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Luka Petrovic

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Luka Petrovic last won the day on September 18 2013

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    May 2013
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    Canada
  1. The internet is funny, its a paradox in a way. It democratizes information. We have access to more information than learned people in the past could see in a life time, heck even 4 or 5. Yet at the same time we have seen it has allowed a tyranny of unseen proportions with surveillance only foretold in books people looked upon with horror when they were published. I cannot believe how the government has the will to surveille massive populations, but it won;t protect children and under age views from adult content. In Ontario they want to change sex health education laws because "kids see so much, so early." Well maybe if you clamped down on filthy content you wouldn't have to explain past the basics...
  2. Yin and Yang, Hard and soft, cold and hot. One cannot survive without the other, they cannot be one either. Why not both overly emotional and reserved? Play the card when its right. Both of them have their merits and their flaws.
  3. Lets look at this in the context of the stock market. An optimist would lose money as he would put it down, gamble it and hope for the best. A pessimist would never put his money down, keep it safe in slow growing stocks. A realist would use empirical evidence, data, stats and actually play the market and win it big! This is somewhat of a simplification, but I thought it put things into perspective in regards to the usefulness of each philosophy.
  4. But that's just the thing, you cannot balance, 'good behaviour' with 'the pain that the relatives and victim went through'. The idea is that the criminal has atoned for his crimes and is now 'rehabilitated', and everything bad that he did is in the past. Saying, 'yes' let him out for good behaviour, but balance it out with victims' pain, is oxymoronic. After all, the reformed criminal, for all his good intentions, no matter how much ever he tries can do nothing for the victims' and their families' pains. That's how the 'terminally ill' thing is explained. The State has forgiven the criminal, so the victim and his/her family's pain is not considered at all. This is about the reformed offender alone. The man could have butchered a school full of children and danced naked covered in 5-year-olds' blood, but that is irrelevant. (An extreme scenario, but it gets the idea across.) Knowing this, do you still stand by your conviction for a review? Well of course you cannot rehabilitate those who committed horrible crimes, but what about those who are not criminals by nature, but those who are criminal by nature and have committed non violent crimes or at least non lethal. Should they be given a chance after a humbling, but educational sentence to reintergrate into society?
  5. It depends how their spending their time in Jail. If they have anything more than three square meals a day, basic cell and at least 8 hours of service to their country be it through labour or some other means, then I say it doesn't matter if they are released or not, they are not paying what they owe society either way. I'm all for evidence to be reviewed as a few unfortunate souls do get falsely accused, but someone who commits particularly damaging or evil crimes and has no desire to learn a skill and become a functioning member of society should be kept in jail and worked.
  6. Well if you read this thread thoroughly and find some key points to research I'm sure you could make some great arguments for your TOK topic!
  7. What they did was disgusting, primitive and cruel... Interestingly enough I would describe the death penalty with those same words. How could you possibly cheer at someones death? No matter how evil they are... Killing in self defence is just. Killing someone with their life in your hands is murderer, simply because you have some official government papers from some authority set up in a given society doesn't make it passable morally. This is not anything near justice, the rape was not undone. They still have an outstanding debt to society, let them pay it off with some sort of labour based reparation living in survivable, but surely not comfortable accommodations. Why let good citizens do extremely dangerous or hard work when those who have a lifetimes worth of wrong doings and debts to a country either sit comfortably or escape even being held in a cell by freeing them of this reality ( aka execution). The Death penalty is something that should stay in the past alongside slavery and a variety of other practices we have decided are primitive and/ or wrong. Its only really justified when the cost of feeding and clothing a prisoner means the survival of a good citizen (which is in fact quite rare). Otherwise its off limits. It survives today as it gets conservative leaders votes, making them look "tough on crime" and it provides some sort of blood thirsty, revenge based satisfaction, a human character that I would say is not one we should foster.
  8. I could easily put down a bet that it was a rebel faction that got a hold of the chemical weapons and fired them off. They have two motives, neither of which Assad has for firing these chemical weapons. (I) Chemical weapons quickly decimate a large number of combatants or unsympathetic civilians who support enemy combatants -The wars has slowed down the last few weeks coming to a near stalemate, but before that, the rebels lost Homs and the land around it -They are always less well equipped so chemical weapons are optimum for such a small/ under funded force - If they really are losing the war why would they have any inhibitions of using chemical weapons, its a last stand (II) Chemical weapons gets everyones attention -The rebels know that using chemical weapons on would quickly bring the worlds attention to the war and blaming it on Assad would make them sympathetic to the rebels -It would be the final straw before they got assistance from NUS/NATO forces, whi was the only way the rebels in Libya won. With NATO airstrikes softening up targets This may seem ludicrous, but when a group has an agenda, yes they will hurt their own people. To gain international support during the Yugoslav civili war, Bosnian muslim troops shelled their own cities/ territories and blamed it on the enemy. This first gained media coverage and sympathy, afterwards it turned into funding and weapons.... So yes it does happen!
  9. US-supported, how? If there's any support that's happened so far, it's purely just that they've been recognised politically. No other support aside from aid has actually gone into Syria, although the rebels have had plenty of time over the past 3 years to acquire the weapons they need. Initially at the start of the conflict, the US were considering arming the rebels, but they never did, and other than that, they've never yet intervened. US support and indeed support from various other members of the UN is solely one of recognising the rebels as a counter-force (although I actually think they're relatively unrecognisable now and highly fragmented), but no direct action. Unless I've missed something massive. As for what would drive a man to attack his own country - the fact that if he doesn't do something to quell the rebels and try to re-assert the authority of the government, he and his government would be overthrown, potentially brutally murdered or at the very least hauled up in front of the Hague facing charges of war crimes. You can make exactly the same argument for the rebel side, who (assuming they used the chemical weapons) would not only be attacking their own country but attacking their own forces. In fact, the most obvious thing is for Assad to use the weapons to strengthen his position and then blame the rebels, knowing that their position is such and the fragmentation sufficient that it's not implausible. Besides the fact only the government has chemical weapons plants. The fact is, we can't know who shot the chemical weapons just from looking at the situation with no evidence. The US came out with evidence last night showing that there were rockets fired from Syrian military bases exactly 90 minutes before each of the chemical weapon attacks took place, and that every single one of the weapons landed in areas geographically controlled by the rebels. Is that enough evidence? Yes for some, no for others. There's going to be some element of speculation no matter what happens, unless the UN weapons inspectors literally walk in as the military shout "FIRE!". Personally I think your response is highly cynical and makes the error of putting the US in too important a position. The fact is that the war in Syria is a civil war which has had nothing to do with anybody else, including the US, for around 3 years now. People are murdering each other, millions have been displaced, the entire country is being ripped apart and actually thanks to Russia, no member of the international community has lifted a finger except for in aid. The US isn't 'targeting' Assad, Syria is targeting Assad and also its own people. Personally I think the US has three motives for doing something: 1) Obama's somewhat ill-advised statement that chemical weapons would cross a red line, and that to not back that up now would look pretty weak 2) Morally to try and save millions of lives (although whether you can prevent violence through violence is moot) 3) Because what started out as a civil war is gradually becoming religious and factioned with groups like Al-Quaida muscling their way into areas of conflict as per usual in order to recruit and radicalise At the end of the day, the problem is Syria and not the US. It's not solely the US which thinks something should be done about it either. America-bashing is inappropriate in this situation, in my opinion. As for the US using chemical weapons in the past, well it used nuclear weapons in the past as well. It has a chequered history. However since all those things, various declarations have been made, agreements set, and they're now against using chemical weapons AND nuclear weapons. Realistically speaking, they were some of the first people to use both types of weapon and the consequences were not known. Agent Orange was also not intended to affect the people, but to destroy the vegetation, although it unfortunately did both. The fact it did all these things in the past doesn't mean it's suddenly wrong to try and stop them being used now in the present. My opinion is that chemical weapons put too much emphasis on the type of weapon used. If I'm going to be killed, I don't really give a **** whether it's a chemical weapon, an incendiary bomb or a sniper bullet. All of those are atrocities. We should take action because of the fact hundreds of thousands of people are being killed, not because a different type of weapon has now been used in order to kill those hundreds of thousands. I think the whole 'chemical weapons' thing is a bad motive for suddenly taking action, and actually that the time for taking action on the basis that a government was prepared to massacre its own people rather than submit to greater democracy or a regime change was early on, and has now passed. I'm with Arrowhead, I don't think anybody should do anything. I honestly don't know how much it would help to add in another force to the conflict in Syria. It's awful to say 'let them keep killing each other and hope it blows over' but actually if international forces go in, the history of Iraq, Afghanistan etc. just seems to suggest that you generate more groups whose goal is no longer to hate the government/rebels but now to hate the international forces, that any government becomes inherently suspected of being some sort of puppet and really I think unless you can say with relatively high certainty that there'll be LESS loss of life with intervention, you shouldn't do it. For once, the British government actually voted the right way (in my opinion). It's messed up, and I know a lot of people in Syria DO want intervention (although equally many do not), but almost everybody just wants to get it over with and get back to normal life. If military action from an international force could safely expedite that outcome, I'd be in favour, but right now I don't think anybody can confidently say that it will. I'm not overly sure about that. the US has made no massive statements about arming the rebels, but there is no way they haven't had a hand in it. In 2011, Croatia sent a massive boatload of old eastern block small-arms including AK-74 variants and RPKs. Croatia was probably told to do this by some of the larger European powers as part of their initiation into the EU. Which of course was at least condoned and encouraged by the US. These small arms were nothing compared to the heavy artillery, air support and missiles Assad had, but it changed the tides enough for the rebels to survive as they even had difficulty doing that. The rebels have also made a point of getting t the Turkish border and Assad has made a point of shooing them away. That is no coincidence. Yes that is very true, the rebels have become the same thing they were trying to fight. I don;t think Assad would have used the chemical weapons though. They have had the upper hand these last few months with the "volunteers" coming from Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Revolutionary guard from Iran as well as countless Kurdish and Armenian irregulars. He knows that firing chemical weapons would bring a world of hurt. Doing it while winning would have no strategic advantage, perhaps as a last stand, but not as the stronger power... The rebels on the other hand are desperate and would do anything to get foreign intervention. Yes, vietnam was many years ago, but as late as the 1999 they used depleted Uranium which we all know is radioactive and when used as an incendiary or anti-tank wepaon it leaves radioactive debris everywhere. It doesn;t take a military engineer to tell you that setting off a vast number of what basically work like a bunch of dirty bombs will impact the health of a population severely. Now the children and their children pay the price, In the same conflict they also used cluster bombs which the international community has been very outspoken against. Considering their foreign policy hasn't changed much since then, it is still quite hypocritical to be talking about red lines and chem. weps. It is a horrible reality that any aid to either side will be a choice between bad and worse (depending on your point of view) and that letting this conflict run its course is an option that will cost lives and be brutal, but it may the quickest path to getting back to some sort of a decent life.
  10. Although Assad is barbaric, the rebels are making quite a name for themselves as well. Look at any of their ideologies, they are pledging allegiance to radical Islam. Slaughtering those who support Assad, executing POWs and on occasion eating the hearts of their enemies... at least under Assad minorities are protected and everyone is equally suppressed. Launching these missiles is allowing the US to get its foot in the door, by getting involved "marginally" it will turn into some sort of moral duty,etc... That being said I dont think the American people will allow it to get to that point. They are sick of Wars in the Middle east for so called moral issues meanwhile their soldiers are dying over oil... i completely agree with you on this however i would argue that minorities are protected under Assad. the innocent people are suffering and don't take a side to deserve it. i believe you're right to say that we are doing it for morality but is that correct to just for morals or not? what is your decision? do u think we should strike or no and why? also what is Canada's new and government saying about the issue seeing that you're from there i would find that interesting. thankyou! I don't think it is for morality. The U.S used chemical weapons in Vietnam. Agent orange is a chemical weapon to kill vegetation, but a chemical weapon none the less. Just look up "Agent Orange, vietnam, birth defects" and if you don't think that is a war crime, I don't know what is. Or look up "depleted uranium, Kosovo-Serbia, U.S" again thousands of birth defects, but conveniently ignored because the chemical weapon nature of the depleted Uranium is a secondary effect. So no I don't really think its for the defence of morals, its about what every other Middle eastern was was about. OIL! Recall the whole "Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction" scare. It prompted a big conflict... years later we find out that there are no WMDs. The US government is running out of material from their political playbook. If you ask me, I don;t know what to do. Striking it will make it worse and letting it go will mean it will go on, and result in a totalitarian regime again. A rock and a hard place essentially... The US being our biggest trading partner as well as an ally in NATO means that we usually go in lock step with their actions...
  11. Although Assad is barbaric, the rebels are making quite a name for themselves as well. Look at any of their ideologies, they are pledging allegiance to radical Islam. Slaughtering those who support Assad, executing POWs and on occasion eating the hearts of their enemies... at least under Assad minorities are protected and everyone is equally suppressed. Launching these missiles is allowing the US to get its foot in the door, by getting involved "marginally" it will turn into some sort of moral duty,etc... That being said I dont think the American people will allow it to get to that point. They are sick of Wars in the Middle east for so called moral issues meanwhile their soldiers are dying over oil...
  12. Science is only what we think we know, we are limited by our perception and our bodies. Some come to the conclusion that everything we know is to survive so it may not actually be true, just useful to our survival. Until you can leave the human body, your capabilities are capped. On the earth is round thing, that whole story is bogus. The ancient Greeks knew that the Earth was round and learned people from then on knew that. The whole earth is flat actually came from people who were not educated either theologically or in some stream of study of the world around us. They interpreted scripture literally and well, thats now making many problems haha. And yeah many many people stop thinking when they join a religion, but many also grow intellectually through their faith.
  13. Yeah it's emotion again... The optimist likes to keep morale high and the pessimist prefers to avoid disappointment by not having expectations at all.
  14. I think realism would take a less emotional and more empirical approach. After the enlightenment our culture moved towards considering things real when they could be explained or deconstructed scientifically. Pessimism however doesn't necessarily have to have empirical backing and can actually tend to be more rooted in someone's feelings. The classic example of the cup to pessimists, is half empty. And to an optimist is half full. Meanwhile to a realist it is a 1 litre container filled to the 500 ml line. The pessimistic or optimistic opinion is expressed as soon as we put the empirical information into language, the main medium for emotional thoughts...
  15. Then what is the purpose of him? Who decides how you worship this universal deity and what the morals stemming from their existence are. I hear many people say they are "spiritual but not religious." What does that entail exactly?
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