Why do people shower Penn and Teller with praise?

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Redd the Sock:

Frostwhisper21:

snip

Speaking for myself, I can't say I'd be any happier to lose a decade of my life to a particularly harsh place and then have to reassimilate myself back into society.

I'm not a supporter of the death peanlity for that very reason, but I don't condem the idea of the death penality because our justice system is plagued by incompitance, political pressure and outright laziness. It's a sign our courts need to get it together because if people could wrongly be on death row despite all the extra oversight taken, how many people have been wrongfully convicted without the oversight? Too many by my book not even getting into excessive punishments for drug charges and repeat minor offenders.

I just don't like people saying that the death penalty costs more becuase of the unspoken line "because that's when we're forced to take our jobs of proving guilt or innocence seriously."

Oh okay, I thought you meant that you supported the death penalty. No I agree, they're rather incompetent (again, sending hundreds to their death shows how much). I mean even just doing Jury Duty you can see how slow and lazy they can be...

Thank god Forensics has become so popular now, and I hope we continue to find ways to make more accurate convictions (What with eye-witnesses being wrong a majority of the time).

Hardcore_gamer:

ravenshrike:

Hardcore_gamer:
For example, in the bible episode they talk about the idiocy of trying to decide what certain parts of the bible really mean thousands of years after it had been written creating the risk that the true meaning and context behind many parts may have been lost over time as a result, but at the same time dismiss exactly this same kind of criticism during the constitution episode where they them self's start to use the same arguments as the fundamentalists in the bible episode by arguing that the constitution should be taken literally word by word regardless of the original context.

Thoughts?

The founders not only spoke largely the same flipping language, with relatively clear paths as to how meanings have changed, but with the vast repository of their wirtings and actions we can understand directly what they were thinking. Whereas virtually nothing from the time either the new testament or the old testament actually happened is left, and what scraps we have were generally translated at least twice before they were actually written down anywhere, and are almost all hearsay. Any other silly observations?

I am not just talking about the translations and what the words them self's mean, but the historical context. A lot has changed since the constitution was written, but unlike most countries that change their constitution to reflect social changes America insists that the constitution has to remain the same and never be changed. This makes the constitution flawed for many of the same reason as the bible, as it doesn't take it into account that as history marches on and society changes the rule book has to change as well to reflect that.

The constitution was derived from certain first principles, largely encapsulated by "bugger off asshole". Those first principles are by and large just as valid as when they were brought together in the consitution, even though their violation has led more or less directly to the drug war, ballooning federal cost structures(when the military is eliminated entirely, with it's tax revenue from the payroll side of things still included in government accounting, we're still running a deficit.), and horseshit like the PATRIOT act and the TSA, this does not make those first principles wrong.

ravenshrike:

Hardcore_gamer:

ravenshrike:

The founders not only spoke largely the same flipping language, with relatively clear paths as to how meanings have changed, but with the vast repository of their wirtings and actions we can understand directly what they were thinking. Whereas virtually nothing from the time either the new testament or the old testament actually happened is left, and what scraps we have were generally translated at least twice before they were actually written down anywhere, and are almost all hearsay. Any other silly observations?

I am not just talking about the translations and what the words them self's mean, but the historical context. A lot has changed since the constitution was written, but unlike most countries that change their constitution to reflect social changes America insists that the constitution has to remain the same and never be changed. This makes the constitution flawed for many of the same reason as the bible, as it doesn't take it into account that as history marches on and society changes the rule book has to change as well to reflect that.

The constitution was derived from certain first principles, largely encapsulated by "bugger off asshole". Those first principles are by and large just as valid as when they were brought together in the consitution, even though their violation has led more or less directly to the drug war, ballooning federal cost structures(when the military is eliminated entirely, with it's tax revenue from the payroll side of things still included in government accounting, we're still running a deficit.), and horseshit like the PATRIOT act and the TSA, this does not make those first principles wrong.

What does this have to do with the idea that the American (note that I myself am not from the USA) constitution should never be changed? Even assuming that you still think everything preached by it still makes sense in the modern era how do you know it will still do so in the future where society will no doubt have changed a lot?

The key difference between is the US constitution and ofter nation's constitution's isn't the actual content, its the fact that in the US changing the constitution is (unless I am wrong) forbidden or at the very least seen as utterly horrible while in other nation's the constitution is changed every now and then because people believe that it has to be updated and/or changed to reflect social changes.

Katatori-kun:

Father Time:
Ok fine. Let's try theft/scamming.

Let's see we got the Sting, and Ocean's 11 (and Robin Hood if that counts) and other heist movies where the thief is the hero. Theft is still taken seriously.

I'd say that theft is generally easier to get over than rape. Especially if you're rich or have insurance (or both).

You must come from a different world than I do. When I was in high school kids joked about "the 5 finger discount" all the time and IIRC some kids who came from wealthier families enjoyed a bit of shoplifting just for the thrill of it. It was not only considered acceptable, but it was downright cool to steal anything from hood ornaments to street signs to restaurant dinnerware. The Simpsons even made an episode laughing at stealing way back when most of the people on this forum were probably playing with blocks.

Was that the one where they steal cable or the one where Bart steals the head of the statue? Both of those end with a "stealing is wrong" message.

Katatori-kun:

Elcarsh:
But surely you yourself understand perfectly that you can't right away determine which causes what. Couldn't the preponderance of rape in pornography etc. in japan be a result of a lighter view of rape rather than the other way around?

I'd agree that we can't definitively say that the causality works one way. Like most social habits there is very likely some cyclical causality going on.

But then I never claimed that the causality was one-way. All I'm saying is that there is a larger point to this discussion than "Rapelay causes rapes!", and that Penn was so eager in his blog post to make a pithy comment in line with his ideology that he has missed the greater point of the argument.

Which is what? That it'll maybe affect attitudes and that may lead to rape?

Oh and the idea that Rapeplay causes rape is not some straw man Penn invented to argue against. I've seen that idea advocated here on this forum.

Hardcore_gamer:

The key difference between is the US constitution and ofter nation's constitution's isn't the actual content, its the fact that in the US changing the constitution is (unless I am wrong) forbidden or at the very least seen as utterly horrible while in other nation's the constitution is changed every now and then because people believe that it has to be updated and/or changed to reflect social changes.

It is possible to change the constitution with amendments. It was a Constituional amendment that banned slavery, another one started prohibition and another one ended it.

It is not taboo to amend the Constitution, just difficult, as it requires a large amount of consensus.

The last constitutional amendment was made in 1992.

Father Time:
Both of those end with a "stealing is wrong" message.

That doesn't mean that the remaining 21 minutes of the 22 minute broadcast weren't making light of the subject.

Honestly, it's beginning to sound like you're arguing just to argue.

Which is what? That it'll maybe affect attitudes and that may lead to rape?

Yeah, definitely arguing just to argue. I've pretty explicitly claimed that is not my point at all.

Oh and the idea that Rapeplay causes rape is not some straw man Penn invented to argue against. I've seen that idea advocated here on this forum.

Kindly do not ask me to argue points other people have made. I am addressing what Penn said in the blog link I replied to, not every argument that has ever been made about the game's existence.

Katatori-kun:

Father Time:
Both of those end with a "stealing is wrong" message.

That doesn't mean that the remaining 21 minutes of the 22 minute broadcast weren't making light of the subject.

Honestly, it's beginning to sound like you're arguing just to argue.

Which is what? That it'll maybe affect attitudes and that may lead to rape?

Yeah, definitely arguing just to argue. I've pretty explicitly claimed that is not my point at all.

Well then I don't understand your point. I thought you said it's bad because it changes attitudes about rape. Was it the "and that leads to rape" bit that I got wrong?

Elcarsh:
But surely you yourself understand perfectly that you can't right away determine which causes what. Couldn't the preponderance of rape in pornography etc. in japan be a result of a lighter view of rape rather than the other way around?

I am unsure how accurate it was, or is currently (perhaps Katatori can enlighten us), but I was told a while back that the default response of the average japanese female (from Japan) to any sexual advances outside of marriage was "no". If they accept sexual advances, or are sexually aggressive themselves, they are considered sluts so they are expected to say "no". So it was allegedly a common part of "foreplay" for the female to say no and put up token resistance to a male's sexual advances.

Females are apparently supposed to be innocent and demure. They are supposed to be obedient and non confrontational (from I understand confrontation is frowned upon in Japan in general). This creates a rather unfortunate situation, culturally, where a woman is likely to say "no" whether she means it or not and is likely to only put up token resistance whether she accepts advances or not.

In this particular case I would say that culture is informing media though the media may be reinforcing the culture.

Frostwhisper21:

Depending on your translation the bible has guides on how "servants" must behave with their "masters".

"The Bible also did it" isn't really an excuse, though. The Constitution codified things like slavery and male supremacy.

Practical wasn't the best choice of words though. Real, maybe? Non-spiritual?

Except Slavery and the like were largely concessions to a "spiritual" base they feared would fragment. How is that non-spiritual.

And yeah.. it'd be better to just pick up a book or read the statistics by oneself instead of basing it off a show who's priority is entertainment. It's like saying you're politically basing yourself off the Colbert Report.

You mean Stephen isn't a reporter? *gasp*

No, but I'm inclined to agree. The benefit of a celebrity covering something is that it raises awareness. The downside is that celebrities are often idiots (RATM actually didn't know some of the major factors involved in the Leonard Peltier case, for example), have their own agenda (I'm not entirely sure Penn and Teller count here, but they sure do like to go down the proseltysing route), or just do it for laughs (Colbert/Stewart).

This has been further blurred by the fact that people believe everything they see on TV and the fact that the actual news is so bad that even the Enquirer has broken legit stories and made them look bad before.

Oddly enough, while I think Libertarianism is crap (We've been there and done that; it's not theory, it's history), I do agree with Penn and Teller a lot more than I don't.

Doesn't make them right, and especially doesn't make their show accurate, but I do tend to agree with them. It's not like I'm just calling them a crock because they're on the other side of issues or something.

Father Time:

I haven't seen them take people out of context.

The beautiful thing about taking someone out of context is you usually don't see it until someone reports on it (Or, of course, you're doing it wrong). Nobody has an ax to grind wit P&T on the same level of Fox News. they still distort not only what the facts say, but what people say on their show.

i'm sure they make good points sometimes, but in my experience they care an awful lot more about trying to sound clever then they do about actually being right. So I would hesitate before taking anything they say even the least bit seriously.
Not everything they say is bullshit, but i'm pretty sure that they at least are full of it.

Zachary Amaranth:
"The Bible also did it" isn't really an excuse, though. The Constitution codified things like slavery and male supremacy.

The US Constitution did not "codify" slavery or "male supremacy". The only things regarding slavery which were "codified" were that the Congress did not have the power to prohibit it and persons who were not free were to be counted only as three fifths for the purpose of representation. That one certainly comes close but there were not any actual laws regarding slavery in the constitution. As far as "male supremacy", I just double checked, other than a few male pronouns used in the descriptions of the president's office (note that there are absolutely none in the sections regarding eligibility or election) there is not a single gender based word in the whole of the original document. It is not until the section of 14th amendment regarding voting that there are any actual references to gender as requisite for anything and the absolute rest of the document, including the other amendments, uses nothing but gender neutral terms.

Father Time:

Katatori-kun:

Which is what? That it'll maybe affect attitudes and that may lead to rape?

...I've pretty explicitly claimed that is not my point at all.

Well then I don't understand your point. I thought you said it's bad because it changes attitudes about rape. Was it the "and that leads to rape" bit that I got wrong?

That's right. Not taking rape seriously is a problem even if it can't conclusively be shown to cause more rapes.

Look at the Slutwalk movement, which began in protest against a police officer saying that if women don't want to be raped, they need to not dress in a certain way. That's not taking rape seriously. That's making a flippant, off-the-cuff claim that essentially states that women are partly at fault for being raped. That claim can only have been born out of an attitude that says that rape isn't a serious crime, it's just the natural resort of a horny man seeing an attractive woman. It is an outright misrepresentation of how rape usually happens. It disempowers women by perpetuating a belief that they will be victims if they don't hide their sexuality, but it also disempowers men by propagating a belief that if you have a penis then you are a mindless predator in service to nothing else.

TheStatutoryApe:
I am unsure how accurate it was, or is currently (perhaps Katatori can enlighten us), but I was told a while back that the default response of the average japanese female (from Japan) to any sexual advances outside of marriage was "no". If they accept sexual advances, or are sexually aggressive themselves, they are considered sluts so they are expected to say "no". So it was allegedly a common part of "foreplay" for the female to say no and put up token resistance to a male's sexual advances.

Something like that. Of course the younger generation has a bit of variety in how they behave, but there is a common pretense at feigning virginity or in extreme cases a complete lack of knowledge about sex in general. At one school I worked at, I had a rowdy girl write the Japanese word for "titty-fuck" as an answer to an assignment. At that time my Japanese was rubbish so I had no idea what the word was. So I went to one of the girl's teachers and asked what the word meant, but rather than answer me or give me a dictionary or inform me that it was a sexual term, she just feigned demure innocence and said, "Gee, I don't know what that means. But she is a very naughty girl." In another class, a boy stood up in the middle of the lesson and showed a girl the condoms in his pocket, asking her out loud at normal conversation volume to massage his cock. Since I was in a job that didn't permit me to discipline, I couldn't do anything about it. The actual teacher did nothing. When I confronted her afterwards, she claimed to have not even seen or heard the event take place.

This creates a rather unfortunate situation, culturally, where a woman is likely to say "no" whether she means it or not and is likely to only put up token resistance whether she accepts advances or not.

Indeed.

It doesn't just relate to rape. Public molestation (especially on crowded trains) is a huge problem. And while attitudes are slowly changing, there is a generation of women out there who only know how to react to a gross middle-aged salariman sticking his fingers up her skirt by crying and hoping it ends quickly. And just to tie this back into not taking things seriously, in Waiwai[1] there was even a lighthearted story about a train molestation club in Tokyo where members assign themselves ranks like a martial art for accomplishing different molestation challenges. Even if this club doesn't exist, it's pretty damning that people would find that sort of humiliation amusing enough to write about.

[1] An English-language tabloid-esque internet news site that aggregated scandalous stories from Japanese press and was admittedly of dubious accuracy

Katatori-kun:
Something like that. Of course the younger generation has a bit of variety in how they behave, but there is a common pretense at feigning virginity or in extreme cases a complete lack of knowledge about sex in general. At one school I worked at, I had a rowdy girl write the Japanese word for "titty-fuck" as an answer to an assignment. At that time my Japanese was rubbish so I had no idea what the word was. So I went to one of the girl's teachers and asked what the word meant, but rather than answer me or give me a dictionary or inform me that it was a sexual term, she just feigned demure innocence and said, "Gee, I don't know what that means. But she is a very naughty girl." In another class, a boy stood up in the middle of the lesson and showed a girl the condoms in his pocket, asking her out loud at normal conversation volume to massage his cock. Since I was in a job that didn't permit me to discipline, I couldn't do anything about it. The actual teacher did nothing. When I confronted her afterwards, she claimed to have not even seen or heard the event take place.

I was told about this by a friend of mine who was dating a (now married to the same) japanese exchange student. He was giving me cultural context to explain the frustration, confusion, and occasional discomfort he felt with their courtship. In that context at least it was amusing. She was apparently almost as horrified at the prospect of being sexually open or aggressive as he was with the idea of treating her resistance as feigned.

It doesn't just relate to rape. Public molestation (especially on crowded trains) is a huge problem. And while attitudes are slowly changing, there is a generation of women out there who only know how to react to a gross middle-aged salariman sticking his fingers up her skirt by crying and hoping it ends quickly. And just to tie this back into not taking things seriously, in Waiwai[1] there was even a lighthearted story about a train molestation club in Tokyo where members assign themselves ranks like a martial art for accomplishing different molestation challenges. Even if this club doesn't exist, it's pretty damning that people would find that sort of humiliation amusing enough to write about.

I had heard about this, the train molestations in general any way, and read about plans or proposals to have gender segregated cars for the trains. Such extreme measures would seem to speak to the severity of the issue.

[1] An English-language tabloid-esque internet news site that aggregated scandalous stories from Japanese press and was admittedly of dubious accuracy

TheStatutoryApe:
I was told about this by a friend of mine who was dating a (now married to the same) japanese exchange student. He was giving me cultural context to explain the frustration, confusion, and occasional discomfort he felt with their courtship. In that context at least it was amusing. She was apparently almost as horrified at the prospect of being sexually open or aggressive as he was with the idea of treating her resistance as feigned.

I can't speak to how widespread his experience is, but from my own experiences and those of people around me, it seems to fit a pattern. Though one has to be careful, some of the more extreme stories I've heard came from someone notorious for bullshitting. Kudos to him for not just throwing his values aside for the sake of getting laid.

Zachary Amaranth:

Father Time:

I haven't seen them take people out of context.

The beautiful thing about taking someone out of context is you usually don't see it until someone reports on it (Or, of course, you're doing it wrong). Nobody has an ax to grind wit P&T on the same level of Fox News. they still distort not only what the facts say, but what people say on their show.

Ok who has accused Penn and Teller of being taken out of context?

keiskay:

Mortai Gravesend:

keiskay:

pete stark is openly atheist and is currently serving in the house of representatives. there are others who are undecided or refused to answer so i cannot confirm what they are exactly.

also popular atheist in tv and movies.
kevin bacon
angelina jolie
keanu reeves
woody allen
james cameron
george clooney
jamie hyneman
kubrick
seth macfarlane
peter laurie
john malkovich
brad pitt
daniel radcliffe
ian mckellen
and the list goes on for a bit, so penn and teller being openly atheist has nothing to do with their popularity. its more due to the fact that they have been entertainers for quite awhile. heck they were popular before showing off their atheist side.

Frostwhisper21:

Yeah it is overall. People seem to think it's a simple matter of just injecting them with whatever or electrocution.. there's so much more involved. And oh lord the racial inequality lets not get started there.

Yeah i enjoyed Alpha protocol somehow too :) I know it's deeply flawed in gameplay and the main character was kinda a dick regardless of what stance you chose(which was honestly quite endearing), but something got me to beat the game three times haha.

Ah yeah... though for the racial inequality... well that's kind of in more than just the death penalty, but the system has to go on regardless in some form XP

I went through it twice, and might do a 3rd time some day but I've got other games to play. Regardless of any flaws it was really fun.

im trying to figure out why you quoted me and lilith. and i cant think of any reasons why

There is a reason! I accidentally hit the wrong quote button, hit the back button, and forgot that didn't erase the original quote -__-

So sorry XP

It's supposed to be funny above all, and it's intelligent conversation and ideas thrown into a mixing vat of profanity and un-political correctness.

They both pretty smart guys when you hear them in their off stage everyday guy thing. From what I understand both are conservatives but are more moderate then what you get from the show.

Hardcore_gamer:
For example, in the bible episode they talk about the idiocy of trying to decide what certain parts of the bible really mean thousands of years after it had been written creating the risk that the true meaning and context behind many parts may have been lost over time as a result, but at the same time dismiss exactly this same kind of criticism during the constitution episode where they them self's start to use the same arguments as the fundamentalists in the bible episode by arguing that the constitution should be taken literally word by word regardless of the original context.

THE FEDERALIST PAPERS -- If there's hundreds of pages explaining parts of the Bible, it would be a rare find. Fortunately, we have words from the writers of the Constitution detailing what nearly every word and detail mean. It could not be more obvious.

As per your other arguments:

-Universal health care is actually very bad. "Sicko" painted the most rose-colored glasses picture of government-controlled health care. It is wildly inaccurate and, by far, Michael Moore's worst film (if one could even call it that,) and that's even if I ignore the montage of close-ups of Hillary Clinton's face as Michael Moore calls her "sexy." *Shudders.*

-For the most part, Penn & Teller are good guys, although their super pro-atheism bent occasionally ticks me off (eh, nobody's perfect.) The war on porn episode was actually a good one, as it is an issue that is essentially a generational one with a dash of religion-imposed sexual modesty. Their episodes on prostitution and the war on drugs are quite enlightening.

-I don't always agree with them, but they're almost always entertaining.

Hardcore_gamer:
What does this have to do with the idea that the American (note that I myself am not from the USA) constitution should never be changed? Even assuming that you still think everything preached by it still makes sense in the modern era how do you know it will still do so in the future where society will no doubt have changed a lot?

You want to change the constitution, get an amendment passed. You apparently think I'm opposed to the system in place to allow change, I'm not. What I'm opposed to is when asshole progs threaten the court system which then expands the commerce clause way out of proportion which is then used by assholes of all authoritarian stripes to cover their various pet control issues.

keiskay:

LilithSlave:

keiskay:
i can say the same for any group despised by the public though.

There we go. And that's why it takes guts to be out in the open about it.

And Atheists are despised more than Mormons.

hmm 54% of Christians despise Mormons. 55% of secular people despise mormons. these are both based on 2 separate studies done in the same year. while 43% of americans (a study based in a college campus in Alabama so we both can see why its not to be trusted 100%) supposedly hate atheist. and since 77% of Americans are Christians that 54% averages out to 41% give or take a small amount since 7-10 million of those Christians are Mormon (not even 1%). so basically they are despied fairly equally. so neither of us were truly right, and please dont try to say 2-3% is a huge difference its not, considering i also left out the secular hatred of Mormons which cant be accurately done otherwise it would put mormons at 48-50% of the american population despising them.

As a "Mormon"(I don't like the term, but not enough people know the proper one) that can't be true. It just can't.

Yes, I've felt like admitting my faith has been a liability to me on the internet(because it instantly derails everything and now people have to talk to me about DNA), but surely people can't feel such animosity in such large numbers. It just can't be true.

Can it?

Lazier Than Thou:

keiskay:

LilithSlave:

There we go. And that's why it takes guts to be out in the open about it.

And Atheists are despised more than Mormons.

hmm 54% of Christians despise Mormons. 55% of secular people despise mormons. these are both based on 2 separate studies done in the same year. while 43% of americans (a study based in a college campus in Alabama so we both can see why its not to be trusted 100%) supposedly hate atheist. and since 77% of Americans are Christians that 54% averages out to 41% give or take a small amount since 7-10 million of those Christians are Mormon (not even 1%). so basically they are despied fairly equally. so neither of us were truly right, and please dont try to say 2-3% is a huge difference its not, considering i also left out the secular hatred of Mormons which cant be accurately done otherwise it would put mormons at 48-50% of the american population despising them.

As a "Mormon"(I don't like the term, but not enough people know the proper one) that can't be true. It just can't.

Yes, I've felt like admitting my faith has been a liability to me on the internet(because it instantly derails everything and now people have to talk to me about DNA), but surely people can't feel such animosity in such large numbers. It just can't be true.

Can it?

well since we as mormons (yes im one too) believe some things slightly different from the other christ based religions (as in the trinity aren't one personage) and the inclusion of the book of mormon cause many people to dislike us. its animosity out of ignorance and hate mongering. i've had many anti mormons try to tell me why our religion was false and they couldn't even get their basic info right. i believe most of the secular hatred comes from the face that a good number of secular people hate religion so thats not really a fair number.

i've been to many Evangelical based meetings and sometimes they talked about Mormons in a negative light, sometimes not.

and about that silly dna argument. its near impossible to test native American DNA with that of Jewish DNA to find a comparison due to cross breeding and the jews of this time are not ancient jews either so neither bloodline is the same as it was thousands of years ago. there is a huge website with information and arguments and articles based purely on scientific reasons that argues the scientific validity of the book of mormon (not if its true or not) but i sadly cant remember the name now.

Katatori-kun:

Father Time:

Katatori-kun:

...I've pretty explicitly claimed that is not my point at all.

Well then I don't understand your point. I thought you said it's bad because it changes attitudes about rape. Was it the "and that leads to rape" bit that I got wrong?

That's right. Not taking rape seriously is a problem even if it can't conclusively be shown to cause more rapes.

Look at the Slutwalk movement, which began in protest against a police officer saying that if women don't want to be raped, they need to not dress in a certain way. That's not taking rape seriously. That's making a flippant, off-the-cuff claim that essentially states that women are partly at fault for being raped. That claim can only have been born out of an attitude that says that rape isn't a serious crime, it's just the natural resort of a horny man seeing an attractive woman. It is an outright misrepresentation of how rape usually happens. It disempowers women by perpetuating a belief that they will be victims if they don't hide their sexuality, but it also disempowers men by propagating a belief that if you have a penis then you are a mindless predator in service to nothing else.

I do not think that believing rapists are out of control horny people means you don't take rape seriously. It just means you're ignorant of the causes (or some of them anyway).

I think most people understand when a game is taking liberties with reality (especially when it's a cartoon).
I doubt most people will think rape hurts less because of some hentai games.

But I think we've reached an impasse.

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