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Old 04-09-2000, 04:36 AM   #1
wizzywig
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Question Any OTR-SF fans here?

Anybody here like old time radio sci-fi (OTR-SF)?

There's a great site, Evan's Sci-Fi Page, where you can download episodes of 1950s radio sf shows Dimension X and X Minus One in MP3 format. Evan puts up four new shows every week or two. Right now he's got a couple of Ray Bradbury episodes of Dimension X, "Kaleidoscope" and "The Veldt."

Great stuff if you're into classic adult-quality sf.

Here's the URL: http://www.xminusone.com/scifi.htm

--da wiz

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Old 04-10-2000, 07:27 AM   #2
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Hmmm...

This topic's been up a whole day and no nibbles. I guess there aren't any OTR fans out there.

What about Bradbury fans? Anybody out there believe (as I do) that Ray Bradbury is currently America's greatest living writer?

--wiz

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Old 04-10-2000, 03:16 PM   #3
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I don't think I've even ever heard a radio sci-fi broadcast. Must be before my time.

As for Bradbury, I read a book and a couple short stories of his and I wasn't impressed much. Then again, Sci-fi literature in general doesn't impress me.

I like fantasy stories with magic and the like. Robert Jordan is the best writer I have ever encountered, and nobody else even comes close.

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Old 04-10-2000, 03:49 PM   #4
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This is completely off-topic, but Conor, if there were no such thing as Godzilla, would that then mean that there would be no such thing as people who didn't believe in Godzilla? Or does Godzilla actually have to exist for there to be people who don't believe in Godzilla?

Just messing with you


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Old 04-10-2000, 06:31 PM   #5
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I assume you are referring to my sig. I can't be sure of Chesterton's meaning, but I think he is just making the statement that in order for a creature to make such a claim that no Creator exists he must have been created in the first place.

I just read a good article on the subject. I could try to elaborate later.

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[This message has been edited by Conor (edited April 10, 2000).]
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Old 04-10-2000, 06:37 PM   #6
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Ah, no need to elaborate. Just having some fun with ya


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Old 04-10-2000, 06:40 PM   #7
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In the same magazine, I came across the best argument against moral relativity I have yet seen. I have been trying to find a hole in it but I can't.

Basically, the moral relativist sees no morality as inherently objective but dependant on what makes the majority 'happy' or what the majority thinks is right.

Now, if there were only 7 men left on earth, and 6 decided to amuse themselves by torturing the 7th to death, were they right in doing so? A relativist would have to say yes, because there would be nothing objective to judge the will of the majority against. But would anyone say yes?

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Old 04-10-2000, 07:09 PM   #8
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Conor--

I'm sure it's before your time. Heck, it's before my time, and I'm an old dude. I get nostalgic for memories I never had!

Dimension X ran on NBC radio in the early 1950s, X Minus One ran on NBC radio in the mid- to late '50s. They adapted real adult sf stories from Astounding (now Analog) and Galaxy magazines. It's theater of the mind, and I understand that most people tend to be visually oriented these days. It's a lot like books on tape, only better, because it is dramatized, not just read.

I love Bradbury because his prose is so poetic and evocative. To me, Mars will always be a place of wine winds and cinnamon sands--the Mars of The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury isn't a hard sf writer--the effect of his writing isn't really science fictional or speculative at all.

There are Bradbury stories I don't like, but my favorite Bradbury stories are experiences I've returned to again and again over the years, always fresh.

I've never read Jordan, but my nephew is a huge Robert Jordan fan and he's encouraged me to try some, so I eventually will.

The MP3 Dimension X episodes are about 7 MB each, and take about 20-30 minutes to download on my connection. They're worth a listen. Kaleidoscope is one of my favorite stories, whether as written or as adapted.

Another favorite of mine is "The Man" from The Illustrated Man collection.

--wiz

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Old 04-10-2000, 07:20 PM   #9
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Well, this example is highly contrived, and doesn't even seem to take into account for human nature and psychology.

1. For example, did they all agree to torture the 7th member for absolutely no reason? If so, this scenario fails to address the fact that the members of this group would probably be wondering if they'd be the next to be tortured to death should they agree. With this prospect in mind, I'd be voting to not torture the 7th person to death for the simple fact that I wouldn't with to suffer his fate in the future.

2. Furthermore, we don't know the dynamics of the culture of these hypothetical people. Perhaps they are a culture that despises the weak and tortures them to death - something that is acceptable by their society. Just because we find this behavior repulsive, doesn't mean that the people in this hypothetical situation would share our beliefs.

3. Lastly, we don't know the events prior to this torturing. Perhaps the 7th person had previously raped and mutilated a younger, helpless 8th person. The torture of the 7th could then be seen as applying a form of justice. In that context, the death of the 7th, while still unpleasant becomes, at the very least, more understandable.

In conclusion, not knowning the context of this absurd and highly, over-simplified example prevents us from forming any well-informed opinions on the nature of the described behavior. Granted, there are initial knee-jerk reactions, but they are reactions made without the benefit of understanding the situation's details.



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Old 04-10-2000, 08:24 PM   #10
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So you are saying under certain circumstances torturing a man to death would be acceptable. Maybe you are a true relativist after all. I would say torturing him to death would be wrong in any circumstances, it doesn't really matter what led up to it.

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Old 04-11-2000, 02:10 AM   #11
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Well, I can tell you that if some bastard raped and mutiliated my sister, I would take great pleasure in torturing that sick piece of crap to a slow and excruciating death. Like the saying goes, what goes around comes around - do unto others as you would have them do to you. If he put my sister through a terrible living hell in her final moments, then he deserves the same, if not worse.


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Old 04-11-2000, 12:59 PM   #12
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In that, I would totally agree with you. He would deserve it, completely. But when it comes to capital punishment or even torture, we have no right to inflict such, and it would be wrong to do so because we are flawed beings ourselves. Countering evil with evil does not really work with humans. We end up creating monsters of ourselves.

The commands to love and forgive our enemies are much harder, yet much better in the long run. Vengence is God's.



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Old 04-11-2000, 03:24 PM   #13
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I guess there's no hope of keeping this thread on-topic, so I'll just go with the flow.

Conor, I have to point out that you allowed Vagabond to wriggle away from your original point by adding all kinds of conditions to the hypothetical situation. You originally put it this way (emphasis added by me):

Quote:
Now, if there were only 7 men left on earth, and 6 decided to amuse themselves by torturing the 7th to death, were they right in doing so?
I think the question should be answered in those terms alone. It is not a far-fetched hypothetical. We've all spent plenty of time on school grounds, and we all know that there is always some geeky kid who is constantly being tormented by other kids simply for the sake of amusement. The marginal kids will go along with torturing the geek in order to stay in tight with the bully, so that they won't be picked on instead. It's a very realistic scenario without adding in all kinds of what-ifs, and it should be answered on its own terms.

The answer is obvious. We all recognize some sort of objective standard of morality, we all know it is wrong to torment and hurt some people just because we would have the power to do so. The attempt to add a bunch of other conditions and muddy the argument is an attempt to skinny away from the obvious implications of the scenario you set forth.

Conor, on another subject, you are talking about capital punishment as being "wrong." You say:

Quote:
But when it comes to capital punishment or even torture, we have no right to inflict such, and it would be wrong to do so because we are flawed beings ourselves.
Is that what the Church teaches?

I used to be anti-capital punishment myself, but found that I could not maintain a consistent philosophy of justice without it.

From a biblical point of view, capital punishment is clearly instituted in the Bible (it is the only commandment that is specifically given in each of the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch). Nowhere in the NT is capital punishment abrogated.

I used to believe that capital punishment showed disregard for life. I changed my mind on that subject about 15 years ago. I have come to believe that capital punishment is a measure of our respect for innocent life. If we do not punish murder by that measure, then we show a casual disregard for innocent life. Being pro-death penalty and anti-abortion are completely consistent positions, in that both are designed to protect innocent life.

--wiz


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Old 04-11-2000, 03:32 PM   #14
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P.S.

You say "Vengeance is God's," but the punishment of crime is not vengeance, it is justice, and we are commanded to carry out justice. If we do not carry out justice, then we become guilty ourselves. Human society is given the duty and the right to judge behavior; God judges the soul. There is no conflict between the ordaining of capital punishment and the fact that vengeance belongs to God.

--wiz

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Old 04-11-2000, 03:52 PM   #15
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wiz,

Okay fine, to directly answer the absurd proposition:

Quote:
...Now, if there were only 7 men left on earth, and 6 decided to amuse themselves by torturing the 7th to death, were they right in doing so?...
I say yes for several reasons:
  • If they are the only people left in the world, then there is no one left on Earth to judge them but themselves, so who cares?
  • If they are the only people left in the world, implied is that there are no females left either, hence the species is doomed to extinction, so again, who cares?
  • A people who would behave in such a barbaric fashion probably deserve the fate of extinction anyway, so the world would end up being a better place; just because the 7th was the unlucky one picked to be tortured, doesn't mean that he's any less sadistic than the other six.
  • All of the points I made in my previous post about us not knowing the details of the situation. We shouldn't judge the actions of a people simply at face value. For example, canabalism at face value is a repulsive atrocity, however canabalism as the only means for survival is looked on with sympathetic acceptance. You've heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover". That proverb applies to this contrived hypothetical.


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Old 04-11-2000, 03:59 PM   #16
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Geez! can there be any topic on this board that doesn't revert to religious debate????
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Old 04-11-2000, 04:01 PM   #17
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P.S. I have no qualms about calling Capital Punishment what it is: Legalized Revenge. That's all justice really is, and I'm perfectly fine with that. If one finds it more comforting to refer to it as justice, then so be it. But if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

And I too agree that supporting capital punishment and opposing a woman's right to choose to terminate her preganancy are contradictory positions. If Human life is what you value, then you should value the life of the innocent as well as that of the guilty.



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Old 04-11-2000, 06:18 PM   #18
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There are a number of reasons I have chosen to reject capital punishment as an appropriate solution.

First and foremost, death is final. There is absolutely no room for error. I know for a fact that not everyone executed is guilty. That reason alone should be enough to discard the practice.

A reason most people probably don't consider is the idea that you may very well be sentencing someone to hell. I simply could not condone the outright killing (after the fact of murder, as self-defense and defending somebody else are options I certainly can't condemn) of a murderer because they are almost certainly in a state of mortal sin. The very idea scares me. Many people at least supposedly turn to God on death row or in prison for life, when they wouldn't have been given a chance otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, I believe murderers deserve death and an eye for an eye holds true. But I don't think we have the wisdom, the knowledge or the authority to give them what the deserve. Either they will receive their punishment, or they will reject their act later on and result in a greater good.

I will use the case of Dr. Bernard Nathanson now. He founded one of the biggest abortuaries in North America in New York (late 60's). He presided over 65000 innocent deaths and performed thousands himself. That is not even counting the millions of deaths that the legalization (which he participated heavily in) of abortion brought to the world.

He is now a Catholic and has devoted his life to fighting what he helped to start. With our limited wisdom some might say that he should have been executed for his crimes. I think we should allow God to bring an eventual good out of an evil brought by free will.

BTW Vagabond, I would wager you think rape is an objective evil, no matter the circumstances or societal beliefs. Somehow I could be wrong, but I doubt it. You also used the word 'barbaric', but judging by what standard?

The whole point is to say we all hold that some morality is objective and transcends opinions. And where there is one objective moral idea there are bound to be others.


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Old 04-11-2000, 06:38 PM   #19
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Conor:
Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I believe murderers deserve death and an eye for an eye holds true.
Now that doesn't sound very Christian to me

Matthew
Jesus speaks
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

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Old 04-11-2000, 06:40 PM   #20
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You're probably right Ike, but I would use the word evolve or progress instead of revert.

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Old 04-11-2000, 06:44 PM   #21
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That doesn't mean that a criminal doesn't deserve punishment TAF. Just that we shouldn't sink to their level, but transcend the violence for violence approach ourselves.

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Old 04-16-2000, 10:24 PM   #22
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Getting back to the original subject:

The science fiction old time radio site now features (among other things) an MP3 version of a '50s X-Minus One episode adapted from Robert A. Heinlein's classic "The Green Hills of Earth," the story of Rhysling, the blind singer of the spaceways. It's a very good adaptation, by the way.

Go to: http://www.xminusone.com/scifi.htm .

Any Heinlein fans here?

--wiz

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