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2012-08-05 Graduation
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lich Mong wrote:
And moral relativists are idiots.

-snip-

To be a moral relativist you essentially have to disbelieve both religion AND science.


"Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts obtain and the same consequences seem likely to arise.[2] It is the observation that different cultures have different moral standards. Descriptive relativists do not necessarily advocate the tolerance of all behavior in light of such disagreement; that is to say, they are not necessarily normative relativists. Likewise, they do not necessarily make any commitments to the semantics, ontology, or epistemology of moral judgements; that is, not all descriptive relativists are meta-ethical relativists. Descriptive relativism is a widespread position in academic fields such as anthropology and sociology, which simply admit that it is incorrect to assume that the same moral or ethical frameworks are always in play in all historical and cultural circumstances."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

If you don't follow descriptive moral relativism (ie. you assume all people follow the same moral code as you do), you're in denial.
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Lich Mong



Joined: 31 May 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
Lich Mong wrote:
And moral relativists are idiots.

-snip-

To be a moral relativist you essentially have to disbelieve both religion AND science.


"Descriptive moral relativism is merely the positive or descriptive position that there exist, in fact, fundamental disagreements about the right course of action even when the same facts obtain and the same consequences seem likely to arise.[2] It is the observation that different cultures have different moral standards. Descriptive relativists do not necessarily advocate the tolerance of all behavior in light of such disagreement; that is to say, they are not necessarily normative relativists. Likewise, they do not necessarily make any commitments to the semantics, ontology, or epistemology of moral judgements; that is, not all descriptive relativists are meta-ethical relativists. Descriptive relativism is a widespread position in academic fields such as anthropology and sociology, which simply admit that it is incorrect to assume that the same moral or ethical frameworks are always in play in all historical and cultural circumstances."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism

If you don't follow descriptive moral relativism (ie. you assume all people follow the same moral code as you do), you're in denial.


It should be clear even if you read what I was responding to -or even just included the "snipped" version of the quote- that I was not talking about descriptive moral relativism. But, if that was not clear enough, if you read on you will see I explicitly state which kind I was talking about. You have made a quote from 10 pages back that has been EXPLICITLY and exhaustively explained within those 10 pages to be absolutely NOT what you're trying to make it.

There is absolutely nothing contextually relevant in this post of yours, and absolutely nothing that has not already been drawn out in greater detail already. I -myself- have linked that wiki page AT LEAST 4 times already, and have already stated, rather clearly, what kind of moral relativism we are talking about and which I -myself- subscribe to.

I guess what I am trying to say is:

tl;dr
I find your claim that you have read this thread increasingly unbelievable with each and every post you have made on it.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you said later on that you were against normative and meta-ethical moral relativists.

However, "And moral relativists are idiots" is an in indiscriminate statement.

A better statement would have been "And meta-ethical relativists are idiots (and by extension, normative moral relativists as well)"

Making an all-encompassing statement, then later changing that statement with modifiers is underhanded.

And yes, I have read the whole thread. I've even made posts with moral questions as to whether something can be a shade of "gray". However, these posts have been lost in the 10+ pages of discussion.

tl;dr

Yay I don't give a fuck. Honestly this has all gotten rather abstract from the original thread topic which was the comic.
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Lich Mong



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fritterdonut wrote:
However, "And moral relativists are idiots" is an in indiscriminate statement.
One that is not indiscriminate in context, nor to anyone that bothered to read a few posts on this thread.
fritterdonut wrote:
Making an all-encompassing statement, then later changing that statement with modifiers is underhanded.
You feel clarifications are underhanded? You feel assuming people can interpret context is underhanded?

I feel the need to point out that this statement you have made is also all-encompassing.
Should I find some example of someone that made an all-encompassing statement, then later changing that statement with modifiers, but was not underhanded to 'disprove' you?
Or should I just use by brain and assume you just meant me, even though you did not explicitly state it? It -certainly- is clear in context.
fritterdonut wrote:
And yes, I have read the whole thread.
You seem like an allright guy, so I will assume this is a fabrication.
'Cuz if you did read this thread and still brought up that wiki page and accused me of berating descriptive moral relativists, when I already wrote earlier on the thread I am a descriptive moral relativist, then you're a fucking moron.
Since you don't seem like a fucking moron, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and continue assume you simply did not read it. Maybe you mean you skimmed it a bit?

However, I am more just wounding about your motives are at this point. What are you trying to get out of me?
Clearly it's not a clarification about what I meant since I already gave that.
Are you trying to make me defined a strawman parody of my argument? I would hope you'd already know I will not.
Are you sticking up for all of the descriptive moral relativists you're worried I've offended? Of which I am one.
Or....
fritterdonut wrote:
Yay I don't give a fuck. Honestly this has all gotten rather abstract from the original thread topic which was the comic.
Oh, you're doing it because you just don't care? Well, that's a self contradictory reason if I ever heard one.

But, anyway, if you don't care you probably should stop wasting your time talking about it. And if you feel this discussion is off-topic you should probably stop participating in it.
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Vox Raucus



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Kylra



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lich Mong wrote:
Anyway, my definition:
If something has value, is useful, and is something you SHOULD be striving for, then it IS good.

Is a perfectly reasonable definition. I am sure, were I to start over with a different group of moral relativists, I could easy get them to agree with it, in the beginning before the rest of the argument. I am sure I will not be able to get anyone to agree to it now, after the fact, since then I would have "won" the debate, and I am sure no one wants that.

Most of these definitions:

Are not reasonable. They are, in some ways, akin to defining the word "chair" as "dog" or "black" as "white" and then expecting the thing your sitting on to bark or the screen you're looking at to physically change.

All of those are just as reasonable a criteria for "good" as what you have come up with as well as "Truth". The only reason you think otherwise is because you have a lot of irrational rationalizations built up behind the criteria you might specify. They are all fundamentally the exact same type of assertion.
Quote:
You can call words whatever you want, but what they represent will not change. When people say the word "good" in relation to something what they MEAN is something desirable, something that rings true. You can change the word, but you cannot change what the word represents. And THAT is what we are talking about, anything else is simply an equivocation.

All of those are plausible for people to try to hold and I have had people argue each of those with me except the random chance one, which is at least moderately conceivable in comic book villains such as Two-Face. The first two I listed are especially popular for people to argue for the basis of their morality.
Quote:
But, if we are arguing for or against meta-ethical moral relativism, assuming the word "good" is linked in some way to a physical thing -or a physical configration- is a question beg. To say that ANYTHING real could be "good" is to assume that "good" could exist objectively.

E: Well, thinking about it, that's not true. Its not a question beg unless you assume -from the start- that good thing DOES exists, which I'm not. Simply saying it could exit is not a question beg.

You can say some real thing is good relative to some other position in space/time/society. It would still not be correct, but it's something you can do and theoretically argue until you fray your rationality like any realist position I have come across.

What I am asking is for you to show is sort of the other way around. Find the objective (whether relative or absolute) good inside of a real thing and show it to me.
Quote:
The Truth, in science, is BETTER than the untrue. It has the most value; it is something you SHOULD look for, and it's desirable above all things. We all agree on that.
You can tell me -then- that those properties aren't "good enough" to call the Truth morally good. You can tell me that something else is needed for you to go that extra bit. Well, alright, that's fine. I will -however- tell you I don't. If anything can be morally good -for me- it would be that thing with those properties, and I don't believe that's unreasonable to say.

If truth is not something that is a fundamental good because it relies on science, then all you've done is pushed things back to having to prove science is fundamentally good instead of truth.
Quote:
I will, also, go on to point out the triviality that meta-ethical moral relativism is self defeating. If you feel "truth" has the same value as "false" then you can't even logically discuss with someone about it. You can't prove anything because your proof would hold as much value as no proof at all. Your mound of empirical evidence would carry as much weight as a gut feeling. There would be absolutely no reason for anyone to agree with you, or for you to even to try to change another's mind. "Living" would hold the same value as "dead;" "despair" would be as good as "happiness."

This is a paragraph about moral realism, not moral relativism. There is nothing impossible about discussing logic with people if you hold that "true" and "false" have the same real moral value. Truth value is not the same as moral value nor does one imply the other.
Quote:
But, who knows, maybe your objectively right about that. I did just write a story were someone not only came to that conclusion, but proved it objectively 100% right. I hope that is not the case, and I will act as if that is not the case, but who is to say my hope is not vain? Certainly not me.

I'll do it then. "True" has the same real moral value as "false". Empirical evidence has no more real moral value than gut instinct. Whether you're alive or dead, happy or sad also has no real moral value either way as well. Your hope is in vein exactly the way you worry it is, but there is similar hope in a different manner. There is something on the other side of that nothingness, but you have to cross it first.
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Lich Mong



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kylra wrote:

All of those are just as reasonable a criteria for "good" as what you have come up with as well as "Truth". The only reason you think otherwise is because you have a lot of irrational rationalizations built up behind the criteria you might specify. They are all fundamentally the exact same type of assertion.
None of your definitions are mutually exclusive to my own.
And for the two you are espousing as reasonable are used in congruity with my definition when people DO employ them.

Quote:
All of those are plausible for people to try to hold and I have had people argue each of those with me except the random chance one, which is at least moderately conceivable in comic book villains such as Two-Face. The first two I listed are especially popular for people to argue for the basis of their morality.
Two-face is portrayed as appealing to the higher power of "Fate," that the coin represents a fair way of choosing which of his two personalities gets to act, or -more commonly- that he has no free will.
He is not -to my knowledge- ever been portrayed feeling the action is moral because of the flip itself, probably because no one would think that makes any sense at all.


Quote:
You can say some real thing is good relative to some other position in space/time/society. It would still not be correct, but it's something you can do and theoretically argue until you fray your rationality like any realist position I have come across.
Again, the first step to deciding if something is moral is to define what moral means. If you shift the definition during the argument, or can't agree to a definition, then you can't come to a logical conclusion.

You have to set your axioms first, always.

Quote:

What I am asking is for you to show is sort of the other way around. Find the objective (whether relative or absolute) good inside of a real thing and show it to me.
Right, then you would have to tell me what you mean by "good" first, or else the task is impossible.

Quote:

If truth is not something that is a fundamental good because it relies on science,
That is absolutely false. The truth does not rely on science, science relies on truth.

Quote:

This is a paragraph about moral realism, not moral relativism.
No, it's about meta-ethical moral relativism.

Quote:
There is nothing impossible about discussing logic with people if you hold that "true" and "false" have the same real moral value.
Sure, but the task is the definition of irrelevant.
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Kylra



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lich Mong wrote:
None of your definitions are mutually exclusive to my own.
And for the two you are espousing as reasonable are used in congruity with my definition when people DO employ them.

None of those I specified hold to your criteria as certain categories are sometimes missing, so your definition is logically flawed in some manner if you accept that those people are defining a legitimate good.
Quote:
Two-face is portrayed as appealing to the higher power of "Fate," that the coin represents a fair way of choosing which of his two personalities gets to act, or -more commonly- that he has no free will.
He is not -to my knowledge- ever been portrayed feeling the action is moral because of the flip itself, probably because no one would think that makes any sense at all.

Random chance is still just as rational as anything you are saying regardless.
Quote:
Again, the first step to deciding if something is moral is to define what moral means. If you shift the definition during the argument, or can't agree to a definition, then you can't come to a logical conclusion.

You have to set your axioms first, always.

The definition including dependency on time/space/social/other factors doesn't make it shifting. I can recognize that logical chain even if I think relativism is illusory.
Quote:
Right, then you would have to tell me what you mean by "good" first, or else the task is impossible.

If it's real, it's a thing you should be able to find evidence of to show me, including what "good" means.
Quote:
That is absolutely false. The truth does not rely on science, science relies on truth.

Then you are still faced with showing that truth is a fundamental good.
Quote:
No, it's about meta-ethical moral relativism.

No, seriously. That's about the meta-ethical axis of moral realism. Whether or not they have a factually true existent meaning is an issue of realism. Whether any particular real good or bad are consistent across various factors is a matter of relativism. You were most certainly talking about the former there.
Quote:
Sure, but the task is the definition of irrelevant.

These words as written are correct, but almost certainly not in the way you mean it since you can't seem to grasp the distinction between realism and relativism and have yet to show that you understand what realism is despite arguing about it.
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Lich Mong



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kylra wrote:
None of those I specified hold to your criteria as certain categories are sometimes missing, so your definition is logically flawed in some manner if you accept that those people are defining a legitimate good.
Definitions can only be "logically flawed" if they are self contradictory or question begs.

I'm just going to restate that when people use those two definitions you had made they ALSO assume good has value, is useful, and is something you SHOULD be striving for, because I don't think you've adequately addressed that point.
I'm aslo -probably foolishly- going to assert a "chicken and the egg" problem. Do people feel that what God thinks is good is good, or is it also because that thing then gains value, becomes useful, and something you should then strive for? I would say all of the above.

I will assert that you cannot disentangle those things from a person's thinking. So, while one might argue my definition is incomplete, it's not inconsistant.
Kylra wrote:

Random chance is still just as rational as anything you are saying regardless.

Then you should be able to find me an instance of a person claiming random chance is "moral" then.

Quote:

The definition including dependency on time/space/social/other factors doesn't make it shifting. I can recognize that logical chain even if I think relativism is illusory.
Sure, making it time depended does not constitute a moving goal post, but you have yet to give a consistant definition of the word yourself, time dependent or otherwise.
Quote:

If it's real, it's a thing you should be able to find evidence of to show me, including what "good" means.
I can't show you something "blue" until we agree on what "blue" means.

If you say "Blue" is a magical horned beast that grants wishes, then "Blue" does not exist scientifically. If you say "Blue" is a wavelength of light of about 475 nm, then it does. But, you still have to say what "Blue" is before we can even begin.

When you say "show me something Good" you have to explain to me what you MEAN by "good." I showed you what I felt it meant -something with value, useful, and something one should strive for- and you pooh-poohed it. So, tell me what you DO mean.

Quote:
Then you are still faced with showing that truth is a fundamental good.
And you are still faced with providing me a coherent definition, as of right now you're simply Loki's Wagering me.
Quote:
Quote:
No, it's about meta-ethical moral relativism.

No, seriously. That's about the meta-ethical axis of moral realism.
And the meta-ethical axis of moral relativism, when you are dealing with two DIFFERENT mindsets, as we are in my example.
You can't tell the other person his gut feeling is wrong and your empirical evidence is right if in his ethics frame gut feelings are better than empirical evidence. Since there is no objective reference from to appeal to you're both equally right, always.
Quote:
These words as written are correct, but almost certainly not in the way you mean it since you can't seem to grasp the distinction between realism and relativism and have yet to show that you understand what realism is despite arguing about it.
See above.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lich Mong wrote:
Wait, my conviction is back!

If something has value, is useful, and is something you SHOULD be striving for, then it IS good.


I challenge anyone to come up with a coherent definition for "good" that does not involve ANY of those things!


Man that is actually a pretty flat-out terrible definition for "good"
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Lich Mong



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
Man that is actually a pretty flat-out terrible definition for "good"
Then take up the challenge and define a good one.

Preferably one that shows something can be good without having value, being useful, or being something you should be striving for.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why? The challenge is irrelevant to the meta-ethical weakness of your own description of good. A realistic conceptualization could have similar involvements in value, or none at all, and either does not add to or detract to how your own presentation of what makes something "good" is axiologically unsound enough as to be discardable.

In a straightforward reading of what you wrote, the mountain dew in my hand is good. So's a literal slave or a cruel-hearted and devoted personal assassin as long as I feel I should be acquiring them. But not a kind and selfless grandpa once he has a stroke and becomes sedate and useless. His Goodness goes straight back into the grey area because he has lost out on his value and utility (which could be condensed into just 'value').

Lastly "is something you SHOULD be striving for" is just an axiomatic circular reasoning drain. Something is good because we should be striving for it, because it is good. But if we should not be striving for it it is bad. There is no provided ethical or moral argument as to how one is allowed to state that they 'should' be striving for it. So I guess I should be striving for a child sex slave, because they will help my blood pressure and bring me much joy. Okay cool, the whole definition just became useless.

The only defense is to say that there is obviously detailed caveats I am not incorporating. But they are not incorporated. As written, your goodness theory is bunk. That's it. That's the long and short of it. Whether or not I come up with a different definition of good (and whether or not it shares or abandons any of the aforementioned precepts) has no bearing on the unsoundness of your goodness principle. Savvy so far?
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Lich Mong



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
Why? The challenge is irrelevant to the meta-ethical weakness of your own description of good. A realistic conceptualization could have similar involvements in value, or none at all, and either does not add to or detract to how your own presentation of what makes something "good" is axiologically unsound enough as to be discardable.
If you don't have a definition of "good" how can you tell mine was "bad?"
^That's a serious question. How are you assessing what is a "good" or "bad" definition of good if you haven't established what those words mean?
Sam wrote:

In a straightforward reading of what you wrote, the mountain dew in my hand is good. So's a literal slave or a cruel-hearted and devoted personal assassin as long as I feel I should be acquiring them. But not a kind and selfless grandpa once he has a stroke and becomes sedate and useless. His Goodness goes straight back into the grey area because he has lost out on his value and utility (which could be condensed into just 'value').
The "and" was inclusive.
Since none of these examples include "is something you SHOULD be striving for," they're not good by my definition.
Sam wrote:

Lastly "is something you SHOULD be striving for" is just an axiomatic circular reasoning drain. Something is good because we should be striving for it, because it is good. But if we should not be striving for it it is bad. There is no provided ethical or moral argument as to how one is allowed to state that they 'should' be striving for it. So I guess I should be striving for a child sex slave, because they will help my blood pressure and bring me much joy. Okay cool, the whole definition just became useless.
I'm afraid this is incorrect. If you go back and read the last two pages you will see it's not a question beg because we are not trying to show the definition of the word as the goal, we are trying to establish if something that is "good" exists. Additionally, we were talking mainly within the context of science, and I don't think slavery is something defined as something one should be striving for in the scientific method.
But, anyway,
Before we can prove or disprove whether or not something that is "good" is real we must first define the world. As I already said:
Lich Mong wrote:
I can't show you something "blue" until we agree on what "blue" means.

If you say "Blue" is a magical horned beast that grants wishes, then "Blue" does not exist scientifically. If you say "Blue" is a wavelength of light of about 475 nm, then it does. But, you still have to say what "Blue" is before we can even begin.

When you say "show me something Good" you have to explain to me what you MEAN by "good." I showed you what I felt it meant -something with value, useful, and something one should strive for- and you pooh-poohed it. So, tell me what you DO mean.

In doing this you ARE setting up an axiom, so you're right about it being axiomatic, but not about it being circular. In order to do logic you have to start with axioms anyway -in this case- the definition of words.

Additionally, we have not established that something that is simply "not good" is "bad." I have certainly not assured that.

Sam wrote:

The only defense is to say that there is obviously detailed caveats I am not incorporating.
Well, I did.
Sam wrote:
But they are not incorporated. As written, your goodness theory is bunk. That's it. That's the long and short of it. Whether or not I come up with a different definition of good (and whether or not it shares or abandons any of the aforementioned precepts) has no bearing on the unsoundness of your goodness principle. Savvy so far?
I will just ask -again- how you're measuring my definition such that it is "not good" without having some sense of what is good and what is not already.

How can you tell me my definition is not something when you -apparently- don't have any idea of what that something is?
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your definition is terrible because it is of low quality and overall entirely unrepresentative of the concept. Qualitative good does not equate to moral good, so your argument that Sam cannot present a criticism of your definition without first having a working definition of "good" is likewise terrible.

My stance is that absolute moral "good" doesn't really exist, btw. However, I might occasionally use the term "good" to describe a person or act that is in line with my own personal morality, or sometimes a person or act that is in line with the moral common ground I have with the person I'm talking to, so it's back to relative terms for me, I suppose.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you don't have a definition of "good" how can you tell mine was "bad?"


That's a very important question you should be asking yourself, since it is probably emblematic of why you don't get my criticism of your definition. The issue is that being able to present a sound definition of good right here is not necessary to example why your summary definition of good is unsound.

It's similar to how you could build a completely structurally unsound bridge across a river, and I am not obligated to build another functioning and safe bridge (without incidentally using any of the same general types of architectural beam support) to have any means of proving that your bridge is structurally unsound.

Quote:
Since none of these examples include "is something you SHOULD be striving for," they're not good by my definition.


You are proving my point about your definition and I don't think you realize why.
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