Whether these are rules for formal debating or not, here is a list of rules you should consider when debating (arguing) on a topic, whether in person or on the web.

Rules of debating different subjects:

1. Know the terminology of the subject you wish to debate. People using the terminology are not looking down their noses at you, they are debating using common words for that subject. A debate amongst theologians will often contain the words apology and apologist. They are not seeking you to show remorse, they are wanting you to defend the position you have stated. If you don’t the terms, you start arguing about what you thought the terms meant, not what they really mean and look foolish;

2. Don’t debate something you have no knowledge of. If you are not a soldier and have no background in the military, don’t start spouting off on how soldiers would react in certain situations. To do so makes you look foolish;

3. Make your arguments and defenses based on fact. “I feel” “I believe” and “I think” have no business in debate. If you use these terms it means you have no factual defense of your point of view and look – you guessed it, foolish;

4. Don’t evolve your stance as your position is shown to be invalid. To do so only demonstrates that your position was undefendable and you cannot admit you were wrong or unprepared. It also demonstrates that you are not able to clearly communicate your thoughts. If you choose to keep changing your position you look foolish; and

5. If you are losing the debate, don’t get snide and start pointing your finger at the person defeating you to draw attention away from yourself. To do so is childish and an adult who acts childish…a fool.

Finally, if you have followed the rules above and are still handed your butt on a platter, accept defeat graciously. A worthy opponent will respect you for your honesty.

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Macroeconomics Fallacy?

Today in Macroeconomics class the professor showed a slide depicting inflation causing the consumer price index and nominal wages to increase together over the long run. He explained that inflation causes the consumer price index to increase which in turn causes nominal wages to increase in accordingly. This keeps relative prices in check and even though items cost more, consumers are paid more so relatively they cost the same percentage of wages.

At first this made sense until I gave this theory further thought. It is through a little extra thought the theory falls apart. Whereas inflation varies in increases and sometimes decreases, although this is a very rare occurrence, almost on a daily basis, the nominal wages received by the workers usually only get adjusted once a year. An inflationary jump could very well happen in January costing the consumer more out of their paycheck to buy the necessities for the full year before their pay is adjusted to meet the difference. The chart below illustrates what I am trying to relay here. Imagine an unstable year where inflation is all over the place before settling down to a 3% increase. All the areas shaded with red lines show lag between wages and inflation until the end of the year.

Even though in this example, the average inflation for the year was 4.5%, at the end of the year the wage earner is compensated with a 3% increase.  This is a loss for this example of 1.5% of the income.  Since the government data shows a steady increase since 1965, that means a wage earner over a 50 years of working could lose a lot of his earnings to this inflation lag.

These inflation lag losses could very well cost a wage earner $10,000 or more during their career.  I don’t know about you, but a $10,000 increase in my savings account at this stage of my life would not be something to ignore.

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A Weekend of A Family’s Milestones

Yesterday, my grandson turned 100 days old. So what? In western civilization 100 days old is nothing. Why would Rural be writing as if it were something important? I can tell you why. My grandson is 1/4th Korean and in the days of yore in Korea a child living 100 days was a sign that the child would survive to grow up. Many children died within the first 100 days of life and so reaching this day is to be celebrated. Recently I read that some Koreans also look at it as the child’s first year of life; nine months in the womb and one hundred days outside the womb equals one year.  I find this interesting in this day and age where in western civilizations people like to rationalize that the fetus is not a life and therefore getting abortion is of no consequence. Yet in Korea it is still looked at as a life.  Normally, there is a party on the 100th day with presents and a feast, but we are holding the festivities tomorrow.

Add to that tomorrow my grandson is being baptized by the church with his parents dedicating his life to God and we are celebrating two lives tomorrow.  We will be celebrating my grandson’s mortal life ahead of him and also his spiritual life too.

I was sitting here trying to find the words to put into the card we will present him tomorrow that he will be able to read when he gets older, but was having trouble finding words to adequate to express our love for him and thought maybe if I hashed it out here, I would be able to determine what to write on his card.

When our first grandchild was born I thought I could never be any happier.  On the day she was born she reached out and grabbed my pinky finger and held it tight forever bonding my heart to hers.  When my grandson was born, he did the same thing but grabbed my index finger.  I realized at that point my happiness could in fact be magnified.  The first time I heard my granddaughter laugh and the first time I saw her smile at me, my heart was full the same as the day she was born.  The day not too long ago my grandson smiled at me and cooed and the heart that is full from my granddaughter overflowed with happiness from my grandson.

Even trying to explain this on here is inadequate for what I feel.  So, I was wrong to think that hashing it out here would assist in finding the words.  But I thank you for reading along while I tried this exercise anyway.

God Bless.

Posted in Nourishment For The Soul, Religion, Writing | Leave a comment

Religious People are Weaker?

On a forum today the question was asked “If you found out today with 100% certainty there was no afterlife and no God, would you still hold true to the teachings of your religion? Would you still raise your kids based on the Bible, Koran, and Torah to name a few?” I responded with “That’s a trick question because the only way to find out if God exists or not with “proof” is to die.” The implied message is if you are dead you cannot teach your children anything; and if it turned out there is no God you would not know it because once again, you are dead and dead people don’t have conscious thought.

I suggested the more appropriate question would be “If the angel Gabriel came to you in your sleep and told you God does in fact exist, would your first conscious thought when you awoke be “CRAP!” or “HALLELUJAH!”?

The atheists who thought the original question was valid decided my alternative question was not so valid. One went as far as to say that only “weak” people believe in God. I noticed that the people who were declaring that God does not exist were all in the 30 and under age group. Which puts them in the first generation after God was evicted from the public school system in America.

Now, here is the interesting part. I did some research and studies reported in Psychology Today show that people of faith in America tend to live longer, recover from surgery faster, have lower blood pressure, live a healthier lifestyle, manage stress better and have better social support than their atheist counterparts.

If having the option to live longer and healthier is the penalty for having faith in God, I am more than happy to pay that penalty.  But I still don’t see how that makes us “weaker.”

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I Need a New Soapbox!

I have spent so much time getting up on the soapbox this year, I need a new one because this one is worn out.

Ok, some may not agree with this, but let’s round up all the illegal immigrant children that came unaccompanied and all the other illegal immigrants put them on planes back to their native countries and tell them there is a process for legal immigration that needs to be followed. This will send the proper message that unless you get an immigrant visa, you are not welcome!  The alternative if we don’t stem the flow of illegal immigration into America is setting a precedent that the laws of the country do not need to be obeyed and with that comes chaos.

Many of these children are carrying polio, dengue fever, TB, swine flu, and other infectious diseases. With our nation umpteen trillion dollars in debt we cannot be the indigent hospital for other nations either.

There was a report the other day about how the Soviet Union considered using the approach of sending disease infected persons to America en masse as a biological attack against us.  Now we are being biologically attacked whether by design or by chance in a similar fashion with the onslaught of 50,000 children of which many are carrying disease that were long ago eradicated in America.

Then, close the border with Mexico because the Mexican government has no interest in stemming the flow. Order that the border be sealed until our neighbor to the south takes care of their problems with human trafficking and the drug cartels. Also inform the government of Mexico that any weapons fire coming from their side of the border will be considered an act of war.

The sealing of the border includes manning our southern border with properly armed US military troops with orders to repel any incursions into America and if fired upon return fire with overpowering counter fire until the threat no longer exists.  Law enforcement officials are now coming under attack from the Mexican side of the border with .50 caliber sniper fire.

Now, I’m not insensitive, we can give all Americans a 60 day notice that the border is going to be sealed against ALL northbound traffic. All flights to Mexico ceased and all incoming flights banned. All marine traffic to be halted that stops in or originates from Mexico.  This will give American citizens who do not wish to be trapped in a hostile country a chance to get out.  It will also give the Mexican government two months to reconsider its stance on the border issues.

Do you suppose those involved in illegal activity will get the message? I hope so. My wife immigrated legally so there is no reason why anyone else cannot.

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The Illusion of Virtuous Acts

Aristotle said for an act to be virtuous, it must be done knowingly and willingly, the act must be in character with our normal actions, and it must be done with no ulterior motive. Herein lies the problem; upon performing a virtuous act, the recipient of the act will likely show gratitude either by words, a handshake, bow, or something as simple as a humble smile. That gesture of gratitude then takes on a feeling of warmth or pleasure if I may. I have often said that doing good deeds results in me getting warm fuzzies much like I get when I see someone else who has done a good deed.

Once you have experienced the warm fuzzies several times, it becomes the heroin to an addict in need.  It is not something you can go out and seek, but when a nice deed presents itself, the addict knows they have to act.

So, a person can only perform virtuous acts a few times before they’re addicted to the warm fuzzies, or could it be it is the gratitude shown by another that causes the warm fuzzies and is a unintended reward for the act?

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2nd Anniversary

Two years ago today I started posting on this blog. The original intent was to post one entry per day to help me recover vocabulary that a cerebral vascular accident I incurred had taken away from me.  If you include the 35 posts that I deleted a long time ago, well closer to the beginning of the existence of this blog than the present anyway, I still fell short of my post a day goal.

Two years ago, I still had many days of being at a total loss while searching for a word as common as “premium” or “policy”.  Those days are fewer and further between and for that I am grateful.

Two years ago I would often wake up and not be able to remember my address, age, or my children’s names.  Those days have completely subsided and for that I am grateful.

Two years ago the whole right side of me tightened up as if I was having a hemispherical body cramp on that side only and it didn’t go away for quite some time.  It has not been back since then and for that I am grateful.

Two years ago I was afraid that if I went to sleep I would not wake back up.  This too has subsided and for that I am grateful.

Two years ago today was a day I do not ever wish to repeat, but because of it I am a lot more spiritual, and for that I am grateful.

In the past two years of posting on this blog, I have had some people who liked what I have had to say; others who did not.  Some left me encouraging messages; others not so encouraging messages.  For both the good and the bad, I am truly grateful.

This being my two year anniversary speech, I am grateful to still be here but I probably would not have shown up if I had not known who the speaker was. :-) (Humor)

I am two books published since two years ago, and now am working on what will be my most important work.  It is not going as easy as I perceived it would, but if it was too easy it wouldn’t be worth reading would it?

So now I am done rambling on and would like to close with “If you’re old enough to drink alcohol, raise a glass of your favorite spirit and if you’re not, raise a glass of milk or soda and shout along with me if you so desire, HERE’S TO TWO MORE YEARS!”

Posted in General Rantings, Nourishment For The Soul, Opinion, Writing | 3 Comments