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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day

a movie about a man living in the midst of tel-aviv, who has (at least) 32 wives and 89 children and the authorities are unable to do anything about it.


Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)

Yes, but even if you are a sane and accurately informed adult, the government believes it is right to intervene if you possess certain substances, even if you don't harm anyone else. Is this essentially fucked up in your book?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)

Yes, it is. I believe narcotics, all consensual sexual behaviors (incest, zoophilia, necrophilia, etc.), prostitution, suicide (consent must be proved beyond reasonable doubt here) and the like should be legal.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)

Should firearms be legal to possess for every sane adult well-informed of their dangers?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)

Yes. However, using them should be illegal outside of certain well and clearly defined places and situations and, in cases where a situation occurs that leads to the possibility of an illegal use of a weapon (e. g. a weapon left lying in the open in the house where anyone other than sane adults is present, including pets) both the owner of the weapon and whoever caused this situation (if these are not the same person) should be punished. For instance, if a firearm is ever seen in the hands of a teenager the owner of the firearm and whoever forgot to lock it up should go to jail.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)

Let's ask you this question: what percentage of people do you think are, in fact, sane and rational to the level that you implicitly assume they are (e.g. if a gun can be bought in a grocery store by any adult-- are you sure the level of gun-related accidents won't rise significantly, including people forgetting guns in places they shouldn't and just people who suddenly see their wife cheating, otherwise "sane" people who suddenly lose that sanity and decide to go on a massacre etc etc).

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:23 pm (UTC)

I assume every adult without obvious mental incapacitation is sane. Let's call it 95%. I never said anything about rationality. Rational and sane are not anywhere near each other as far as I'm concerned. Which is why, you are right, the number of gun-related accidents will rise significantly.

After a while the strict punishments for forgetting one's gun where one shouldn't (you remember, I stipulated these above) will take effect and the number of accidents will drop. However, the number of non-premeditated gun crimes will stay high, which is why capital punishment is a good idea. The guy who sees his wife cheating and reaches for his gun should be executed, because he is probably socially unsafe in other ways. I am not worried about the guy who goes on the massacre, because he'll be shot by potential victims.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)

Which is why, you are right, the number of gun-related accidents will rise significantly.


However, the number of non-premeditated gun crimes will stay high

There, you said it yourself. You acknowledge that if we allow guns without restrictions, the number of gun-related accidents will rise significantly and the number of non-premeditated gun-crimes will stay high even if punishment will be severe. Isn't that enough of a justification for a government to keep guns restricted?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)

No. It is not.
Restricting individual freedom to avoid accidents or even crime is never a good idea. Until the crime is actually committed _and_proven_ an individual must be presumed innocent.

It is a good idea to improve safety locks on guns and to make them universal (this needs to be done at the point of manufacture, like child-proof locks on medicine bottles). It's a good idea to have gun safety propaganda and gun safety taught in kindergartens. It's a good idea to have warnings on triggers (similar to cigarette packages). But it is not a good idea to restrict an individual's choice because he _might_ use it unwisely. Guns, in themselves, are no more dangerous than cars or planes or mallets or tire irons or bleach.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:39 am (UTC)

Mmmm, how can a cat or a dead body give consent?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)

Consent is only required from humans. A dead body is an object. No moral problem copulating with it, any more than copulating with a chair. A cat is an animal. On principle, I am against torturing animals, especially cats, dogs, and other semi-intelligent animals. But think about this: currently in most Western societies it's considered ok to castrate a cat against his will. It's ok to drown kittens (doesn't that make you shudder?). It's ok to deprive a cat of freedom and even to murder it (that's what happens to stray cats. If no master is found they are murdered in ponds.) It's ok to force a cat to breed with another cat he or she did not choose. In emergencies cats are killed and eaten. But somehow it's not ok to have sex with it? Something is inconsistent here.

There are two solutions here:
1. We acknowledge all animals to be worthy of protection.
Enforced vegetarianism ensues.
Only consenting animals (consent being given through ritual sexual displays. Fortunately most animals have those) are fair game.

2. We do not acknowledge that animals are worthy of protection.
Humane slaughter laws are replaced with humane buying practices (similar to "buy green" and "buy American" campaigns).
People indulging in animal torture are (hopefully) social outcasts, but form their own societies (similar to people in consensual master-slave relationships).

3. We acknowledge that some animals are more worthy of protection than others or worthy of protection in some ways than others. Cats obtain limited protection and are no longer castrated or sprayed. Ponds are closed. Cats control their own sexual and reproductive rights. A campaign for the rights of cows is inevitably followed by a campaign for the rights of every mammal and a large number of non-mammals. Eventually we come back to 1.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)

Oooh, that's a whole 'nother discussion that we could be having for a year =)
Lets just say that I agree with you on most points, and have anecdata to share regarding spaying and drowning kittens. I won't go into the pros of spaying/neutering, suffice it to say that my mother in law is a vet and I've seen my fair share of abandoned pregnant cats [house cat gets knocked up, owners show her the door] and very sick kittens who have no mommy, or their mommy had them at the age of 8 months and can't care for them. Anyway, a few years ago, when I was still living with my parents, I was spending the weekend at my then-boyfriend's [now he's my husband] house and his mom brought home this cat from the clinic who was really sick, and me and the cat hit it off and I decided to adopt her. I needed to obtain my parents' permission, so we talked about it at length, and one of the things my dad said was, "what will we do with the kittens she'll have". Now, Penny was already spayed, and I told him so. He said, "oh, how inhumane". I said, "ok, lets say she wasn't spayed, what do YOU propose to do with the kittens she'll have twice a year?" My dad says, "drown them, of course". I exclaimed, "and that's more humane than spaying?!"
[I did adopt Penny and she had a wonderful life with me, though it was short, as she died from renal failure.]

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b: :)

Oh, do let's have it! It's fun arguing with you, and we're close to the end of the other discussion.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
lotus82: Re: :)

Alright, and thanks =)

Well, I obviously think it's wrong to drown kittens. And I think it's wrong that ponds/shelters put animals to sleep because no one adopts them, but I do understand why that happens. My mother in law is a vet and works in a shelter - Tzaar Baalei Chaim at Atarot, near Jerusalem. To say they are overpopulated is to say nothing. They don't put them to sleep, though, somehow my MIL manages to put a lot of cats in homes and she herself adopted about 15 or so, plus she fosters literally mountains of kittens. But there are cats that you just KNOW nobody's going to adopt. When I just met John [hubby], one of their foster kitties was Mole, this really fluffy, friendly female cat. Mole was blind as a result of having eye infections as a kitten on the streets. At some point she became incontinent, too, which may have been a result of a physical issue [though all the tests came back clear] or may have been a result of the fact that even in a home she lived in for months, she was unable to locate the litterbox in time, due to being blind in both eyes. Now, who would have adopted Mole? A blind, incontinent cat? [Blind is less an issue here - many people would adopt a blind one - but incontinence is something no one would put up with.] John wouldn't tell me, but I suspect Mole was put to sleep. Otherwise, the shelter really couldn't take care of her for a decade or more, and throwing her out on the streets would have been much more cruel than a shot.
What I'm saying is, sometimes there's no option more humane than euthanasia, when it comes to an "unadoptable" animal.
Of course, I am aware that in the Tel Aviv Tzaar Baalei Chaim, they give them the shot if the animal isn't adopted within X days. Do I agree with it? No. But I understand why that happens. They don't have neither the money nor the manpower to handle an army of cats and dogs for an extended period of time.
Now this is where we get to spaying and neutering. Obviously there are more animals out there than there are good, loving homes for them. I am not knowledgeable enough of canine reproductive schedule, but a female cat first goes in heat when she's 5-6 months old and then every 5-6 months of her life. Each heat, if satisfied, leads to a pregnancy. The first usually results in a smaller than usual amount of kittens - 2-3 - but then they run higher. A cat would produce at least 10 kittens on a yearly basis. And the number grows geometrically.
And we don't have enough homes, yes? We have the street, where they starve, get sick [we just lost one of the strays we take care of, we loved her dearly], get injured and die. We have the shelters, which we've already discussed.
So we do need to limit their population, really, for their own sake. Because otherwise it's starvation and sickness. And the only birth control available is spaying/neutering.
[For dogs, by the way, there are certain shots - I remember when I had a dog, she received them. Once every 6 months and she's not going to go into heat for 6 months. The problem is that it's high doses of hormones = cancer risk, and you can only give 3 of them without risking the dog's health. So it basically gives you time until you decide whether you will breed the dog or spay, but it's not a lifetime solution.]
Sadly, we don't have the pill or the condom for cats, do we? [Imagine trying to put a condom on a cat =)]

As for breeding cats, I am SO opposed to it, but this comment is long enough already =)

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b: Re: :)

I also understand why it's done and agree that it's the best way available. Oral contraception is better. It exists, btw, for cats, and is likely to get more wide-spread. Check out http://www.acc-d.org/About and http://www.petpublishing.com/catkit/articles/oral.shtml

But this is the key difference between cats and people. If I were Mole I believe I would have preferred to take my chances on the street. After all, she survived to adulthood as a blind cat, if I understand you correctly. And even given that those were no chances at all - if we assume cats to be individuals we must not choose "humane" over "respectful". Many people are better off dead, in my opinion, but I rarely kill them.

The moment we say that it's ok to do something to someone "for their own sake", but without their consent, we're saying that they are not someone, but something. And once we say that, why shouldn't we eat it, have sex with it, or make a lampshade out of its skin?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)

However, potentially dangerous behaviors, such as "prostitution without regular venereal checkups" or "driving while stoned" should not be legal.