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andrewchon



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Location: In my goshiwon cubicle. Seeking moksha.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've met too many divorced men frightened of their ex and their divorce lawyers, to ever contemplate marrying for love. Much easier to look for someone who is 'settling down'.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double post

Last edited by Leon on Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:
In Scandinavia marriage rates are falling, cohabitation without marriage is high. If you were a women, or even a man, what culture is better, Scandinavia or India and the Middle East?


Better for what? What is the goal of society?

Leon wrote:
Also is it a coincidence that societies with that culture of arranged marriage don't do well on ...


This is the second time this week you've engaged in this peculiar fallacy of attacking an idea I'm defending by bringing up some perceived correlated phenomena. "Oh Fox, extended family living is terrible because I don't like tribal poverty!" "Oh Fox, consensual arranged marriages are bad because I don't approve of human rights violations and violence against women!" It's tiresome, and it shows how little thought you're even willing to give an idea that isn't a mainstream part of your cultural indoctrination.

I've already said this to you, but you've obviously forgotten it, so I'm going to say it again: I'm not trying to stop you from living your cultural ideals. Live them, and live with the consequences of them, that's fine with me. But to accuse me of selling snake oil? No, I'm just defending people who want something more out of life than 80 or so years of bland hedonism followed by death in a nursing home. I'm defending people who don't want to be you. I'm sorry if that upsets you.


It's easy to pontificate about what you believe is best for society, but why is it that the societies who follow what you say are failing? Is it all to do wit culture, no obviously not. The idea that you are thinking deeply here and I am a concerned hedonist fighting to live out my cultural preferences is to easy and self serving. If we are going to proscribe cures for societies ills, then really please tell me why we are looking to cults and third world countries for ideas?
The model you describe is well suited for societies based around farming, marriage and family size is as much a function of economic outcomes and choices as cultural ones. Large family sizes are Ill suited, in general, for cities as compared to villages, in a globalized modern economy that isn't based in agriculture. Looking at statistically valid outcomes is a better way to measure things than to merely think about them. If you have some numbers and facts other than just taking shots at me, go ahead.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:

It's easy to pontificate about what you believe is best for society, but why is it that the societies who follow what you say are failing?


Failing at what? You still have not answered my question: what is the goal of society?

Leon wrote:
Looking at statistically valid outcomes is a better way to measure things than to merely think about them. If you have some numbers and facts other than just taking shots at me, go ahead.


Statistically better outcomes towards what goal? Maximum pleasurable sensations per capita?

You want numbers? Fine. Let's start with a number quite important to a nation's vitality.

Country | Fertility Rate
India | 2.62 (Over Replenishment)
Saudi Arabia | 2.81 (Over Replenishment)
Sweden | 1.98 (Under Replenishment, Even Propped Up By Immigrants)
Norway | 1.95 (Under Replenishment, Even Propped Up By Immigrants)

Guess who owns the future in this equation? The problem here is that you are thinking short term, while civilization is a long game. The Europe that conquered the world was closer to my proposed system; the Europe that just wants to borrow money from the world to ease its collapse is closer to yours. Think about that.
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comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:
It's easy to pontificate about what you believe is best for society, but why is it that the societies who follow what you say are failing?

Those societies aren't failing at marriage, which seems to be the topic at hand. It seems completely logical that the rise of the "no fault divorce" has been the result of a change in perspective on what marriage itself is.

People are obviously more committed to marriage when it's an institution of cultural and familial duty first and an institution of love and happiness second... rather than being exclusively about love and happiness.

Whether that translates to satisfaction with one's marriage and family life is another issue.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:

It's easy to pontificate about what you believe is best for society, but why is it that the societies who follow what you say are failing?


Failing at what? You still have not answered my question: what is the goal of society?

Leon wrote:
Looking at statistically valid outcomes is a better way to measure things than to merely think about them. If you have some numbers and facts other than just taking shots at me, go ahead.


Statistically better outcomes towards what goal? Maximum pleasurable sensations per capita?

You want numbers? Fine. Let's start with a number quite important to a nation's vitality.

Country | Fertility Rate
India | 2.62 (Over Replenishment)
Saudi Arabia | 2.81 (Over Replenishment)
Sweden | 1.98 (Under Replenishment, Even Propped Up By Immigrants)
Norway | 1.95 (Under Replenishment, Even Propped Up By Immigrants)

Guess who owns the future in this equation? The problem here is that you are thinking short term, while civilization is a long game. The Europe that conquered the world was closer to my proposed system; the Europe that just wants to borrow money from the world to ease its collapse is closer to yours. Think about that.


As to the goal of society, it obviously has something to do with the standards of living in that society, which like I said before high standards of living are correlated with societies that do no subscribe to traditional marriage and having large families. Talking in the long term, which countries will be more healthy, the rich ones with low birth rates, or the poor ones with greater rates of resource scarcity, pollution, etc? Guess which one is highly correlated with instability and violence. Also, having a large number of youths without enough jobs, which is increasingly the case in places with large birth rates is one of the least healthy demographics for a country. If all countries subscribed to third world family norms there would be very little future for any of us. The thing is that these modern countries all used to have higher birth rates before they transitioned out of a more commodity based and agriculture based economy. India and Saudia Arabia will likely slowly do the same.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:

As to the goal of society, it obviously has something to do with the standards of living in that society,


Not so fast. Precisely how does standard of living relate to the goal of society? Is it a means to an end, or an end in itself? If you want to talk about this, stake out your position in clear terms. No more hand waving, no more vagueries. I'll address the rest of your post (because it's easy), but this is the important part. The only important part.

Leon wrote:
Talking in the long term, which countries will be more healthy, the rich ones with low birth rates, or the poor ones with greater rates of resource scarcity, pollution, etc?


Guess which will be more relevant in a century:

1) Leon lived five years longer than some Saudi fellow.
2) Said Saudi fellow had four children to Leon's one.

Pollution? Just how far are you willing to stray -- and how disingenuous are you willing to be -- in trying to make your point here? "Oh Fox, I oppose consensual arranged marriages because I dislike air pollution."

Leon wrote:
Guess which one is highly correlated with instability and violence.


Yes, I am pleased America is so lacking in violence. It must be the high divorce rate.

Leon wrote:
Also, having a large number of youths without enough jobs,


Yes, fortunately European youths are all comfortably employed. It must be because they do not partake in arranged marriage, and because they divorce on a whim.

Seriously though, this is another point of total hypocrisy. The Euro-American culture you are here defending entangles the entire world in its economic web, causes a global economic crisis, and then you have the balls to blame youth unemployment in arranged marriages and low divorce rates in third world countries?. Embrace feminism immediately, Saudis, lest you suffer more youth unemployment!

Leon wrote:
If all countries subscribed to third world family norms there would be very little future for any of us.


Most countries do subscribe to third world norms, Leon, because most countries are third world. So much for that thoughtless comment. Here is what you should have said instead: "If all countries consumed at the rate of the western nations, there would be no future for any of us." But instead, you laud western living practices! You boast of high living standards, as if that prosperity did not come at a cost. The world cannot sustain 6 billion people living like Americans, but it can sustain plenty more humble third worlders.

Leon wrote:
The thing is that these modern countries all used to have higher birth rates before they transitioned out of a more commodity based and agriculture based economy. India and Saudia Arabia will likely slowly do the same.


Maybe. Hedonism is highly seductive.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:

As to the goal of society, it obviously has something to do with the standards of living in that society,


Not so fast. Precisely how does standard of living relate to the goal of society? Is it a means to an end, or an end in itself? If you want to talk about this, stake out your position in clear terms. No more hand waving, no more vagueries. I'll address the rest of your post (because it's easy), but this is the important part. The only important part.


Well, isn't obvious in a way, that what you call hedonism others would call healthcare, literacy, not worrying about starving to death, malnutrition, living longer, etc, etc. As to being a means to an end, or an end in and of itself, escaping drudgery seems to be valid in either case. Just out of curiosity, what do you think the proper goal of society is?

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:
Talking in the long term, which countries will be more healthy, the rich ones with low birth rates, or the poor ones with greater rates of resource scarcity, pollution, etc?


Guess which will be more relevant in a century:

1) Leon lived five years longer than some Saudi fellow.
2) Said Saudi fellow had four children to Leon's one.

Pollution? Just how far are you willing to stray -- and how disingenuous are you willing to be -- in trying to make your point here? "Oh Fox, I oppose consensual arranged marriages because I dislike air pollution."


I think you completely misunderstood my point, it's not that I oppose it, it's that I'm saying that in a developed country with a modern economy it's an anachronism, as is your earlier argument for large families living together. It's a good fit for economies based upon commodities and agriculture, I'm not against the things you argue for, I'm saying outside of that context these things are largely irrelevant. If people want to have arranged marriages I don't care, if people want to all live together I don't care.

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:
Guess which one is highly correlated with instability and violence.


Yes, I am pleased America is so lacking in violence. It must be the high divorce rate.


I should have clarified, I was referring to societal violence rather than random violence, such as revolutions, civil wars, upheaval, terrorism, etc.

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:
Also, having a large number of youths without enough jobs,


Yes, fortunately European youths are all comfortably employed. It must be because they do not partake in arranged marriage, and because they divorce on a whim.

Seriously though, this is another point of total hypocrisy. The Euro-American culture you are here defending entangles the entire world in its economic web, causes a global economic crisis, and then you have the balls to blame youth unemployment in arranged marriages and low divorce rates in third world countries?. Embrace feminism immediately, Saudis, lest you suffer more youth unemployment!

Leon wrote:
If all countries subscribed to third world family norms there would be very little future for any of us.


Most countries do subscribe to third world norms, Leon, because most countries are third world. So much for that thoughtless comment. Here is what you should have said instead: "If all countries consumed at the rate of the western nations, there would be no future for any of us." But instead, you laud western living practices! You boast of high living standards, as if that prosperity did not come at a cost. The world cannot sustain 6 billion people living like Americans, but it can sustain plenty more humble third worlders.

Leon wrote:
The thing is that these modern countries all used to have higher birth rates before they transitioned out of a more commodity based and agriculture based economy. India and Saudia Arabia will likely slowly do the same.


Maybe. Hedonism is highly seductive.


The rate of growth of human population has grown enormously since the beginning of the previous century, so I'm not so sure that we can continue to sustain such a high rate of growth in the current situation. Obviously the prosperity came at a high cost, but now that we have it we can not put the cork back in the bottle. This is a huge issue between the North and the South, aka the rich and poor, because the rich countries have already industrialized and are better able to control pollution, but the poor countries want what the rich ones have and the only way to get there is through industrialization. Those third world countries very much so want to consume like the rich countries, they want the cars, and the TVs and everything else. Again, I think you made the mistake in thinking that I'm defending all of this, I'm not saying that the current situation is great, just that trying to return to some idealized version of the past isn't the answer. Again though, you choose to compare Sweden and Norway to India and Saudia Arabia, and you end up defending the later two. Norway and Saudia Arabia are both oil states, which one do you think actually has a future once their oil reserves go dry?
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:

Well, isn't obvious in a way, that what you call hedonism others would call healthcare, literacy, not worrying about starving to death, malnutrition, living longer, etc, etc. As to being a means to an end, or an end in and of itself, escaping drudgery seems to be valid in either case. Just out of curiosity, what do you think the proper goal of society is?


Healthcare, literacy, avoiding starvation, and "escaping drudgery" (whatever that means, given first-world cubicle dwellers have evidently succeeded in this)? That's the end of society? I am going to give you a chance to think this over, and if you've got a better answer tomorrow, maybe we can continue. You need to be able to articulate the society you are defending and why if you want to really chat about this.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:

Well, isn't obvious in a way, that what you call hedonism others would call healthcare, literacy, not worrying about starving to death, malnutrition, living longer, etc, etc. As to being a means to an end, or an end in and of itself, escaping drudgery seems to be valid in either case. Just out of curiosity, what do you think the proper goal of society is?


Healthcare, literacy, avoiding starvation, and "escaping drudgery" (whatever that means, given first-world cubicle dwellers have evidently succeeded in this)? That's the end of society? I am going to give you a chance to think this over, and if you've got a better answer tomorrow, maybe we can continue. You need to be able to articulate the society you are defending and why if you want to really chat about this.


It's funny, you think that this is the most important part of the chat we were having, and I think it's the least important. There is no end of society, society has evolved and changed since the beginning of recorded history and it would be absurd to think that it would ever stop, or that some idealized society will ever be realized. One thing that, at least judging by recorded history, hasn't changed is human nature which seems impervious to Utopian ideals dreamed up by philosophers. This is where we seem to differ, the social scientist vrs. the philosopher. We can control things like health care, access to food, pollution, et. al so that's where I choose to focus. What we think of as culture is largely a reaction to demographic, economic, and geological features, along with countries and ethnic groups previous history. As these things change, culture tends to change along with it.

Now back to original intent of the thread, those people do seem weird. If you ever get a chance you should talk to some of the people who knock on your door in Korea, you'll end up hearing some weird things, a lot of these weird churches send a lot of missionaries out.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leon wrote:

There is no end of society, society has evolved and changed since the beginning of recorded history and it would be absurd to think that it would ever stop, or that some idealized society will ever be realized. One thing that, at least judging by recorded history, hasn't changed is human nature ...


Human nature is the ultimate foundation of society. If human nature hasn't changed, and you say it has not, then society can (and will) retain a consistent purpose throughout all its superficial permutations. The purpose of society is just that: to accommodate and encourage the manifestation of the best in human nature, that sustainable, fulfilling, internally-complete "Good Life" that lies lurking in us. The specific model utilized can take different forms based in different available means of production, but that does not change the underlying goal.

I can acknowledge that Norway achieves some elements of this Good Life better than India while simultaneously acknowledging India achieves some of them better than Norway; because I have a concrete goal, I don't have to be a partisan in that accord, I don't have to choose. Do you really think I'm just demanding Norway become India? Of course not, I'm suggesting a synthesis which has the potential to be more in line with our character as a species. Many modern systems offer us prosperity, but in certain respects, those systems have mastered mankind in return, and unrestricted personal choice is the medium through which that occurs. That needs to be put to right, we don't need to settle.

You talk about things like health care, yet health care is completely compatible with (mandated by, really) the goal of society; pretty much every culture in the history of the world has had a medical tradition, and of course such traditions should be considered in terms of their objective successes (and their failures, which modern medicine is not without, precisely because it's practitioners, instead of keeping the true end of society in mind, lose themselves to the pleasures of momentary gain). You talk about pollution problems, but mass-scale modern pollution is the result of the very cultural model you're defending; western societies "innovated" the modern pollution regime, and even when they clean up their own backyards they continue to (strongly) incentivize such behavior in the third world. My model explains why reduced pollution, better health care, and the like are good things worth working towards, while you don't seem to be able to tell me why we should care about any of these things. You're lost in a weird place between absolute cultural relativism ('society has no purpose, it just changes in response to conditions') and absolute dogmatic thought ('Norway and Sweden are better societies than Saudi Arabia and India'). What am I to do with that?
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Leon wrote:

There is no end of society, society has evolved and changed since the beginning of recorded history and it would be absurd to think that it would ever stop, or that some idealized society will ever be realized. One thing that, at least judging by recorded history, hasn't changed is human nature ...


Human nature is the ultimate foundation of society. If human nature hasn't changed, and you say it has not, then society can (and will) retain a consistent purpose throughout all its superficial permutations. The purpose of society is just that: to accommodate and encourage the manifestation of the best in human nature, that sustainable, fulfilling, internally-complete "Good Life" that lies lurking in us. The specific model utilized can take different forms based in different available means of production, but that does not change the underlying goal.

I can acknowledge that Norway achieves some elements of this Good Life better than India while simultaneously acknowledging India achieves some of them better than Norway; because I have a concrete goal, I don't have to be a partisan in that accord, I don't have to choose. Do you really think I'm just demanding Norway become India? Of course not, I'm suggesting a synthesis which has the potential to be more in line with our character as a species. Many modern systems offer us prosperity, but in certain respects, those systems have mastered mankind in return, and unrestricted personal choice is the medium through which that occurs. That needs to be put to right, we don't need to settle.

You talk about things like health care, yet health care is completely compatible with (mandated by, really) the goal of society; pretty much every culture in the history of the world has had a medical tradition, and of course such traditions should be considered in terms of their objective successes (and their failures, which modern medicine is not without, precisely because it's practitioners, instead of keeping the true end of society in mind, lose themselves to the pleasures of momentary gain). You talk about pollution problems, but mass-scale modern pollution is the result of the very cultural model you're defending; western societies "innovated" the modern pollution regime, and even when they clean up their own backyards they continue to (strongly) incentivize such behavior in the third world. My model explains why reduced pollution, better health care, and the like are good things worth working towards, while you don't seem to be able to tell me why we should care about any of these things. You're lost in a weird place between absolute cultural relativism ('society has no purpose, it just changes in response to conditions') and absolute dogmatic thought ('Norway and Sweden are better societies than Saudi Arabia and India'). What am I to do with that?


Changes in society follow changes in methods of production rather than changes in human nature. When the engine of the economy was in the fields people had large families because they needed their labor. Now that the engine of the economy is in the city, that large family is not needed, and even a disadvantage. You even said much of the same thing in the thread about the Ethiopians receiving birth control in Israel.

As to the rest, I feel like you're being vague, out with your utopian ideal already. You keep thinking I'm defending the western model in its entirety, but I'm not, if anything I might be defending the Nordic model which has consistently had the most equal one, with the best schools, and best quality of life. More than anything else though I'm just trying to say your call to go back to an earlier manner of living is misguided, and that it ignores why things have changed. You talk about things as if they are solely cultural, yet the reason that the third world has the consumption patterns they do is more from poverty and the lack of money to consume. If anything the goal of society should be to avoid any overly specific ideology, people kill and get killed for end of society -isms far to easily, and to provide as much utility, aka standards of living, while at the same time providing the greatest amount of personal freedom and human rights and dignity to each person. Using that standard Saudia Arabia is miserable, and India isn't so much better.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dignity? The fattest civilization in history, sitting around watching reality TV and listening to mass-marketed music has little. Standard of living? Just a buzzword for unsustainable mass consumption the way you conceive of it. Personal freedom? Depicting the ultra-regulated societies of Scandinavia as "free" is almost Orwellian. Real personal freedom is not a right, it is a responsibility, a burden, and one with which you are ill acquainted. You complain of vagueness from me, yet if a clever man reads my postings here in aggregate, they will see a quite specific visionary framework emerge. By contrast, all I can get out of you is poor-fitting Newspeak buzzwords, clumsy talking points, and straw men.

You are not understanding. I no longer believe you are capable of understanding. You are too lost to your cultural dogma to think clearly on this issue (the part where you admonish society against being too ideological, then immediately say it should adopt the west's dogmatic ideology -- described in terms of your favorite ideological buzzwords -- is especially exasparating). That's fine. This has ended exactly where I knew it would, which is why I tried to discourage your pursuit of it.
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Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Dignity? The fattest civilization in history, sitting around watching reality TV and listening to mass-marketed music has little. Standard of living? Just a buzzword for unsustainable mass consumption the way you conceive of it. Personal freedom? Depicting the ultra-regulated societies of Scandinavia as "free" is almost Orwellian. Real personal freedom is not a right, it is a responsibility, a burden, and one with which you are ill acquainted. You complain of vagueness from me, yet if a clever man reads my postings here in aggregate, they will see a quite specific visionary framework emerge. By contrast, all I can get out of you is poor-fitting Newspeak buzzwords, clumsy talking points, and straw men.

You are not understanding. I no longer believe you are capable of understanding. You are too lost to your cultural dogma to think clearly on this issue (the part where you admonish society against being too ideological, then immediately say it should adopt the west's dogmatic ideology -- described in terms of your favorite ideological buzzwords -- is especially exasparating). That's fine. This has ended exactly where I knew it would, which is why I tried to discourage your pursuit of it.


Yes it has ended where it does tend to, with you making yourself out to be a clever man with a visionary framework, mostly centered around a rejection of feminism a desire to go back to old cultural norms and a restriction on the number of choices available, and the other person for being a fool for not agreeing with you. You say I'm being ideological, yet the things that I'm talking about are things that can be measured, and are undeniably good, because I mean how can you argue against healthcare or increased life spans. Am I defending reality TV, no, but even these third world countries have it, it's not restricted to the west, and it's not even western culture. The reason the west consumes more is simply because they can, and the reason others consume less is not because of virtue but because they can't. It's not championing it, it goes back to the idea that human nature doesn't change, but the context that humans are in do. I have no need to champion whole countries, just specific things that they do well, are the Nordic countries perfect, of course not, because as I told you before society doesn't end. Then again, you're thinking like some kind of visionary with an ordered idea for society, and I'm thinking like someone who studies development and policy, and weighing things on their quantifiable outcomes, you know things that can actually be measured instead of just thought about. Anyways, I feel the same way about you, that you are not able to understand what I'm saying, and to invested you in own biases to talk about specifics rather than overarching themes. We are talking past each other, so lets just end this here, although as a fan of Orwell, the idea that I'm using Newspeak is funny, especially from someone who keeps making favorable comparisons to Saudia Arabia while disparaging the horribly unfree Northern Europeans.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyways, I feel the same way about you, that you are not able to understand what I'm saying.


Maybe. We can end the conversation there. I do have a final general statement, though. It's not directed at you, so you can ignore it.

The constant linking of my position with Saudi Arabia is especially poor form on Leon's part. I have defended one particular element of Saudi Arabian society in this thread, and given statistics (which were requested) to support that defense. Openly stating that western societies do better in other elements of the Good Life ought to have made it clear that the total Saudi system is not the object of my affections, but that has not stopped our Leon from insinuating just that. If this were a televised debate, it would be a good tactic to get the audience on his side, but what place can such chicanery have in a casual forum discussion?

Quote:
are undeniably good, because I mean how can you argue against healthcare and increased lifespans.


This is how Leon has chosen to frame our broader disagreement: a dispute over healthcare. In reality, here are the things which I have attacked and he has defended in our conversations:

-Mass divorce
-Mass consumption as an end in itself
-Old people living on lonely isolation until they die to avoid irritating their in-laws
-Women being economically and culturally coerced into leaving their children in daycares and working in an office

These are the "undeniable goods" which Leon is actually defending from me, not healthcare. He keeps coming back to healthcare because it is safe ground, but I support universal healthcare (so long as it is not used to funnel public money to drug companies for useless products), so why bring it up? Because knocking down straw men is self-validating? Pretending we need to accept mass divorce to get decent healthcare is fallacious.
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