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Author Topic: Penn and Teller: BS!  (Read 31324 times)

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Offline Thrifty

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #285 on: January 14, 2009, 02:51:27 PM »
How about the death penalty?

See, I don't mind capital punishment.  You put an innocent guy to death, that's tragic.  You put an innocent guy in prison for years, decades, his whole life, that's ALSO tragic.  But that they kept saying, YOU SUPPORT MURDERING PEOPLE, so matter of factly is more propaganda and emotion than I'm used to seeing on that show.

And I thought they made a mountain out of a molehill on the circumcision episode.


Offline Tripe

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #286 on: January 14, 2009, 03:43:42 PM »
See that one I'm in complete agreement with them on; Circumcision is more a cultural practice than a medically justified one.



Offline DarthChimay

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #287 on: January 14, 2009, 04:27:30 PM »
How about the death penalty?

See, I don't mind capital punishment.  You put an innocent guy to death, that's tragic.  You put an innocent guy in prison for years, decades, his whole life, that's ALSO tragic.  But that they kept saying, YOU SUPPORT MURDERING PEOPLE, so matter of factly is more propaganda and emotion than I'm used to seeing on that show.

If putting someone to death isn't murder, then what is it? Not that I'm disagreeing that there was some "appeal to emotion" going on in the episode.

And I thought they made a mountain out of a molehill on the circumcision episode.

I thought their point was that it made the opposite.   :rimshot:


Offline Chaos

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #288 on: January 14, 2009, 07:09:02 PM »
See, my thing is this: whether or not the death penalty itself is justified and whether or not the system deals with people improperly are two completely separate issues, but they get lumped together as excuses / justifications / arguments because they can overlap.

That the system can wrongly put a person in jail means that the system needs to be fixed, not that you can't put a person to death. I'm actually indifferent on the death penalty itself... I'm just as fine with life without parole instead. Either way is fine with me, as long as shitheads who hurt people are put away so they can't do it anymore. It's the people who are dangerous and get let out that are the real problem - but again, that's a problem with the system and it can be fixed.
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Offline DarthChimay

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #289 on: January 14, 2009, 07:42:12 PM »
See, my thing is this: whether or not the death penalty itself is justified and whether or not the system deals with people improperly are two completely separate issues, but they get lumped together as excuses / justifications / arguments because they can overlap.

That the system can wrongly put a person in jail means that the system needs to be fixed, not that you can't put a person to death. I'm actually indifferent on the death penalty itself... I'm just as fine with life without parole instead. Either way is fine with me, as long as shitheads who hurt people are put away so they can't do it anymore. It's the people who are dangerous and get let out that are the real problem - but again, that's a problem with the system and it can be fixed.

True, they are different issues. However, if an innocent person gets put in jail for life and is later exonerated and set free, he's lost less than the innocent person who was put on death row and executed. That's something you can't rectify. It's a pretty dire consequence. I will say this however - I do think the death penalty should be instituted for serial killers. I can't come up with any argument that justifies Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy living.


Offline Thrifty

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #290 on: January 15, 2009, 02:34:56 PM »
See, my thing is this: whether or not the death penalty itself is justified and whether or not the system deals with people improperly are two completely separate issues, but they get lumped together as excuses / justifications / arguments because they can overlap.

That the system can wrongly put a person in jail means that the system needs to be fixed, not that you can't put a person to death. I'm actually indifferent on the death penalty itself... I'm just as fine with life without parole instead. Either way is fine with me, as long as shitheads who hurt people are put away so they can't do it anymore. It's the people who are dangerous and get let out that are the real problem - but again, that's a problem with the system and it can be fixed.

True, they are different issues. However, if an innocent person gets put in jail for life and is later exonerated and set free, he's lost less than the innocent person who was put on death row and executed. That's something you can't rectify. It's a pretty dire consequence. I will say this however - I do think the death penalty should be instituted for serial killers. I can't come up with any argument that justifies Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy living.

Yeah but not much less.  It's like losing 30 million dollars versus losing 29,973,000


Offline DarthChimay

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #291 on: January 15, 2009, 05:45:47 PM »
See, my thing is this: whether or not the death penalty itself is justified and whether or not the system deals with people improperly are two completely separate issues, but they get lumped together as excuses / justifications / arguments because they can overlap.

That the system can wrongly put a person in jail means that the system needs to be fixed, not that you can't put a person to death. I'm actually indifferent on the death penalty itself... I'm just as fine with life without parole instead. Either way is fine with me, as long as shitheads who hurt people are put away so they can't do it anymore. It's the people who are dangerous and get let out that are the real problem - but again, that's a problem with the system and it can be fixed.

True, they are different issues. However, if an innocent person gets put in jail for life and is later exonerated and set free, he's lost less than the innocent person who was put on death row and executed. That's something you can't rectify. It's a pretty dire consequence. I will say this however - I do think the death penalty should be instituted for serial killers. I can't come up with any argument that justifies Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy living.

Yeah but not much less.  It's like losing 30 million dollars versus losing 29,973,000

Dude, that's like 10 high-class escort visits or 5400 low-low-low-class ones. Would you be willing to lose that?


Offline Chaos

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #292 on: January 16, 2009, 05:37:53 AM »
Either way, the point is that the system that allows wrongfully accused people to be found guilty, or let guilty people out who should not be, is the problem. The punishment is not the problem (either punishment). You cannot use the fault of the system as an arguement for or against a particular punishment, because if the system were not broken, it wouldn't be an issue. That's all I was saying.
"First there was Chaos, the vast immeasurable abyss, Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild." -Milton


Offline Tripe

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #293 on: January 16, 2009, 05:42:07 AM »
Which is exactly how people argue against nuclear power.

It's not that people really mind nuclear power they hate nuclear power stations that are administered in a half-assed way.



Offline Chaos

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #294 on: January 16, 2009, 06:29:47 AM »
Yeah.

Even though I'm personally a bit wishy washy on the whole nuclear power thing, regardless of my final decision I'm still 100% in favour of building a new round of plants to replace the current ones, because they are old and not nearly as safe as the newer ones are able to be (the newer ones can also produce a larger capacity with the same amount of material, which means more energy and less brownouts). It's a no brainer to update the current ones to better models while we're trying to decide once and for all how to handle the whole situation, IMO.

But that's not what we're supposed to be bitching at right now (not that that's ever stopped us before). ;)
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #295 on: January 16, 2009, 06:31:21 AM »
I know, I just felt the need to digress  ;)


Offline DarthChimay

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #296 on: January 16, 2009, 11:13:36 AM »
Either way, the point is that the system that allows wrongfully accused people to be found guilty, or let guilty people out who should not be, is the problem. The punishment is not the problem (either punishment). You cannot use the fault of the system as an arguement for or against a particular punishment, because if the system were not broken, it wouldn't be an issue. That's all I was saying.

They may be different issues, but capital punishment is inextricably linked to the system. Only people who have gone through the system can be subjected to it. So, while you can't necessarily take capital punishment into consideration when criticizing the system (as not all who go through the system are subjected to capital punishment), you can absolutely take the system into consideration when criticizing capital punishment (as all who are put to death as a punishment have been through the system). To create a syllogism out of it:

All people on death row were sentenced to capital punishment.
All those sentenced to capital punishment have been through the legal system.
Therefore, all people on death row have been through the legal system.


Offline Chaos

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #297 on: January 16, 2009, 01:27:49 PM »
That is true, but you can't say that "capital punishment is wrong because the legal system can fail." That is not a valid argument.

You can, however, say, "Capital punishment is not a good idea RIGHT NOW because the legal system can fail." See the difference?

The fact that the legal system can fail does not make capital punishment itself wrong.
"First there was Chaos, the vast immeasurable abyss, Outrageous as a sea, dark, wasteful, wild." -Milton


Offline gbeenie

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #298 on: January 16, 2009, 02:45:56 PM »
Which is exactly how people argue against nuclear power.

It's not that people really mind nuclear power they hate nuclear power stations that are administered in a half-assed way.



I disagree. People who bag on nuclear power generally don't know much about the practical parts of how it actually works. Opposition to nuclear power stems largely from the anti-nuclear weapons movement, despite the fact that those two things have nothing to do with one another.
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Offline gbeenie

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Re: Penn and Teller: BS!
« Reply #299 on: January 16, 2009, 02:47:49 PM »
That is true, but you can't say that "capital punishment is wrong because the legal system can fail." That is not a valid argument.

You can, however, say, "Capital punishment is not a good idea RIGHT NOW because the legal system can fail." See the difference?

The fact that the legal system can fail does not make capital punishment itself wrong.

In other words, the problem is practical, rather than philosophical. It seems you and I agree on this.
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."

- Conan O'Brien