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14 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Businesses Offering Di... · 0 replies · 0 points

The reason there are senior discounts is because seniors have a high elasticity of demand so lowering the price for their demographic increases revenue. The same applies to student discounts in theaters. There is no difference from exploiting difference in age elasticity of demand and religious elasticity of demand when it comes to business.

On Sundays, it's conceivable that Christians have a higher elasticity of demand so lowering prices for them would increase revenue on Sundays. It's pretty much just profit seeking. Likewise, doing the same for Jews on Saturdays and Muslims on Fridays is probably just good business sense. The same is probably true for Mexicans around Cinco De Mayo.

However, every day of the week other than Sunday, there's no reason to believe that Christians have different elasticities than other people so such discounts are blatantly discriminatory and not done for any reasonable business motive.

14 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Afghanistan: Is It Win... · 0 replies · 0 points

I'm under no illusions of American history being somehow morally immaculate. There are a multitude of actions and policies that America should have been held accountable for but could not be simply because of our superpower status. Ideally this will change as other powers come into their own right but until then Americans and the world will have to deal with the fact that high level Americans are either morally abhorrent, incompetent, or blinded by patriotism to do the right thing.

But this does not change that fact that Al Qaeda attacked the United States and the Taliban refused to cooperate with the investigation in any meaningful fashion. Nor does it change the fact that Taliban was an organization that ruled Afghanistan in what amounts to a reign of terror and human rights abuses. It's all well and good that we parrot self-determination and sovereignty while conveniently ignoring that the vast majority of those living with "self-determination" are terrorized by their own government or killed for committing some trivial action that is religious taboo. I am of the opinion that military action against the Taliban was justified simply because their actions against their own people were unacceptable (multilaterally of course, since the US being the judge, jury, and executioner of the world is tenuous at best). The world at large should do far more to improve the security and well being of those who had the misfortune of being born in the under the rule of the Taliban or like organizations instead of acting as though combating human rights abuses is somehow unjustified.

The United States and NATO may make mistakes and civilians will be hurt, but ultimately the the situation now seems better than the alternative. Long term, Afghan stability and standard of living will likely increase, not decrease due to multilateral action.

14 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Afghanistan: Is It Win... · 2 replies · +1 points

If the KKK were committing crimes in other countries, do you really think the United States would do nothing? There is a profound difference between an organization operating in a country and an organization supported/protected by a country.

When Al Qaeda attacked the United States, did the Taliban offer to extradite those responsible? Did they offer to investigate? At the time of 9/11, Al Qaeda had trained a large number of Taliban soldiers and helped financially support the Taliban. In fact, the efforts of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan helped the Taliban gain complete control of the country. The Taliban had previously refused to extradite Osama for earlier crimes, and before the invasion, the US gave the Taliban an ultimatum:

1) Deliver to the US all of the leaders of Al-Qaeda;
2) Release all imprisoned foreign nationals;
3) Close immediately every terrorist training camp;
4) Hand over every terrorist and their supporters to appropriate authorities;
5) Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps for inspection.

On 21 September 2001, the Taliban responded to the ultimatum, promising that if the United States could bring evidence that bin Laden was guilty, they would hand him over, stating there was no evidence in their possession linking him to the 11 September attacks.

Seriously? No evidence linking him to the attacks? Considering the close relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and the subsequent behavior of the Taliban, justification could easily be met.

14 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Afghanistan: Is It Win... · 5 replies · 0 points


"When Bush initially went in after 9/11, I supported it. Admittedly, my support was based on a desire for revenge and not reason."

You realize Vjack is talking about Afghanistan not Iraq, right? No one ever said there were WMDs in Afghanistan, and I doubt there are many who would believe that - even without very powerful critical thinking skills. Support for the Afghan war made sense considering the Taliban was harboring/supporting the organization that attacked us.

14 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Understanding Atheism ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Babies are atheists... so are many Buddhists, animists, animatists, people who worship ancestors, etc... It really actually just means without belief in god(s). It's a very broad term that doesn't really describe much except that. If people want to describe only people who are anti-religion or have a specific set of beliefs, then the term atheist is inadequate because it includes the majority of religions (not people, but different religions). The term refers to people that do not share the traits with those whom the common usage normally describes. Not all quadrilaterals are squares, but all squares are quadrilaterals type of business. If you're going to talk about squares, you had better not generalize to quadrilaterals the properties specific to squares.

Agnosticism =
You don't know which side is going to win in a football game but you can still form an idea based on what's been observed. If God's team never shows up to the game and Nature's team is always there, you can reasonably conclude the God's team might not even exist. You don't know, but considering what you've seen, that's your tentative conclusion. Believing is not knowledge, but knowledge forces belief (assuming no cognitive dissonance). If you know the Earth is round, you must believe the earth is round. If you don't know whether the earth is round or not, you can believe either way.