in God actively affects you or if it is simply something you have decided to believe, yet since you can’t conceive of, explain, or understand the will of this creature your belief is essentially meaningless. If it does affect you, I again ask how you decide to apply your belief in God to your decisions. I know, easy question.

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#86) On March 03, 2010 at 8:40 PM, ChrisGraley (29.89) wrote:

Great questions dargus, and I think I understand a little more of why my belief is hard to understand for you.

I'll try to explain my thought process better for these things.

1) Why I think that you have to look at the universe first to understand a possible God. 

2) Who/what I think God is.

3) Why I believe that for me it's important to believe in God.

4) How believing in God influences me. 

5) What's in it for me. 

I'm going be giving really long answers for each of these so I'm going to break them up.

  

Ok, for part one I want to make a point that I saw the stars first and God second. I have always been fascinated with science and especially physics and astronomy.  There are still far more questions about our existence that I can't answer than I can, but most things that I've discovered seem to point me closer to God.

I'm not sure how strong your science background is but I'm gonna give it to you unfiltered.

1) Did time exist before the big bang? Now if you believe in more than four dimensions, the answer is always an easy yes, but if you want to imagine 3 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time, it's impossible to answer yes or no. Before the big bang, the universe is believed to be a big void, and with a small abnormality in the fabric of space/time, everything was created. That answer is efficient, but it misleads most people. First it leads you to infinite zero. I'll try to explain. Before the big bang, everything was nothing. The entire universe was nothing.  The next question should be "How much nothing?" The problem here is volume. If there is nothing, how big is it and how old is it? You see, if there is nothing, there is no light and so far the only measurement we have of time is a relationship with light, so we have no age. Now when I first thought about this, I was excited because I thought that if I could eliminate one dimension (time), I might be able to eliminate 3 more and gain a greater understanding based on 0 dimensional space. My initial answer for an infinite nothing was to try to reduce it to absolutely no dimensions.  It seemed like an easy solution, it was binary. The problem is that I couldn't reduce it any more dimensions.

In walks probability! So the biggest problem that I have is that if I have timeless space, then anything that has even the remotest possibility of happening, happens instantaneously. No time = no time to wait. So I'm thinking that maybe probability behaves differently in 0 dimensional space.  It took me 30 seconds to figure out that in our framework of observation, that it can't. In order for anything having the slightest chance of happening, that chance has to be based on a fundamental law of science. I can think of no scenario where that scientific law can suddenly exist if it didn't exist to begin with, and if it existed to begin with in a timeless space then it happened instantaneously. So the universe had to be effectively zero seconds old at the point of the big bang. We still have a problem with infinite nothing! The problem here is that for the big bang to happen, it has to be an anomaly. Something had to exist for a while and a quirk in the nothing had to cause the big bang. If time didn't exist, the big bang can't be the quirk in the nothing. If we assume that the quirk existed at the beginning of the universe and no time passed before the quirk existed, then the math breaks down in the creation of everything.

Ok I'm done explaining for today, but I'm not even close to being done explaining just part 1. I'll add more later. 

 

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