Mental health experts say a new tougher New York state gun control law might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.

The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient's gun permit and seizing any guns. (source)

New laws tend to have unintended consequences worse than the conditions or situations they are intended to remedy. The hysteria over the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has such strange bedfellows as the NRA and some of the most liberal Democrats calling for psychological or psychiatric evaluations of potential gun owners. 

Question: Does the state have enough of an interest to require a breach of the privacy normally holding between a patient and his clinician making the state an invisible presence in the conference room?

Question: Might more mayhem be prevented by letting clinicians do their job rather than imposing requirements on them.?

Question: Might imposing a reporting requirement on clinicians expose them to homicidal danger once the client realizes that his counselor has breached the shell of confidentiality holding between them?

Question: Given the ambiguities holding between what clients talk about and what they might actually do might a reporting requirement expose clinicians to needless criminal and civil sanctions if their best guess turns out to be wrong and a client they thought safe did something horrendous? The point is, it's a lot easier to judge how dangerous a patient was in retrospect and hold a clinician responsible.

Tags: control, gun, psychiatry, psycology

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I don't own a gun or want one. Certainly not a member of the NRA. I'm just a critic of gun control logic.

I'm not a hunter, not a organized sport shooter, not a LEO.

I do own guns, carry one everyday, shoot targets a lot.

And yes, I am a member of the NRA and the GOA (that doesn't mean I set their policies).

I am against Big Government control and their continuing assault on my rights and liberty.

Those who are for Gun Control are also for having a government that violates the Bill of Rights (their Rights), which undermines their own freedom and liberty (a very dangerous position to take).

I am against school, movie, mall, etc. shootings, I am intelligent enough to know corollary conditions do not represent cause.

Shallow answers and band-aid approaches will never get to the cause or achieve a solution to deep societal problems.

The only thing demonstrable is that slavery in the old south is wrong by today's standards and in terms of the way we use language today.

I mentioned wrong as a concept meaning "unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest". You're apparently not disputing that meaning.

Instead, you're claiming 'wrong' meant something other than "unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest" in the language of the old south. So if it didn't mean that, what did it mean? According to you, this is demonstrable, so please do demonstrate. While you're at it, please also explain how that is the only demonstrable thing about slavery in the old south.  

Slavery was quite okay in ancient Greece which shows how relative these things are.

It wasn't okay with the slaves-- who were enslaved through warfare, piracy, banditry-- and it wasn't okay with Socrates, or the Stoics, who issued the first condemnation of slavery in recorded history. 

So, everything that looks wrong in a certain historical period is ipso facto objectively wrong?

You're dishonestly attributing this stance to me, despite a transcript which shows I said absolutely nothing of the kind. Please, Unseen.

Slavery looks wrong today so it's wrong seems to be your argument.

Really Unseen, is nothing beneath you? That statement bears no resemblance to the argument I presented. Here it is again:

'Wrong' refers to the unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest. Slavery in the old south was demonstrably unfair, injurious, and unjust, and was defended using incongruous, inaccurate and dishonest arguments. Therefore slavery in the old south was wrong. That's a fact.

The only fact you've laid out is that slavery was wrong according to the definition of "wrong." But definitions are of just two kinds: a) descriptions of the way language is used or b) they are stipulations ("we will use 'wrong' so as to mean this:...").

Thus your argument depends on your ability to demonstrate 'wrong' meant something other than "unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest" in the old south. I'm eager to see your demonstration but frankly I'm expecting you'll yank another dodge or equivocation fallacy from your bag of tricks.

Right and wrong are always subjective.

Not to the slave being wronged.

Intelligent and and sincere people argue about them without one side or the other being able to lay out a proof of their case, and this is because they are expressing attitudes not proving facts.

No true Scotsman...

To say slavery is wrong is little different from saying shit brown is an ugly color, even if everyone agrees with you.

They're extremely different. Slavery in the old south resulted in incalculable harm to millions of people for centuries; an objective fact. Your assessment of the visual merits of excrement harmed no one and was a matter of subjective opinion (in addition to being creepy).

Disputes over ethics are clashes over attitudes, not disputes as to facts.

It's not a counterargument to simply repeat the original argument without addressing the criticism of it.

An acorn is not a tree. An acorn may not be a tree but it is an oak. Any botanist will affirm that fact.

That an acorn is an oak does not refute the fact: An acorn is not a tree.  Likewise the fact remains; a blastocyst is not a person, and those who dispute that fact are doing it over ethics. 

Slavery has not been thought wrong by all people in all times. It depends upon time and place and the attitudes current there. In ancient Greece, Socrates aside, slavery was often an act of mercy. Taking a soldier as a slave rather than killing him saved his life. Such slaves were apparently often grateful for being spared and became loyal servants, beloved by the families they served. They were sometimes freed. 

In the case of the old South, enslaved blacks were not thought of as persons but as beasts of burden, which is a matter of definition. Today we live in a world where all humans are regarded as persons (or at least that is the prevailing view) and I'm happy to live in that world.

However, some people here define animals as, in effect, persons although they draw short of applying that particular terminology to them.

You didn't really address my assertion that just by looking at history it's obvious that ethical propositions have a time and place attached to them, and thus have no eternality or objectivity attached to them. Slavery meets certain definitions current today, but that isn't true of how people thought in all times and all places. 

That a blastocyst is not a person is a proposed definition, not a fact. What a blastocyst is is a biological fact. When it becomes a person is up for definition. Both sides in the abortion issue "argue" by asserting conflicting definitions. As in all ethical disputes, the de facto winner will be the side which can muster the most power, which comes down to how many people's attitudes they can count on.

Slavery has not been thought wrong by all people in all times.

I didn't say this at all. The context of this debate is:

You: "I think slavery (the industrial slavery of the old south) was wrong, but that's an opinion, not a fact.

Me: 'Wrong' refers to the unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest. Slavery in the old south was demonstrably unfair, injurious, and unjust, and was defended using incongruous, inaccurate and dishonest arguments. Therefore slavery in the old south was wrong. That's a fact.

You: "The only thing demonstrable is that slavery in the old south is wrong by today's standards and in terms of the way we use language today."

Me: "[Y]ou're claiming 'wrong' meant something other than "unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest" in the language of the old south. So if it didn't mean that, what did it mean?"

You: (After multiple dodges) "Slavery has not been thought wrong by all people in all times."

Your last response is a non-sequitur. It would have been an appropriate response if I had said "Slavery was thought wrong by all people in all times." But I didn't say that. I'm going to take the ongoing dodgeball game as a tacit admission that your statement is unconscionable but I won't hold my breath waiting for a retraction.

In ancient Greece, Socrates aside, slavery was often an act of mercy. Taking a soldier as a slave rather than killing him saved his life.

The 'death or slavery' proposition was "unfair, injurious, and unjust" and defenses to the contrary are based on the "incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest".

That some slaves were treated well and freed were the rare exception, not the rule. But let me guess. You're about to claim the ancient Greeks had totally different definitions of these things and then demonstrate it by refusing to demonstrate it.

Such slaves were apparently often grateful for being spared and became loyal servants, beloved by the families they served. They were sometimes freed.

If they were "loyal servants" by choice then they weren't slaves. Greek literature contains numerous references to slaves being brutalized and mistreated; torture, beatings, whippings, rape, executions, runaways, mass escapes, slave hunts, and so on. Some slaves were treated well and freed but these were the rare exceptions, not the rule.

In the case of the old South, enslaved blacks were not thought of as persons but as beasts of burden, which is a matter of definition.

The slavers defined Africans as animals using "incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest" arguments. So the definition "Africans are animals" was factually wrong. The enslaved Africans certainly didn't see themselves as animals. Moreover, their treatment as slaves was profoundly "unfair, injurious, and unjust". So slavery was factually wrong.

Today we live in a world where all humans are regarded as persons (or at least that is the prevailing view) and I'm happy to live in that world.

I wish you were right but you're wrong. Slavery might be illegal everywhere but it exists all over the world. There 27 million slaves in the world today; more than at any time in history.

However, some people here define animals as, in effect, persons although they draw short of applying that particular terminology to them.

A theist once came here and defined shit as God. He was wrong. Each claim must be assessed for its own merit. Right now we're looking at your claim that the language of the old south had a second definition for the word 'wrong', and I'm waiting for you to demonstrate this as promised. 

You didn't really address my assertion that just by looking at history it's obvious that ethical propositions have a time and place attached to them, and thus have no eternality or objectivity attached to them.

You started with these two assertions:

1. Slavery in the old south was wrong as a matter of opinion.
2. "Disputes over ethics are clashes over attitudes, not disputes as to facts."

So those assertions are what I addressed.

Now you're redirecting the conversation away from your earlier specific statements to a much broader defense of moral relativism. I don't mind having that conversation once this one is done. But don't put on the Groucho glasses and moan that I'm not laughing.

Slavery meets certain definitions current today, but that isn't true of how people thought in all times and all places.

Crackpots voting in sufficient numbers can change the law to define the sky as a dome, and they may claim to be doing so for ethical reasons, but they would still be wrong.

That a blastocyst is not a person is a proposed definition, not a fact. What a blastocyst is is a biological fact. When it becomes a person is up for definition.

The facts are precisely what these crackpots are disputing. And they're doing it for ethical reasons. Here is the text of the 2012 Florida Personhood Amendment which resembles those used in Colorado, Mississippi, and other states:

SECTION 28. Person Defined: (a)The rights of every person shall be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life. The right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person. (b)With respect to the fundamental and inalienable rights of all persons guaranteed in this Constitution, the word 'person' applies to all human beings, irrespective of age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency, including unborn children at every stage of their biological development regardless of the method of creation.

Note how the claimed underlying ethical imperative is included in the text as "right to life is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person" along with the definition of a person as: "human beings [...] at every stage of their biological development".

Note also how the definition of 'human being' encompasses a fertilized egg-- one cell-- and a blastocyst which contains 70 cells. That definition has no more basis in biological fact than does defining a sneezed-on pizza as a human being (or defining an acorn as a tree).

Both sides in the abortion issue "argue" by asserting conflicting definitions. As in all ethical disputes, the de facto winner will be the side which can muster the most power, which comes down to how many people's attitudes they can count on.

We do not decide reality by democratic vote. If one definition is based on reality and the other is based on nonsense, then the former is right and the latter is wrong. You specifically said: "Disputes over ethics are clashes over attitudes, not disputes as to facts." That these crackpots cite supernatural ethics as backing to alter reality is very much a dispute as to the facts.

Me: 'Wrong' refers to the unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate or dishonest. Slavery in the old south was demonstrably unfair, injurious, and unjust, and was defended using incongruous, inaccurate and dishonest arguments. Therefore slavery in the old south was wrong. That's a fact.

That's a definition we would agree to today. Can you say it's a definition that was universal in 800 BC or will be so 800 years in the future? No. The only fact there is an accurate description of the word as it's used now. It's not a fact like "all metals expand when heated" or "when matter is compressed it gets warmer." We don't even need arguments when it comes to facts. Facts are evidence of themselves.

Ethical "facts" are actually attitudes bound by time and place, not real facts controlled by the laws of physics or the certainty of mathematics and/or logic.

We do not decide reality by democratic vote. If one definition is based on reality and the other is based on nonsense, then the former is right and the latter is wrong. You specifically said: "Disputes over ethics are clashes over attitudes, not disputes as to facts." That these crackpots cite supernatural ethics as backing to alter reality is very much a dispute as to the facts.

There are non-crackpots on both sides of the abortion issue. It can't be settled because both sides have some arguments which are persuasive some people and some which seem nonsensical to others, but whether we find them persuasive or nonsensical has everything to do with our attitudes. In other words, it's all bound up with our views on feminism, politics, our sentiments regarding children, and a lot of other things (including religion in many cases). Real world "facts" are bandied about but only in support of our attitudes. There is no syllogism with facts as premises which would lead to a deterministic conclusion regarding the ethics of abortion. The fact that its not a settled issue is evidence of that.

If you have some way to bring your position on abortion to a dead certainty like "water will boil at 212F at sea level," you must be God, because that would truly be a miracle. If it could be done, everyone would know it except for a few who we'd put in mental institutions based on their inability to accept reality.

But that's not going to happen. 

BTW, I simply don't have the time to reply point by point to bedsheet posts. If you break them up into short replies and spread them out over time, I might be able to answer all your points. However, I can't let my life revolve around AT. I do have a life in the non-virtual world.

That's a definition we would agree to today. Can you say it's a definition that was universal in 800 BC or will be so 800 years in the future? No.

*Laughing* Yes, Unseen. 'Wrong' conceptually meant 'unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate, or dishonest' in ancient Greece, the old south, and today.

Besides, you weren't talking about 800 years ago, or 800 years from now. You referred specifically to slavery in the old south. You said it was wrong as a matter of opinion. You claimed our language today is different and 'wrong' had a different meaning in the old south. I've asked you to explain what 'wrong' meant in their language back then, and ever since then you've been twisting and turning and dodging and distracting and changing the subject.

The only fact there is an accurate description of the word as it's used now.

So what was the definition of 'wrong' in the old south? How does it differ from the definition of 'wrong' today? Answer the question, Unseen. 'Wrong' means 'unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate, or dishonest'. If it didn't mean that in the old south, then what did it mean?

It's not a fact like "all metals expand when heated" or "when matter is compressed it gets warmer." We don't even need arguments when it comes to facts. Facts are evidence of themselves.

That doesn't seem to stop you from arguing dishonestly rather than admit when you're wrong. (By wrong, I mean specifically the 'inaccurate and dishonest' aspect of 'wrong', not the 'wrong' of the old south that means something else.)

Ethical "facts" are actually attitudes bound by time and place, not real facts controlled by the laws of physics or the certainty of mathematics and/or logic.

At what point in history did 'wrong' mean something other than 'unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate, or dishonest'? You keep insisting that it did. So name one example.

If what you say is true, then explain the definition of 'wrong' in the old south. Surely it must be completely unrecognizable if it didn't mean what it means today.

There are non-crackpots on both sides of the abortion issue. It can't be settled because both sides have some arguments which are persuasive some people and some which seem nonsensical to others, but whether we find them persuasive or nonsensical has everything to do with our attitudes.

You act as if nonsense is a matter of opinion. It's not. The claim that a blastocyst is a human being is as nonsensical as claiming a spatula is a hamburger. That some crackpot wants to change the law to define a spatula as a hamburger doesn't suddenly make it a matter of opinion. It's still nonsense.

There is no syllogism with facts as premises which would lead to a deterministic conclusion regarding the ethics of abortion. The fact that its not a settled issue is evidence of that.

That was another dodge, Unseen. We are talking about a blastocyst. You desperately keep trying to change the subject but I won't let you. A blastocyst is not a human being. That's a fact. It doesn't suddenly cease to become a fact when some crackpot says he disputes it.

If it could be done, everyone would know it except for a few who we'd put in mental institutions based on their inability to accept reality.
The inability to accept reality? Over 94% of Americans believe God controls reality using magical powers. If the inability to accept reality is the standard then the entire world is one gigantic lunatic asylum. 

BTW, I simply don't have the time to reply point by point to bedsheet posts. If you break them up into short replies and spread them out over time, I might be able to answer all your points.

Crackpot: Slavery wasn't wrong according to the description of the word wrong in the old south. Not compared to the "description of the word [wrong] as it's used now"!
Me: How does the description of the word wrong today differ from the description of wrong in the old south?
Crackpot: I would explain but I'm just too darn busy!

Priceless.

So what was the definition of 'wrong' in the old south? How does it differ from the definition of 'wrong' today? Answer the question, Unseen. 'Wrong' means 'unfair, injurious, unjust, incongruous, inaccurate, or dishonest'. If it didn't mean that in the old south, then what did it mean?

The word "wrong" was USED differently then. It wasn't applied to those they regarded as nonhuman, such as slaves.

That was another dodge, Unseen. We are talking about a blastocyst. You desperately keep trying to change the subject but I won't let you. A blastocyst is not a human being. That's a fact. It doesn't suddenly cease to become a fact when some crackpot says he disputes it.

There's no desperation. What kind of blastocyst is it? It's a homo sapiens blastocyst, isn't it? Unless blastocysts don't have characteristics (such as DNA) which are unique to each species. It's an early stage in the development of a human being. It seems to me there are only two choices, it's a stage in human development that goes right back to the fertilized egg or else it magically changes into a human being, which would seem to require a magician. Yahweh?

The word "wrong" was USED differently then. It wasn't applied to those they regarded as nonhuman, such as slaves.

You said 'wrong' has a different MEANING today than in the old south. Now you say it's not a matter of MEANING but of APPLICATION. Fine then.

So the slavers knew what 'wrong' MEANS. But according to them (and by proxy, you) it did not APPLY to Africans because Africans are not human beings. So let's scrutinize the APPLICATION rather than the meaning.

Were the slavers factually right that Africans were not human beings? Of course not. Africans were and are human beings. So the 'justification' for slavery in the old south meets the criteria for what is wrong-- then and now-- namely the 'incongruous, inaccurate, and dishonest' aspects.

There is nothing more 'unfair, injurious, unjust' than enslaving an entire race of people for centuries based on an 'incongruous, inaccurate, or dishonest' argument.  

But let me guess. You're going to say it's a matter of opinion. But you still won't provide a line of reasoning that actually supports your position or leads to a deeper understanding of it.  

It seems to me there are only two choices,

There are two kinds of people in the world, Unseen. Those who believe in false dichotomies, and penguins.

It's a homo sapiens blastocyst, isn't it? Unless blastocysts don't have characteristics (such as DNA) which are unique to each species. It's an early stage in the development of a human being.

Granulated silica is an early stage in the development of glass. But that doesn't mean silica is glass.

it's a stage in human development that goes right back to the fertilized egg or else it magically changes into a human being, which would seem to require a magician. Yahweh?

Once we were children. Today we're adults. Thus at some point we ceased to be children and became adults. Precisely when did that moment occur in a biological sense? Does the inability to answer that question mean we are biologically adults when we are 4 years old? Of course not. That's reason not magic.

Likewise for the blastocyst. Yes, it might become a human being, assuming a successful implantation and no miscarriage. But that doesn't make it a human being starting at the moment the sperm enters the egg.

"Likewise for the blastocyst. Yes, it might become a human being, assuming a successful implantation and no miscarriage. But that doesn't make it a human being starting at the moment the sperm enters the egg."

Yet it is a potential human and not a potential dog, or fish as it contains human DNA yes?

Yet it is a potential human and not a potential dog, or fish as it contains human DNA yes?

True but irrelevant. A potential dog isn't a dog. That a single cell has DNA to become a dog doesn't make it a dog. Likewise, the blueprint to build a skyscraper isn't a skyscraper.

Hmm - but a I don't dispute it's not a dog, like a blue-print for a sky-craper as you say, but a blue-print for a skyscraper is not a blueprint for a submarine.

I'm not sure why that's irrelevant.  Of course, it's irrelevant to an argument for abortion dependent on what your argument were...mine would probably be along the lines of feeling pain, being able to survive independently of the mother, etc., where this is really just genetic material as you say.  That though is arguable.

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