Point, counter-point in the gun debate

  • point- what does it hurt someone who does not own an AR-15 if we ban others from purchasing them?
  • counter-point- it requires a stretch to say that, “since I am not participating in a particular constitutional right, then I can remove that right from others. Apply this logic to other rights and you see the problem.”
  • point- what does it hurt anyone to remove or ban AR-15s?
  • counter-point- this should not be the question. The question is, how can we stop public mass shootings from happening in schools? this prompts the next question, how would removing this gun from law-abiding, well adjusted, responsible citizens impact the amount of public mass shootings in schools? There are multiple ways to answer this question. Banning the sale or manufacturing of a particular rifle would likely make many feel better but would not stop public mass shootings.
  • Point- gun owners or gun rights supporters shouldn’t be concerned about a ban on AR-15s, there are plenty of other guns to protect their families with.
  • counter-point- this is exactly a good reason to be concerned. If the gun rights proponent is arguing that the AR-15 or any “assault rifle” has the capacity to inflict massive destruction and death and therefore should be banned, then the logic also applies to hand-guns. Hand guns are responsible for the VAST VAST majority of gun violence and murder in the U.S. and around the world. Handguns can also inflict massive damage very quickly as well. Just a couple examples: Fort Hood 2009- 13 dead many more injured, Virginia Tech 2007- 33 dead many more injured, Charleston Church 2015- 9 dead. All committed with hand guns.
    • Would gun control advocates promise that this is their last type of gun they try to ban if gun rights advocates agree to make the compromise and give up their rights? Probably not is my guess.

Any law should not be a band-aid but should really attempt to see what actually happened that day and stop it from occurring again. There is common ground and compromise that can be made. Armed security or teachers, metal detectors, automatic lock-down door systems similar to hospitals, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, better enforcement of current laws, consequences for mistakes by the FBI, better mental health policy, etc… are all areas that contribute to this conversation and all should be on the table. All are effected and all of us suffer when the innocent die.


Response to Zeno’s Paradox

If you have ever been thoroughly befuddled by Zeno’s paradox on the impossibility of motion, then you might find William Lane Craig’s response below very helpful. This is also discussed in this book “Reasonable Faith” 3rd edition.

Ostler indicts this argument as “a slight-of-hand trick like Zeno’s paradoxes, for even though a baseball must pass through an infinite number of halfway points to reach the catcher’s mitt, somehow the baseball actually makes it to the mitt.”155 He thereby fails to note two crucial disanalogies of an infinite past to Zeno’s paradoxes: whereas in Zeno’s thought experiments the intervals traversed are potential and unequal, in the case of an infinite past the intervals are actual and equal. Ostler’s claim that the baseball must pass through an infinite number of halfway points to the mitt is question-begging, for it already assumes that the whole interval is a composition of an infinite number of points, whereas Zeno’s opponents, like Aristotle, take the line as a whole to be conceptually prior to any divisions which we might make in it. Moreover, Zeno’s intervals, being unequal, sum to a merely finite distance, whereas the intervals in an infinite past sum to an infinite distance. Thus, it remains mysterious how we could have traversed an infinite number of equal, actual intervals to arrive at our present location.

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creatio-ex-nihilo-a-critique-of-the-mormon-doctrine-of-creation#ixzz4pMhxeFUl

The value of a human: Atheism vs. Theism

  1. either atheism or theism is true
  2. if atheism is true then there is no objective standard by which to measure human value and no duty to protect innocent humans.
  3. If theism is true, then a foundation for the intrinsic and objective value of human individuals exists as well as a duty to protect humans.
  4. Individual humans are objectively and intrinsically valuable and it is our duty to protect individual humans.
  5. therefore atheism is false.

How the APA interprets research on gender differences

Read this 1 page article- http://www.apa.org/research/action/difference.aspx

This brief article has a lot to say, however, the following quote is extremely pertinent and therefore deserves attention:

…even where there are patterns of cognitive differences between males and females, “differences are not deficiencies.” She continues, “Even when differences are found, we cannot conclude that they are immutable because the continuous interplay of biological and environmental influences can change the size and direction of the effects some time in the future.”(emphasis mine)

I think too many people, men and women, get bogged down by the idea of differences implying some type of value statement when in fact differences do not need to be viewed this way. When we use the word “equal” we do not mean totally and utterly the same in every facet possible.  If this is the standard of equality, then nothing is truly equal. However, equal has a much deeper meaning as it relates to dignity and intrinsic value as an individual human being. Humans are ends in themselves- not simply means to an end. Nor should our intrinsic value be measured by some external number or outcome. If we measure people’s value merely on what they can produce then we are on a slippery slope to a place that has historically been the cause of much pain and death.  Men and women have differences but so does every individual within each group.

The question to me is not, whether or not our genes and the environment impact our views and behaviors. The question is- which views and behaviors ought we to have? This question presupposes that we have agency to act outside of the restraints of our sociobiological situation and that there is an objective (opinion independent) standard by which to measure good vs. bad (and what a “good” society or individual might look like).  However, this this view immediately throws out naturalistic determinism (no free will) as well as the idea of complete moral relativism. I am under the impression that the vast majority of today’s leading social scientists and psychologists in gender research, take for granted the fact that they are aiming to create a “good” society in the objective sense.  For on their worldview, “good” is simply a social construct and therefore they cannot complain when someone disagrees.

Offensive? It shouldn’t be. True? You tell me.