• John McEnroe: Serena Williams would rank 'like 700 in the world' in men's circuit play
    Um, well are you saying that she's ugly because she's a black woman? If so, then I think you might be guilty on both counts.geospiza

    Shirley, there are black women who are ugly, just as there are white women who are ugly. The beauty or ugliness of a woman will probably have at least something to do with her racial make up. Would one be a racist for saying so? Or a sexist?
  • The Shoutbox
    Why is this so disturbing on so many levels?VagabondSpectre

    It's just one more blow to free will. It seems to be the case that even bacteria can make us dance to their tune.
  • Forcing people into obligations by procreating them is wrong
    when it comes to suffering, snakes never cross my mindMarchesk

    "Snakes" was a cultural quote that missed the target.

    In the libretto of Candide, music by Leonard Bernstein, Pangloss is explaining why this is the best of all possible worlds. The students are raising objections, like "What about snakes?"

    What about snakes?

    'Twas snake that tempted mother Eve
    Because of snake we now believe
    That though depraved
    We can be saved
    From hellfire and damnation
    (Because of snake's temptation!)

    If snake had not seduced our lot
    And primed us for salvation
    Jehova could not pardon all
    The sins that we call cardinal
    Involving bed and bottle!

    Now on to Aristotle.
    — Prince & Bernstein
  • The Shoutbox
    One yoghurt a day keeps the doctor away.

    Also I would doubt that probiotics contribute to the strength of the immune system. Rather they are good for your gut's health.

    No body knows for sure what exactly is in probiotic pills -- they are not regulated. There are beneficial bacteria in yoghurt. Yes, they are good for the gut. But, there are perhaps 10,000 different bacteria in the gut, and some of these bacteria seem to be useful in constructing / maintaining the immune system. However, research on this has just begun.

    You'll like this.

    Patients suffering from C. difficile bacteria (a variety that comes to the fore after the gut bacteria have been wiped out by very strong antibiotics.) It causes severe ulcerative colitis, and patients can die from it. It doesn't respond to antibiotics -- it's just too resistant. However, a cure has been found:

    C. difficile is kept in check by the actions of the normal gut flora which the patient no longer has. What to do, what to do?

    On a hunch, and a little research, it was discovered that an injection of fecal matter (aka shit) into the gut by enema brought some C difficile infections under control in 48 hours, and eliminated it in a few more days. A company has been set up (naturally; nobody every went broke underestimating...) to collect fecal donations, process them (mix with water and run the crap through a sieve to remove the suspended solids) and put them in an attractive bottle, which recipients will not be horrified to look at.

    The FDA has not approved the therapy, but hasn't forbidden the procedure, either.

    It's also been found that when the fecal matter of fat rats is fed to rats who were bred to be thin, they get fat--despite their lineage. The opposite has also been found. Chronically fat rats fed the fecal matter of thin rats lost weight quite quickly (other factors being the same).

    I am taking your three-point theory under advisement.
  • John McEnroe: Serena Williams would rank 'like 700 in the world' in men's circuit play
    Bu bu but Geospiza, some women are "airbrushed, photoshopped distortions of reality".
  • The Shoutbox
    It must be painful being that straight.
  • John McEnroe: Serena Williams would rank 'like 700 in the world' in men's circuit play
    I really hate it when fat old women on bicycles pass me. It's just intolerable.
  • The Shoutbox
    Kids put their fingers in dog shit, and all the dirty parts of parks, and as far as I see, they're still surviving.Agustino

    True. When I was a kid we played in the dirt a lot, and swam in a creek shared by cattle. Children with allergies and asthma were kind of unusual.

    One of the theories about the increase in prevalence of allergies and asthma is that children are being raised without enough exposure to dirt. It is the seemingly paradoxical result of overly-clean environments for children. Children's immune systems don't get sufficiently challenged by normal 'dirt allergens' so that as they grow up they are sensitive to too many ordinary substances.

    Of course, there is a limit to the beneficial effects of dirt, but infants who grow up with a dog in the house and are allowed to play in actual dirt have healthier immune systems and fewer allergies.
  • The Epistemology of Mental Illness Diagnosis
    What's your views on things like personality disorders and how they might affect social interactions in particular?schopenhauer1

    Clearly, a personality disorder can affect social interactions. This is always true because personality (good bad or indifferent) is that with which we interact in the world.

    ... what looks like just someone who has abysmal social skills might have an underlying personality disorder. Of course, it may be that someone just has abysmal social skills. I guess when does one look deeper and when does one say that it is just a feature of this person but no underlying issue?schopenhauer1

    Oh, I don't know. It depends. I knew a guy, Eric, who was a paranoid schizophrenic. When he was feeling well, he was smart, charming, perceptive, and a pleasure to be with. BUT, when he was not feeling well (when he experienced intense fear and delusions) it was instantly obvious--even to a casual observer--that this fellow was not doing well on any level.

    I don't have as much knowledge about personality disorder as I would like, and I don't have well developed theories about it.

    We develop our personalities over time, along with all our other personal resources. Some disorders seem to be built in -- like schizophrenia -- while others -- like PTSD -- are a response to experience. Eric had developed a very pleasant personality and a brilliant mind as a young man. He was well educated and well read. I don't know when his symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia emerged -- I didn't know him as a young man.

    Some people develop odd, eccentric, weird behaviors and affects from childhood on up. "Why?" is hard to say. I don't know. Determining when "oddness" or "weirdness" is diagnostically significant requires more knowledge than I have.
  • Why do people believe in 'God'?
    Granted. Was that meant as just a comment or as an argument against something I've said?Sapientia

    You had commented on belief in god(s) being like belief in extraterrestrials. "the claim that one has experienced the presence of God in their life is analogous in ways to the claim that one has experienced the presence of extraterrestrials or ghosts in their life."

    I assume you meant that experiencing the presence of extraterrestrials or God was a bit nutty.

    It could be nutty. Sometimes it is nutty. But IF one had been taught that it was the case from childhood up, it would be natural rather than nutty to claim that they were present in one's life.

    Whether it's nutty or natural would depend on the content they put forward. Christians are suspicious of Christians who hear God making outlandish requests, or who seem overly involved in this presence. It's a different story if a Christian feels called upon by God to help someone out of a very bad situation. (But there are limits, here.) St. Francis deciding to lick the sores of lepers might have gone off the deep end. Similarly, one could think one received messages from extraterrestrials, and that would be OK, more or less, as long as what the ETs were saying wasn't too outlandish--like shoot the prime minister or something.
  • The Shoutbox
    That's not that terrible if the floor is relatively clean.Agustino

    The sort of "dirt" that one needs to worry about exists abundantly within the category of "relatively clean" or even "very clean". The 5 second rule doesn't work (if you retrieve it from the floor in 5 seconds, it's OK to eat). Any pathogens on the floor transfer on contact--they don't need time to crawl on board your slice of bread, pizza, grape, pork chop, whatever.

    That said, you probably won't get sick and die from eating food off a floor that is beneath "relatively clean". Bacteria, pollen, poison dusts (like lead dust) and so forth drizzle onto our bodies all the time. We inhale and swallow this stuff continuously. Of course, every now and then we get sick and die, too.
  • Why do people believe in 'God'?
    My claim - and I maintain that this was quite apparent from the start, and in retrospect you might be able to see this - is that the claim that one has experienced the presence of God in their life is analogous in ways to the claim that one has experienced the presence of extraterrestrials or ghosts in their life.Sapientia

    It wouldn't be at all bizarre to claim one had experienced the presence of extraterrestrials, ghosts, spirits, devils, angels, or any other spooky phenomena IF one had been taught that these beings were real and that one could experience them.

    Look, some people see in P.M. May and President Trump splendid, thoughtful, and effective leaders. I don't know why they do; it's probably the work of the devil. But whatever the cause, rational people can believe all sorts of things.

    If my memory serves me right, you grew up without any significant religious education, and didn't feel any need to go out of your way to get any. Under those circumstances, it would make sense for you to not believe in God, and to be at least somewhat unsympathetic toward the idea of belief. What would be far more remarkable than your disbelief is for you to experience a spontaneous conversion. God could certainly arrange a bolt out of the blue and turn you into an ardent Jehovah's Witness or Southern Baptist, but hasn't seen fit to do so.
  • Why do people believe in 'God'?
    I was taught/trained to believe in God. First parents and siblings, then the influence of Sunday school and church, and peers. By the age of 18 I had not come across anyone seriously urging me to cease believing in God, and I had not heard any sustained arguments against believing in God.

    I did not believe in God as a way of meeting psychological needs, any more than saying the pledge of allegiance or learning the Minnesota state anthem met deep psychological needs. It was just something everybody did.

    I was taught that I had direct access to God through prayer, and that God had direct access to me through omnipresence and omniscience. (Those words weren't used in Sunday school.) It was more like, "God knows what you are doing and thinking all the time" so there was no escape.

    Also if Jesus didn't exist or if he never claimed he was the son of God, than I'm pretty sure that would be a major flaw with Christianity.dclements

    If Jesus had not existed, there would be no such thing as Christianity, never mind it having a flaw.

    I am certain Jesus existed. Whether he was the Messiah, whether he performed miracles, whether he said he was the Son of God, I don't know and can not know with certainly.

    Why not?

    Paul is our first source (but Paul never met Jesus) and the Gospels (formed up and finished later than Paul) are the "authoritative" story of Jesus. There wouldn't have been a Jesus movement for Paul to first resist then join if Jesus had not existed.

    What Paul learned about Jesus was apparently powerfully persuasive, and Paul did have access to people who knew Jesus first hand (like Peter and James). What people of Jesus' time experienced of Jesus must also have been persuasive, else there would have been no Jesus movement.

    The Gospels were formed up and published by editors in the nascent church several decades after Jesus, the Disciples, Paul, and the first or second generation of witnesses had died. The editors were at a temporal and geographical distance from the time and place of the Gospel narrative. This nascent organization, the letters of Paul, and the pieces of text, oral tradition, and liturgical practice that existed are all testimony to the fact that Jesus had existed, and something remarkable happened in his person.

    But what, exactly, happened -- we do not know, and short of Jesus coming to us and telling us all about it, we never will know.

    My skeptical view of Jesus-as-God incarnate took quite a while to form up--becoming clearer when I was about 40 years old. From skepticism I settled into a frustrating on/off belief/disbelief pattern.

    If now, 30 years since becoming skeptical, I feel a pull towards God, it is the need to resolve cognitive dissonance between the deeply held belief I once had and the skeptical-verging-on-or-being-disbelief position I hold now.
  • Are women generally submissive to men?
    I see your pain, but to what, exactly are you responding?
  • Are women generally submissive to men?
    ↪Bitter Crank Neither. It just shows that your telepathy skills suck.Mongrel

    I'm sure my telepathy skills are worse than sucky. Like non-existent. Same for you. It doesn't exist.

    For a lot of people in the late 20th, it's like the ghost of the patriarchy was around.. maybe from childhood observations.Mongrel

    "Wooooo moooooan" the vaporish ghost of patriarchy howled, "I have come to haunt you now, and I will haunt you forever... We're coming for you, Mongrel..."

    Telepathy, ghosts, the imaginary patriarchal social systems -- I don't know when I've been attacked by so many spiritualistic terms.

    But the real world was chaotic when it came to gender roles, family structure, etc. Sometimes a lot of energy would go into trying to deal with that chaos. One imagines past generations weren't burdened so much with that?Mongrel

    "Real world was chaotic"... like how far back are we talking? 1995? 1763? 1066? 1000?

    I'm Gen-X. It just occurred to me that the gap between my experience and yours might be a barrier to communication about it.Mongrel

    BS. I am older than you, but not by centuries, after all. Any two people might find it difficult to communicate, but most likely the cause will not be from being born 20 years sooner or later. Things just haven't changed that much. Gender roles and family structure have been changing under various economic and social pressures pretty much since the Industrial Revolution began.

    It does seem to me that the lives of many families have become more chaotic in the period following the end of the baby boom and the beginning of the alleged X Generation.

    here's a song from 1926 reflecting gender fluidity (and here the progressive POMOs thought they invented it!):

    Anyway.. I wasn't talking about anthropology. The OP wasn't either. If he had been, he wouldn't have abandoned this thread to waltz around this forum randomly congratulating and complimenting posters.Mongrel

    The fucking nerve --handing out compliments randomly. Do I hear a waltz?
  • Are women generally submissive to men?
    ↪Bitter Crank You answered my question as if you're a consulting anthropologist.Mongrel

    I'm trying to work out whether "consulting anthropologist" is a positive or a negative.
  • Are women generally submissive to men?
    And a warm "thank you" for attending to my attention needs.
  • Are women generally submissive to men?
    I came along when there were prescribed roles. Maybe you swore you'd never step into that sitcom, but due to the power of archetypes or whatever, you did it unconsciously... And the fun continues.

    You didn't deal with that kind of shit too much, did you?

    Yeah, well, so did I. b. 1946. Other than siblings, friends, and co-workers, I haven't had that much to do with women, whimper or whopper. Mostly just gay men. But among the women I've dealt with, the distribution holds. And it holds among gay men, too, On one end the wise and gentle angels, on the other end the vicious sons of bitches.
  • Are women generally submissive to men?
    Or maybe people have had it up the ying yang saying "up the ying yang".