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Messages - SargeSmash

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21
General Discussion / Re: So are you guys conservatives or liberals?
« on: January 16, 2014, 03:12:48 pm »
Conservative.  I've had friends joke at times that I'm to the right of Rush Limbaugh, which may be a stretch.  But only maybe.  ;)  I am generally disappointed with all of the US' elected leaders, moreso with Democrats than Republicans, but I get more cynical about most Republicans by the day.  It's not a fun position to be in, and why I don't identify as "Republican".  I've learned that Thomas Sowell's words are all too true about politicians and their motivations:  "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems-- of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind."

That being said, I've had some excellent discussions with liberal friends.  If you can find someone that can articulate their point clearly, without venom or prevarication, there's good discussion to be had, even if you vehemently disagree.

Also, as a conservative, I'd counsel the topic creator to not insult the other side right off the bat.  We all carry our biases in, but there's no sense in showing your hand that soon, especially if you want to have an honest discussion!

22
General Discussion / Re: Abortion
« on: January 15, 2014, 07:40:45 pm »
Because getting your belly cut open is not a hardship anymore ?!
I'm speaking solely to the idea of abortion as a means of keeping an individual from enduring physical or financial hardship in life.  I'm not saying abortion is something that's fun or easy (the procedure is actually quite hard on women).

I'm honestly not sure I'm following your counterpoint.

Also, bad grammar on my part that I need to fix in that post.  Doh.

23
General Discussion / Re: Abortion
« on: January 15, 2014, 01:48:29 pm »
The problem with unwritten traditions is that, because they're unwritten, they can be changed by anyone to suit their own prejudices, so this particular argument is entirely worthless.
It's not unwritten tradition, though.  It's using Scripture in the New Testament.  Jesus and the apostles set out pretty clearly quite a bit on what doesn't apply anymore, and that includes the whole "unclean foods" thing, as seen in Peter 10:9-16.

EDIT:  It doesn't matter if it was from St. Paul.  He is considered one of the Apostles, and his written word is also considered to be divinely inspired.

Quote
I would expect that Jesus would counsel thusly: abortion is not inherently immoral, but throwing away human life because you can't be bothered to use birth control is. It's been shown that poor people who have access to birth control and to abortion services are better able to improve their lives and escape poverty than poor people who don't have such access. I cannot believe that Jesus would require women to carry children to term whose presence would place an unmanageable burden, financially or health-wise, upon those women. It doesn't make sense according to my understanding of Jesus' teachings.

(I'm not entirely sure if the people of his time understood when conception was. Pregnancies aren't even detectable for the first month or two without a pregnancy test, since many women occasionally experience a missed period that has nothing to do with sex. Consequently, I would expect the Bible meant not the literal creation of a zygote, but rather the point in time when a pregnancy would be confirmable without pregnancy tests, where it used the term 'conception'.)

I don't recall seeing anything at all in Jesus' teachings that advocate the destruction of a life because it might cause undue hardship.  In fact, we're outright promised we're going to have hardship in life.  If we use that logic, we should also kill older people that have become a burden, or those that have been born with physical or mental challenges, and so on.  I can't see Jesus entertaining that train of thought.  After all, the dignity of life is not in our physical or life circumstances, but how we handle those circumstances, and use them, regardless of our comfort, to give glory to God.  (I am legitimately curious as to the verses you think would indicate as such, though!  I'm always fascinated by interpretations of Scripture that are not my own.)

As for understanding conception, again, I don't think it matters if we're discussing in the context of the Word of God being absolutely true.  As Christians would consider it to be the divinely-revealed Word of God, it does not hinge on the actual understanding of the recorder (check out the book of Daniel, and how confused he was with some of his prophetic visions).  So if it says conception, it means conception, and I'm sure that's the reason, for example, the Catholic church has their particular dogma about birth control.  I would fall into the Protestant camp, so birth control that prevents fertilization is okay by me, at least by that metric.

Fun discussion!  :)

24
General Discussion / Re: Abortion
« on: January 14, 2014, 08:51:02 pm »
I have some issues with arbitrary choosing of segments of books, if you are then going to try to consider someone a member of a strong grouping anyway (you can pick and choose all you like, I even encourage it as it is at least some thought gone into it, but you are then following some remixed version at best). Still the old vs new testament stuff is well established (at least until it is not for some other debate, sticking with modern moral debates it is usually about the time homosexuality comes into play) so I can roll with that.

On the conception thing I am curious, I have not seen or heard the passages to that effect (and such a thing would have been quite useful at points, and I imagine made well known). I also have to wonder if it would be that useful as concepts of how pregnancy worked were not well developed however many thousands of years ago the books in question were cooked up. Delving deep into my memory of schoolboy RS I believe the counter argument to be provided for the exam board was something like "in Sermon on the mount young Mr Jesus emphasised the dignity of human life, if a life would then lack dignity, and an unwanted pregnancy can certainly lead to that, then why not?"

Likewise there are measures/yardsticks by which things are determined and allowed, with it skewing towards "only if a danger to the mother is posed" for the later ones.  This can vary by region and all sorts of policy but it is considered from such angles.

It is at this point I usually note a wishy washy line in the sand and start probing for things to change it (contraception, morning after, chemical where foetus is reabsorbed.....) but I will not commit too hard to anything there.

I don't like choosing arbitrarily, either.  However, I do believe the examples I'm giving are consistent with what Scripture states as regarding the New Testament church.

As to the dignity of human life, that's not something that you solve with what would Biblically be murder.  Evil begets evil.  That is a call for the community at large, the brethren, to step up their game.  Jewish culture at the time was pretty bad about that, going so far as to posit that those born with malformities or generally ill circumstances were somehow sinning against God (or their parents).  Books like Job, though, directly refute this idea, as does Jesus in his response to the disciples about the blind man in John 9:1-5.  It's our job, as individuals, to help those in need.  (I'm not sure what you do with someone that was, for example, brain-dead.  There are definitely cases that aren't easy to handle, but they're also exceedingly rare in abortion statistics, and that's probably where someone from a Christian perspective would pray as to the right choice to make.  In that case, the child is probably "dead" by any reasonable measure, and I would leave the decision up to the parents.)

As for the verse about conception, Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalms 139:13-16 speak to that.  Whether they actually understood it or not, however, is immaterial, since for the purposes of this particular side discussion, we are assuming the Bible is true, and that it is the inerrant Word of God.  So we have to, under those constraints, take it at face value, and assume that the willful destruction of a fetus is murder.

Again, I know there are non-Christians here, and do not believe that the Bible is the divinely-inspired Word of God, but in the context of it being true, I think it's a reasonable conclusion to make about Jesus' teachings.

EDIT:  Please note, there's always a chance that I'm wrong.  I'm absolutely sure that there are things in the Bible that I misinterpret just from simple failings of human knowledge and logic.  I feel this one to be pretty straightforward, and it's certainly not an insignificant viewpoint within Christianity, but I'm sure you can find professing Christians that believe otherwise, and I'm certainly not trying to come across as the ultimate authority on all things Christian.  All I can do is present what I and minds much greater than mine have been able to understand in Scripture.

My biggest issue personally is deciding when does that option come off the table. At which point do we classify the fetus as a person. It's not an answer I expect to find in the thread, or come to anytime soon, it's a question I've been thinking about for a very long time.

That's pretty much my feeling on the matter.  For good or for ill, I'd like some clarity, some definition from a medical perspective, on what we consider to be "life".

25
General Discussion / Re: Abortion
« on: January 14, 2014, 06:25:54 pm »
What about the anti-Christ? Is the life of the anti-Christ sacred? What if there were a scenario where abortion prevented the birth of the anti-Christ? I'd reckon we'd have to kill that baby. Can't have an anti-Christ running around.
I don't know how one would determine that a child is the anti-Christ, for one, and I believe that, if we're following Revelations, there will be at some point a direct indwelling of Satan in that individual.  Up until that point, it is clearly still a human being, and as such is not our place to decide life or death.  Plus, I figure there'd be another to come along.  If we're assuming that the Bible is true, and the anti-Christ exists, there is nothing that will prevent the birth of the anti-Christ, and nothing will prevent prophecy from playing out.

I suppose it's not unlike asking if you could kill Hitler before he was born, would you?  The problem is that we have no knowledge that the person will become who they are (nor can we know with anyone), so as a hypothetical it all falls apart, and we have to view that life as sacred.

Just my two cents, I suppose.  I'm sure there are Christians that might view it differently.

EDIT:  Of course, if we knew that the child would be Hitler, would it not stand to reason that we could change history by influencing the child while he grew up, instead of aborting?  We're already in the realm where we can affect the flow of history, so at that point, death isn't the only option available.  Now, if one gets sent back to when he ascended to power, and he were assassinated, I think it's a different picture entirely, and by some measure justifiable.  (Just some additional thinking on my previous thought line, such as it is.)

26
General Discussion / Re: Abortion
« on: January 14, 2014, 06:06:49 pm »
I don't know anyone who actually likes abortion. I often see conservatives who speak out against it put forth arguments that insinuate that anyone is actually happy about the procedure and the difficult choices women have to face when they're considering one. I don't see this as an argument worth discussion, either.

My position is that it doesn't fucking matter if it's 'immoral'. So is eating pork. So is eating shellfish. So is wearing mixed-fabric clothing. So is getting tattoos. So is putting white gravy on chicken fried steak.

I'd like to tell you what Jesus said about abortions. I really would. Except he didn't say anything about it.

No offense, but at least for a Christian, none of those things you listed are actually binding.  There's a distinction between moral law which is restated in the New Testament, and as such is still binding for a Christian, and ceremonial law, none of which are reiterated in the New Testament, and as such are not binding to a Christian.

Jesus didn't say anything specifically about abortion, but I suspect He'd be down with holding all life as sacred.  If we're going to use Jesus, and the Bible specifically, then it is stated that God knows an individual at conception, which means an act of eliminating that product of conception would be considered murder.  I know there are a lot of non-Christians here, but if we're going to bring in Christian logic and Jesus' teachings, I'd prefer we get that side of it right.

Anyway...  abortion is a terrible thing.  It is necessary in some instances.  I'm obviously okay with it in cases where the mother's life is in danger, and it is clear that the fetus is non-viable.  I would prefer that we define some objective, medical measure of when "life" begins, one that is not as arbitrary as "inside womb, not life, outside, is life", or a definition that hinges solely upon the wishes of the mother to keep or not keep the child.

Most of them weren't even Christian, but deists, actually.
Not entirely true.  The ones that could most be considered deists were Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and even they, in their writings, exhibited leanings that wouldn't be considered Deist by our modern notions of the word.  But that's another topic entirely.  :P

27
Gaming Discussion / Re: So I played White Knight Chronicles 2
« on: January 14, 2014, 12:29:34 am »
True.  If we counted those, I suppose we'd have to throw Graces in on the Wii.  I'm actually not sure how many other RPGs there were on Wii that we didn't get.

Another one I've heard about (and own, actually!) is Opoona.  I've heard good and bad things about it, but HG101 makes it sound like a hidden gem.

I like what I've played of Xillia so far, and I like the combat better than Vesperia.  There was always something halting about Yuri's fighting style, and I never got the sort of fluidity that I like in Tales games.  But then, maybe I was just playing it wrong.  And now you're really making me want to pull Magna Carta II back out!  I've owned it for years...  and just not gotten around to playing it much.  :P

28
Gaming Discussion / Re: So I played White Knight Chronicles 2
« on: January 13, 2014, 06:46:04 pm »
Yeah, as far as numbers go, PS3 has a pretty sizable lead.  As far as quality, though?  Ehhh...  not really.  Ni No Kuni and the Tales games are probably the best thing going on that system.  I'm not sure I throw Valkyria Chronicles in the JRPG category, it's much more SRPG / X-COM, in my mind.  FFXIII and the sequel are on both, so that's a wash, ditto Eternal Sonata and Star Ocean.  All those Atelier and Hyperdimension games look pretty bad to me.

The 360 has Vesperia, and that's probably close to enough to balance out the Tales games on PS3...  until more come out.  Infinite Undiscovery was pretty maligned, as was The Last Remnant, but they're both enjoyable, I'd forgotten about Magna Carta II, and then there's Lost Odyssey.  I honestly think I'd choose the 360 over the PS3, and if you throw WRPGs in there, it's not even close.

Still, the most fun I've had with an RPG (or action-RPG, depending on your view of it) was with The Last Story.  Between it, Xenoblade, and Pandora's Tower, there's a pretty strong argument for the Wii being the best.  I know some don't like it, but Super Paper Mario was pretty fun, the Symphonia follow-up was enjoyable enough, Arc Rise Fantasia is a bit like a turn-based Tales (with a horrible, horrible localization, at least as far as voice acting), and depending on if you want to throw SRPGs in, you've got Fire Emblem (which would qualify Valkyria for PS3, of course).  And depending on whether or not you consider Zelda an action-RPG or not (I don't really, but some do), those should put the system over the top.

It's a bit weird, honestly, seeing how none of the three systems are a clear favorite, though.  This last generation has been absolutely crazy, at least for consoles.

29
I didn't have much money to play in arcades.  Most of the time, I just watched others if I had a chance, or the demo scroll.  There was a short period of time where a service station in my insanely small town had arcade machines, and was very generous about lives and the like with the settings.  It's where I beat Double Dragon, for one.  But competitive?  Not particularly, even though I enjoy Street Fighter immensely.

30
Gaming Discussion / Re: So I played White Knight Chronicles 2
« on: January 09, 2014, 10:43:44 pm »
I was just thinking the other day, Beyond the Beyond might be pretty decent if the stupid pause before attacks (for the timed hits, I suppose) was gone.  That, and halving the encounter rate, with double EXP to compensate.

31
Gaming Discussion / Re: So I played White Knight Chronicles 2
« on: January 08, 2014, 05:17:25 pm »
Never got around to it.  Rogue Galaxy wasn't bland, though!  Neither was Dragon Quest VIII!  Or Ni No Kuni!  (Well, maybe a little.)

Also, what'chu got against Beyond the Beyond?  It's a...  well, it's...  umm...  it's not bad.  It's not good, either, but it's...  okay, fine, it's kinda bland.

32
Gaming Discussion / Re: Neverland is nevermore.
« on: December 06, 2013, 06:27:24 pm »
I actually did enjoy the action-RPG re-imagining of Lufia II.  And I've heard that Rune Factory 4 is actually quite excellent.

Very disappointing to see them go.  Lufia II remains one of my favorite RPG experiences, and from what I've played of Energy Breaker, it's pretty cool as well.

33
Gaming Discussion / Re: The Sega CD rememberance thread
« on: October 16, 2013, 04:30:05 pm »
I only liked Shining Force CD, Snatcher and Keio Flying Squadron. The rest of the games I saw blew or weren't much better than genesis games.
There was more worthwhile there than that, although I'm not sure if you tried some of the other good stuff.  Eternal Blue is one of 'em, Popful Mail is quite good, too.  But there were a lot of games, as you say, that weren't really any better than Genesis games.  In fact, there were quite a few that were basically Genesis games with redbook audio.

Snatcher is indeed a great game.  Well, text adventure / visual novel / whatever it is.  Amazing atmosphere, even now.  Even if it did swipe liberally from Blade Runner and Terminator.

34
Gaming Discussion / Re: The Sega CD rememberance thread
« on: September 27, 2013, 11:12:36 am »
I have a CDX.
And I mainly use it to play Shining Force CD.
I want one of those.  They're pretty sweet.

(Shining Force CD was pretty awesome, too.)

35
Gaming Discussion / Re: The Sega CD rememberance thread
« on: September 25, 2013, 04:15:00 pm »
I got a Sega CD...  when the Dreamcast came out.  Friend of mine sold it to me with a Genesis (also the first I owned) for $30.  It needs some work now, I think the track limiters are goofed, as the laser motor gears grind now when sliding on the rails.  And the Genesis has developed audio crackling something fierce.  Probably a capacitor issue, although I suppose it could be an issue with the chip itself.

Good thing I've got replacements.  :)

My favorite game on the system?  Easily Lunar: Eternal Blue.  I like it better than the PSX remake.  It's right there with Phantasy Star IV as one of the best games of that generation.

36
Gaming Discussion / Re: Steam entering the next stage
« on: September 25, 2013, 04:08:20 pm »
I know what they're trying to do...  I'm just not sure someone's going to go out and buy one of these if they're already heavy into PC gaming.  Seems like they may be missing the market.  But who knows, maybe they'll take out Microsoft and Sony, and we'll be bowing to our new digital, non-ownership overlords.

EDIT:  And please note, I don't hate Steam.  I have lots of Steam games!  But I'm under no illusions as to what it is.

37
Gaming Discussion / Re: Favorite Obscure Genesis Games?
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:57:09 pm »
Remember, even Gunstar Heroes didn't sell all that well.  It's not obscure anymore, but it was back in the day, I suppose.  Light Crusader definitely counts.  I actually played through the entirety of Treasure's Genesis catalog for some articles not too long ago.  McDonald's Treasure Land is pretty obscure, but it's not as good as its spiritual successor, Dynamite Headdy (seriously, I think they may be using the same engine), and by the same token, Yu Yu Hakusho is interesting as basically a proto-Guardian Heroes.

38
Gaming Discussion / Re: Victoly!
« on: September 13, 2013, 03:49:31 pm »
I assume you used the run button through the game.  Makes the main character look like a complete dork in the process (as if he didn't already with that run animation), but at least you can get around quickly.  Weirdly enough, you can do that with the ship, too.

39
Gaming Discussion / Re: Favorite really obscure SNES games?
« on: September 10, 2013, 06:54:01 pm »
Operation Logic Bomb
Oh yeah, that's an awesome game.  It's not terribly long, about what you'd expect from an average arcade game, but it's loads of fun while it lasts.

Did anyone mention Holy Umbrella: Dondera's Wild!!?  If not, then I am.  Gid did a great job with that release.  :)

EDIT:  Of course, given that Gideon actually posted this topic, he'd already know about it and then some.  Still, anyone that hasn't tried it should do so.  :D

40
Gaming Discussion / Re: Favorite really obscure SNES games?
« on: September 06, 2013, 07:21:42 pm »
The only thing that comes to mind that is obscure and good/something I enjoyed is Dragon View.
Yes to this.  Dragon View proves to be one of the best action-RPGs on the system (and almost no one talks about it!).

Also, it seems like I've mentioned it like a million times, and it may not even be considered obscure anymore, but I will always recommend Demon's Crest.

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