Empire State Building won't light up for Mother Teresa

Right, but if you’re going to go to the effort of protesting for something, one would hope you’d be at least willing to do some research when your efforts are questioned as being just as evil as the problem you’re protesting against. I’m not expecting the average candybrain in college to put in the effort to know what he’s supporting. But I would hope they’re open-minded and motivated enough to, when challenged, follow through on their idealism and see if they’re actually supporting the right thing.

You must have been amazing to hang around with.

Heck, he still is!

What good reason does any person now have for not putting you on ignore, if you’re not going to communicate with sincerity?

I find myself in the same position as Brian in real life, but not on the internet. I like stimulating people and seeing them defend their positions. Most people don’t really think things out but have positions that are generally accepted. Just pushing them a little bit usually results in hilarious spinning and baseless justifications. On the internet seeing people type-rage is less appealing for me, so I just stick with my own opinions.

And if you are offended that he takes such positions on the internet to the point for ignoring him, then just go for it. There is no harm in arguing another sides point if it is done reasonably and logically, lawyers do that all the time.

If we all agreed on everything, life would really be boring.

Brian, that explanation of your behaviour only makes sense if you, in your contacts with oil industry people, for example, argue the opposite of what you argue here. Do you?
Otherwise I’ll just go with Rucker’s assessment of you. Also, Penn and Teller’s schtick is annoying bullshit, and even more so when communicated by guys on the internet.

What a sad world you must live in where conflict is the only source of interest or excitement.

Yeah, I just read what he wrote and kind of boggled. Either he’s just screwing with us or I was spot on.

Well that’s the ignore point for you as far as I’m concerned.

I’m not going to bother reading your posts if they’re deliberately meaningless and don’t represent any actual beliefs. This isn’t the debate team.

Hey, you can never tell whether anyone believes what they write. All you can do is evaluate whether they say anything that’s interesting enough to respond to. Sometimes, even if you’re just arguing with a troll, you might do some research that turns up something worthwhile.

Debate doesn’t necessarily mean conflict. People in tribal areas all over the world agreed that their lives were perfect, and have lived in the same conditions for thousands of years.

Change and progress comes from friction, debate and inevitably conflict.

What part? Or are you just saying Libertarians are bullshit.

Yes and no. On many of these subjects, “education” is not a clear cut affair. You can describe the objective state of how the Tibetans lived, for example, but how do you determine if they were oppressed or lived in harmony with their ruling class? Maybe they valued their social structure, and reforming it is tantamount to destroying their way of life. Or maybe they just don’t know better, and “reform” is how you show them the light… whether they appreciate it in the short term or not.

Not to go all Star Wars-cheesy on you, but it really does come down to a point of view. And that’s assuming you can discover the objective facts about the situation. I’m still trying to uncover what Communist China was really like (by “Communist China” I mean pre-1990 China), but it’s damn hard to find information I truly trust. Both positive & negative accounts are suspect as propaganda, so I tend to believe the blandest accounts… which are also the least informative.

What are you, 15 years old? Change and progress can come from many engines, and friction and conflict are merely two potential sources.

Debate doesn’t necessarily mean conflict. People in tribal areas all over the world agreed that their lives were perfect, and have lived in the same conditions for thousands of years.

Debate does necessarily mean conflict. That’s what the word means. The conflict of (at the very least) 2 different ideas. Also, the second sentence makes no sense. Taken literally, it’s false. And taken as a sarcastic comment… it still makes no sense.

Whoa, people have to believe everything they say now for it to be worthy enough to argue against?

ITT, I describe with infinite accuracy the definition of change and debate.

You can strive for a robotic utopia where everyone is the same and agrees on everything. I would prefer a world where we are always questioning ourselves and striving to make things better. The problem is, change and progress are never easy, and will ALWAYS encounter an opposing force. It would be idealistic and far too optimistic to imagine a world where there is unfettered progress where even always agrees.

So until we become the Borg, I will continue my ways and you continue yours.

It just seems that it breeds this kind of “your common sense is incorrect, our common sense is correct” idea, which in some cases can certainly be a positive change, but can also lead to less further discussion.

Does not equal :

You can get to a point where it comes down to a person evoking “common sens” and the other “reason”, where both think they are right for obvious reasons. The only problem is when analysed objectively, one is much more legitimate than the other.

That being said, I haven’t watched all their episodes, but most were reasonably sound.

The problem isn’t necessarily what they’re doing in their episodes (though clearly they have a bias, which can influence things), but rather that after they show how the common sense view is wrong, a lot of their fans will, as people do, close the book on the issue and establish their new common sense according to the program. Maybe it’s not fair to them, but it’s seen as a bit too much of an endpoint by too many people.

Isn’t that what happens on pretty much any show of that type? 60 minutes will approach an issue, interview and portray public view of it, and then bring in experts to explain why it’s wrong. That’s not bullshit.

I’ll just refer you here and let you draw your own conclusions.