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Tuesday, 03 October 2017


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Wall time wall media coverage and 24h news operations hungry for material have almost certainly contributed as well.

Regarding Las Vegas, how does the rational moral mind comprehend evil? We know it exists. The killer in this case had made his plans with all premeditation. He also illegally altered some of his weapons making them fully automatic. I think much is to be learned but for now, law enforcement is not saying much.

Very interesting correlation.

As for the causality, well, there's always the possibility of a third actor causing both the pre- and post-birth killings to increase.

To make a causal link between only the two - "pre-birth killing causes post-birth killing" - needs a almighty lot of backing up.

It's isomorphic to the "carbon causes warming" debate. One aspect of that debate is clear: Carbon cannot cause warming because the warming happens before the carbon increases, and the cooling starts before the carbon decreases, by a gap of round 1,000 years. So unless warming can see the future and say to itself "oh look, carbon is going to decrease in 1,000 years time, so I'll start cooling now", or, "oh look, carbon is going to increase in 1,000 years time, so I'll start warming now", carbon cannot cause warming.

In the pre- and post-birth killing game, the two seem so close in ignition date as to not invite a causality conjecture one way or the other.

My money's on a non-linear system in mathematical chaos being the determining factor in how dastardly mankind is or isn't over time.

And although non-linear systems are deterministic, you'll have a bastard job of getting those start conditions right to predict and alter the path of good and evil, dastardliness or not, in mankind over time. Give it one or two iterations - generations - and you're way off already!

And the more "tweaks" you feed into your "model", the worse it gets. Remember the graph with error and complexity on the axes in this article ...

It's that bloody Occam's razor again!

Just be good. And if you can't be good, be careful.


Definition of non sequitur

1 :an inference (see inference 2) that does not follow from the premises (see premise 1); specifically :a fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative (see affirmative 3) proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent (see consequent 1)

2 :a statement (such as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

We were talking about the new restaurant when she threw in some non sequitur about her dog.

"And there are plenty of Americans who believe that abortion, since Roe v. Wade has contributed to a culture of violence in this country.
If we have created a culture, in the words of one Catholic Deacon Greg Kandra, where human life is treated like trash, what do we expect here? Mass shootings have increased dramatically since Roe v. Wade. There were something like 109 of them —ure of violence in this country.
Now we have another massacre on our hands. And guess what is NOT being discussed? That’s right — abortion and respect for human life or the lack thereof. "

I fully agree with him. Am I an expert on the heart of man? No, only G-d is. However, years ago I started reading the Bible, starting with Genesis all the way through, chronologically. I did not do this as a religious exercise, but out of curiosity. Before I got to the new testament, I saw a pattern on the low ways of the human heart, and the patient love of G-d. Gracious, if you think we are bad now, imagine what would happen should G-d give up on us and leave us to our own devices.
Is abortion the only reason for our hard hearts? I do not think so, but a big part. Think of it, we have given birth to a generation who believes killing an unborn child is a convenience. Western civilisation, with all it’s self deluded sophistication, has become depraved. We have kicked Christianity out of our culture, and created a vacuum for evil. That is what we are seeing now.
I could go on, but I am not SOD ;) and I am at work!

I don't think we can know whether one caused the other, but we can certainly argue that the same disregard for the sacredness of human life is behind both sets of statistics.

A friend of mine who converted to Catholicism used to say that it was marvellous good fortune to be born in an advanced country like America, but the best places to be conceived are "backward" religious places like rural Catholic Ireland or rural Buddhist Thailand.

I've long since learnt that it's useless arguing on the internet and even less so about abortion, no one's position changes and people just fall out.
Here are some other interesting correlations though...

But the overall level of violence including murder is way down. Of course most of it is single victim, not mass shootings.

The magic of statistics, bennyb!

The fact that the overall level of violence is down could correlate to the fact that the majority of aborted babies are black.

BennyB - Brill link! I scrolled to the bottom looking for the punchline - it being, I presumed, Al Gore's carbon-warming correlation - but it wasn't there. Shoorely shome misktake?

Missred - Gonna give the bible a go from end-to-end after "A Tale of Two Cities" now you've persuaded me, been a long time.

Timbo - Naughty!


The truth of the matter is, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." — Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain, and others.

My crackpot theory.
Peace comes from cultural homogeneity- race only matters in as much as it is a marker for culture.
Thus Switzerland and Czeckia are peaceful even with high gun ownership. Ditto New Hampshire.
There being no unified black culture areas with a high proportion of blacks have a lot of violence- compared to other areas now. Violence has declined in non black areas but not in black ones.
And my crackpot idea explaining the decline in violence is that the Irish, Polish, Swedish, Anglo etc. Americans have progressively integrated into one homogeneous culture- takes a generation or two, it doesn't just happen on arrival.
Which, if I am right, is bad news for those advocating diversity.

Apropos the seemingly unlimited evil of man, it occurs to me (or I wonder if) this is not really the case. Ruminate along with me, if you will.

Someone approaches a pedestrian on a crowded street and for no apparent reason kills her. The killer is deemed to be evil, as indeed he is. The next day, some other killer kills three pedestrians in a similarly random manner.

Questions: Is the second killer three times as evil as the first? Is the Las Vegas killer 59 times as evil? Was Stalin 20 million times as evil as my first example, above? Can anyone even conceive of what it means to be 20 million times as evil as a killer of a single individual?

I think that my thought experiment demonstrates that the degree of evil might not be directly proportional to the number of that evil's victims.

How can one measure evil? Perhaps by the amount of outrage it generates in a typical person? How would one measure the amount of outrage? Moreover, how do you define a typical person?

"The death of an individual is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." — Joe Stalin
Please do not impute any evil intentions to my ruminations! I am categorically opposed to mass murder! I am just as appalled as the next guy by what happened in Las Vegas!

I am just wondering if evil is an unlimited human trait.

Interesting thought, BigHen.

Whether the "calculus of evil" is in the sum of the suffering of the victims, or the threshold breached by the perpetrator.

A bit like the way prison sentences sometimes run in parallel. So if you kill one person you do 20 years, but if you're Jo Stalin you do 20 years too coz the 20 million sentences run in parallel.

I tend to the sequential rather than the parallel, myself.



I hear what you're saying. It's sort of a conundrum like, could a man run a two-minute mile? Surely not. How about a three-minute mile?

We know a four-minute mile is possible, but before Roger Bannister, there were many who thought it was not possible.

So, I doubt there is a level of evil approaching "infinity". But given some gradation of evil (Stalin was eviler than, for instance, Jack the Ripper) it seems like there has to be some limit that evil can not exceed?

Nevertheless, there is an argument to be made that Mao, who caused the death of twice as many people as Stalin and also knowingly infected his numerous mistresses with HIV, was eviler than Stalin.

So, where is that limit?

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