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Just to clarify, that's "flunky" as in "minion", not "flunky" as in "associated with failure".

  • Fellow theists:  how many of the following statements do you agree with?

    Atheists, feel free to respond to all but the last one.

    1. Only an a**hole God would punish people for believing material evidence over a holy book, at least on matters of fact.

    2. Only an a**hole God would punish people only for guessing wrong about His nature absent clear evidence of same (eg picking the wrong religion)

    3. If God is not an a**hole, then people who don't believe in Her, but do their best to be good, loving, and kind will *definitely* not end up in a worse afterlife than people who profess belief in Him, but don't make any real effort to be good

    4. If Hell or some equivalent exists, then if God is not an a**hole, people will only be sent there a. for a specific term relevant to their sins, and/or b. if they are somehow irredeemably evil, rather than just having made a few mistakes or whatever.

    5. Only an a**hole God would give a large fraction of the population sexual urges that they *can* satisfy in an ethical and responsible manner, then punish them for doing so (eg masturbation, homosexuality)

    6.  God is not an a**hole.

    2 AnswersReligion & Spirituality1 week ago
  • Will I harm my hair by using vinegar on it too often?

    I have fairly oily, and also fairly long, hair.  Normally, I wash it every other day (washing the scalp area, conditioning the rest), and that seems to be about the right amount to keep the top of my hair from getting too greasy, without making the bottom too dry.

    Lately, however, I've been having problems with (oily) dandruff.  If I don't wash my hair basically every day, it gets itchy--by the second day, itchy enough that, if I'm not careful, I'll basically scratch my scalp raw.  Even after a day, it's starting to get a little itchy.

    Vinegar (usually apple cider vinegar, mostly because it smells nicer) seems to keep the itchiness under control, as long as I use it every day (it's cheaper than dandruff shampoo, and it smells nicer).  I generally pour about a tablespoon on my scalp while I'm in the shower, kind of rub it in, then rinse it off after a few minutes.

    I had hoped that, once I got the dandruff under control, I wouldn't have to keep using the vinegar all the time, but that proved not to be the case.

    But I'm worried that the vinegar may be doing Bad Things to my hair or scalp if I *do* use it every day.

    Am I worrying over nothing?  If it is a problem, is there anything I can readily do to counteract the problem, and/or any other dandruff remedy I can or should alternate with it to give my hair a break?  Any other info?

    2 AnswersHair3 weeks ago
  • Does anyone else feel like this about (their own) gender?

    You could describe me as gender casual.  ...It's not that I don't consider myself to be female (my actual sex), I just don't think it's all that *important*.  Like it's one of a long list of descriptors, and there are a lot of them that are much more central to my identity.

    I would be more different as a person if I suddenly wasn't smart, or nerdy, or a nonspecific theist, or on the autism spectrum, than if I suddenly wasn't female.  My being female is just, well, a fact, like me being short, or having blue eyes.

    Does anyone else here (male or female) feel similar?

    2 AnswersGender Studies1 month ago
  • How can I cheaply fertilize my Aerogarden?

    I have an Aerogarden (a little self-contained hydroponic system) that I got as a present, currently growing basil.  I have run out of the little nutrient pellets that came with the pods I was given, and can't really afford specialized hydroponic nutrients.  If I get a generic fertilizer intended for soil-based plants, what would I need to supplement it with to make my basil tolerably happy?

    If it makes a difference, I fill it with RO water, to avoid excess calcium buildup, but I live somewhere with very hard water, so if all that's really needed is, like, calcium, I can just add some tap water to the system occasionally.

    1 AnswerGarden & Landscape2 months ago
  • Would my "bug suit" idea work?

    I have limited funding, but due to the better finances of others, will hopefully soon be going to Hawaii and other tropical destinations. I am also delicious. I would like to arrange some way to not get eaten alive by insects, without literally bathing in insect repellent.

    My thought was that I could make myself a "bug suit", using tulle and strips of flannel or something.  The basic idea would be sort of a pullover top, made of two layers of tulle, with the flannel reinforcing all of the seams, and with an elastic waist, elastic neck, and elastic wrists. There would also be a set of loose pants, also with elastic closures, two layers of tulle, and flannel reinforcing all seams.  

    Is there some reason I'm not seeing that this would be a terrible or somehow unworkable idea?

    2 AnswersHobbies & Crafts4 months ago
  • Do you disagree with any of these statements tangential to the abortion debate, Politics?

    When debating abortion, I often see people making absurd assertions.  Let's see if we can agree to some ground rules...

    1 People have sex for lots of reasons, often without intending to reproduce.

    2 Birth control fails.

    3 Kids are not born knowing about sex.  In the absence of decent sex ed, they may believe myths about contraception (eg "rubber"=rubber band), or even not realize that sex leads to pregnancies.

    4 Pro-choicers, and even women who have abortions, don't generally "hate babies".  In fact, many women who have abortions already have kids, and may be aborting so that they can continue to care adequately for the kids they have.

    5 There is sincere disagreement about when in a pregnancy the fetus becomes a person in a morally meaningful sense.  Either end point (conception, or birth) seems absurd to most people, but there is no obvious bright line between them.

    6 Late-term abortions are very rare, and afaik *always* involve something going disastrously wrong (eg microcephaly; aggressive cancer that can't be treated without killing the fetus).  No halfway sane person would endure 7+ months of pregnancy, then abort on a whim.

    7 Pregnancy and childbirth are life-changing, and can permanently harm or even kill you.

    8 Most pro-lifers don't hate women, any more than pro-choicers hate babies.

    9 There are sane, reasonable, moral people on both sides of the debate.  Likewise, there are screaming morons.  Sadly, the screaming morons tend to be more noticeable.

    5 AnswersPolitics5 months ago
  • Is there any crime besides rape where people are arguing that false accusers should be heavily penalized?

    I see a lot of discussion on here (and occasionally elsewhere) about the idea of heavily penalizing people for falsely accusing someone of raping them.  Not just some sort of "contempt of court" or wasting-police-time misdemeanor, but something resulting in serious jail time.

    Is there *any* other crime where anyone is seriously advocating serious jail time for falsely accusing someone else of committing it?  Or could this maybe be more about wanting to intimidate rape victims or something, or excuse rape, or otherwise make it easier for rapists to get away with their crimes?

    8 AnswersGender Studies5 months ago
  • How close was my 2001 prediction about cars?

    Back in '01, I collected a bunch of predictions about 20 years in the future (so, next year).  I figured 20 years was a large enough time span to be interesting, but short enough that I'd actually remember I'd done it.

    One of the predictions I made was that around half of the cars on the road would be powered by something other than gasoline-powered standard internal combustion engines (hybrids, electric, natural gas, fuel cell, whatever, I didn't specify what other than not standard gas-powered ICEs)

    Anyone have any numbers on how close to accurate my prediction is, at this point, for either the US or the world as a whole?  (we're not quite to 2021 yet, but I figure the composition of cars on the road won't change *that* much in the next 6 months or so)

    2 AnswersAlternative Fuel Vehicles5 months ago
  • Do you disagree with any of these statements, GS?

    1. There are legitimate issues regarding equality and fair treatment for women.

    2. A small, but unfortunately loud percentage of those trying to address these legitimate issues are misandrist a**hats who apparently just want to make men suffer.

    3. There are legitimate issues regarding equality and fair treatment for men.

    4.  A small, but unfortunately loud percentage of those trying to address these legitimate issues are misogynist a**hats who apparently just want to make women suffer.

    10 AnswersGender Studies5 months ago
  • Why isn't Y!A working on my desktop computer?

    None of the questions load, on Firefox, and while questions will load on Chrome, I can't seem to either ask or answer questions.

    My computer is running Windows 7 Ultimate.  Firefox version is 78.0.1, and Chrome is version 38.0.2125.111

    Anyone know what's up?

    2 AnswersYahoo Answers5 months ago
  • Would this help reduce police violence/brutality?

    Police violence and police brutality have been... topics of considerable public scrutiny, and justifiably so, especially recently.  The reasons for police violence and brutality are multiple and complex, but I had a thought that might reduce the incidence, or at least scope, of these problems, and I'd like to know your opinions.

    One reason for the increased incidences of, eg, innocent people being shot in the course of a search or whatever is that, increasingly, police have military-style weapons and equipment, because of the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror".  There are reasonable debates to be had about whether police should even have this kind of equipment, but I'm willing to accept for the sake of argument that they do legitimately need at least some access to it in some situations.  The problem is the temptation to use it just because you have it.  If you have a shiny new hammer, a lot of things start to look like nails.

    It occurs to me that we may be able to use interdepartment rivalry to reduce the temptation to over-use this equipment, while still having it available if and when it is genuinely needed.  The idea, basically, is this: don't issue that equipment to local police forces, only issue it to a *state-level* police organization, which the local police can call in as needed.  That would add an extra layer of "Do we really want to call in *those guys*?", which might prevent overuse.


    1 AnswerPolitics6 months ago
  • Ladies, can you give guys examples/tips on how not to be a creep?

    There seem to be at least some men who either are genuinely confused about how not to come across as an obnoxious creep when expressing their interest in the women around them, or are pretending to be thus confused.

    I'm willing to give at least some of them the benefit of the doubt.  There are guys out there who have poor social skills, or got led astray by BS pickup-artist crap, or whatever, and genuinely don't know why they're coming across as creeps.

    So, fellow womenfolk, what advice would you give to confused dudes who want to express sexual/romantic interest in women on how not to seem like a creep, a jerk, or a sexual harasser when they do so?

    Please be as specific/clear/direct as possible, eg don't just say "look for signs of disinterest", say "look for signs of disinterest, like A, B, or C"

    6 AnswersGender Studies8 months ago
  • Which of these best matches your view on infant circumcision?

    1. It's beneficial.  Every baby boy should be circumcised

    2. It's harmless.  Parents should have no restrictions on circumcising their sons

    3. It's not great.  It would be better if parents didn't circumcise their sons, but it's not that big a deal.

    4. It's pretty bad.  There may be reasons it shouldn't be illegal, but it should at least be heavily, heavily discouraged.

    5. It should be illegal.  There is no reasonable justification for infant circumcision, so parents should not be allowed to do it.

    6. It's child abuse.  Anyone who even tries to get their infant son circumcised should be thrown in jail.

    Also, any other thoughts?

    6 AnswersGender Studies8 months ago
  • How can DNA gain "information"?

    To some extent, "information" is one of those nearly meaningless creationist buzzwords, like "kind", that they can re-define on the fly to exclude any example you can come up with.  But there's *some* physical reality to the concept (after all, we talk about DNA being the cell's blueprint--that is, containing the information the cell needs to make and repair itself).

    So, for any or all definitions of "information" you care to discuss, can you give an example (theoretical or actual) of how DNA could gain new "information"?  Please be as specific as you can while keeping it understandable to a general audience.

    Some examples of possible definitions:

    Gaining total genetic material

    Gaining the ability to produce a new protein or other gene product

    Gaining the ability to produce a new protein or other gene product without losing the ability to produce an old one

    Gaining a new macroscale function (eg the ability to digest some particular thing)

    6 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 months ago
  • Atheists: what evidence might convince you you were wrong about God?

    This is a serious question.

    I'd like you to list at least one, if not more, scenarios/results/scientific tests that would, at least, make you seriously reconsider your lack of belief in a Higher Power.

    Theists, if you want to join in, suggest some evidence that would either make you *disbelieve* in the existence of God (or whatever Higher Power(s) you believe in), or make you believe that you were substantially incorrect about the nature of said Being(s) (eg if you're a Christian, what would make you believe that Thor or Zeus were real)

    Please don't just answer something generic like "evidence".  Try to describe what that "evidence" might *look* like.

    25 AnswersReligion & Spirituality8 months ago
  • How would you construct a universal basic income to avoid perverse incentives?

    Many of us like the idea of having a universal basic income, such that nobody has to be gainfully employed to survive. However, depending on how the UBI is structured, there are potential problems, including actively discouraging work, encouraging excess reproduction, and possibly other problems I haven't thought of.

    So, if we are going to have a universal basic income, how would you want to avoid the potential pitfalls?

    6 AnswersPolitics8 months ago
  • Any bets on how many of the people losing their <bleep> over the coronovirus don't bother to get flu shots?

    I'm not talking about those who legitimately can't get flu shots for medical reasons, or financial reasons, or who have a severe phobia of needles or the like, just people who either can't be bothered, or think vaccines are evil or whatever.

    1 AnswerInfectious Diseases8 months ago
  • Who has a worse record re: the other gender's legitimate issues, feminists or MRAs?

    I think anyone looking at the matter fairly and with an open mind will admit that feminists, and men's rights activists, both have at least some legitimate issues they are raising.  There are ways that women are discriminated against and/or treated badly in our society, and there are also ways that men are discriminated against and/or treated badly.

    And, I think anyone looking at the matter fairly will also agree that *some* feminists and MRAs are, well, somewhere between not as nice to and absolutely horrible to their non-target gender, and also inclined to entirely dismiss even those legitimate issues as false or unimportant.  Others are not necessarily any worse than the general population, but also not necessarily any *better*, either.  And some--probably a minority for both groups, but not necessarily a small one--are legitimately egalitarians with a primary focus on one gender, and are better than average at addressing the other gender's issues.

    But, in general, which group, feminists or MRAs, do you think has a better overall record re: the other gender's issues, and/or of fair treatment of the "non-target" gender?

    3 AnswersGender Studies9 months ago
  • To what extent, if any, do you see a moral difference between acting and failing to act (with the same result)?

    That is, what moral difference, if any, do you see between taking an action that results in some bad end (such as, say, someone's death), and knowingly refraining from taking an action that results in the same bad end (assuming you could easily take the action)?

    Examples, in case I'm not describing what I'm talking about clearly enough...

    1. Drowning a baby in a bathtub, vs sitting next to the bathtub and (knowingly) watching a baby drown itself

    2. Stealing money from someone, vs refusing to pay them money that you rightly and legitimately owe them (eg for work that they did)

    7 AnswersReligion & Spirituality9 months ago
  • In these scenarios, would you have an abortion, Politics?

    Assume, for all of these scenarios, that you are female (if you aren't).  Also assume, unless otherwise stated, that it is a normal pregnancy with a healthy fetus, but you are in a situation where you don't want to raise a kid/this kid.  Please state, for each, if you'd have an abortion, and what you would do instead if you didn't.  Please also note if you consider yourself pro-life or pro-choice.

    1. No complications, you just don't want the kid.

    2. Risky or problematic (but not necessarily fatal) pregnancy

    3. 2, but it's a wanted/intentional pregnancy

    4. Giving birth has a good chance of killing you

    5. 4, but as per 3

    6. You were raped

    7. The fetus is slightly deformed/crippled (eg moderate retardation, missing limb)

    8. 7, but as per 3

    9. The fetus is severely deformed/crippled (eg microcephalic, Tay Sachs)

    10. 9, but as per 3

    11. Tech exists that will let you pass off the pregnancy, at any point, to a willing host/uterine replicator/etc, to be gestated and born normally.

    Also, any other scenarios you care to comment on?  Any other thoughts?

    6 AnswersPolitics9 months ago