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Any Thoughts on Neil Gorsuch

JubilexThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 11 at 1:27 am

Lucy-Agnes
 
"Do you really think that all the women who are faced with unplanned p.regnancies were totally without c.ontraception?"
 
Of course not. The most common reason is failed contra.ception (from it being used incorrectly). But imagine the amount there would be with no contra.ception.
 
Some evidence for the efficacy of se.xual education and access to contra.ception reducing the rates of pre.gancy:
 
"Among the 21 countries with complete statistics, the pre.gnancy rate among 15- to 19-year olds was the highest in the United States ... and the lowest rate was in Switzerland.
 
Studies have more frequently examined the relationship among social, economic, and cultural factors and differences in teen pre.gnancy rates within countries. In the United Kingdom and the United States, for example, teen pre.gnancy rates are higher in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. In the United States, the pre.gnancy rate is 100 among black teenagers and 38 among white teens (a rate that is still high for a developed country), although this differential has decreased with time. Qualitative research in the United Kingdom points to poor material circumstances, unhappiness at home or at school, and low expectations for the future as factors associated with high teen pre.gnancy rates.
 
At the other end of the spectrum, the very low teen pre.gnancy rate in Switzerland exists in the context of long-established s.ex education programs, widespread expectation that se.xually active teens will use contr.aception, free family planning services and low-cost emergency contra.ception."
 
I viewed this article through my university, so I'm not sure if you can access it. But just in case you can, it's called 'Adolescent Pre.gnancy, B.irth, and Abo.rtion Rates Across Countries: Levels and Recent Trends' and was published in 2014.
 
Rates of abor.tion as a proportion of total preg.nancies were higher in countries with less pre.gnancies, however most of the absolute counts (per 1000 population) were still lower or equivalent to that of the US. For example, Switzerland had 5 per 1000 (out of 8:1000 unintended pre.gnancies) and the US had 15 per 1000 (out of 57:1000).
 
Another article: 'Access to contr.aception for remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: necessary but not sufficient' 2016
 
"In Australia, overall rates of pre.gnancy in teenage women have been falling, although they are stable or even increasing in some disadvantaged subgroups, such as young women from remote areas or low socio-economic status backgrounds. Se.xual activity rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous young people are broadly similar. Teenage pre.gnancy rates among young Indigenous women, however, are higher..."
 
Indigenous populations in Australia on average have lower levels of education, poorer access to healthcare and are more likely to be of low socioeconomic status/backgrounds, than non-Indigenous people. Abor.tion rates are proportionally higher (I don't have any numbers for absolute counts) in non-Indigenous teens because of the lack of access for Indigenous people.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 14 at 7:50 pm

Stunt and Wolves (Jubilex, I think, has already looked into this), I recommend looking up Dr. Janet E. Smith and going to her official website. She's much better at arguing numbers and statistics than I am (English major with a deep hatred for math here, hahaha *sob*). I'm sure there are others who have done intensive studies on this subject, but she's the first one who comes to mind, and it's her CD "C.ontraception: Why Not" that I was thinking of when I mentioned the logical argument.
 
I thought it might be helpful if I clarified the Catholic understanding of human s.exuality a little bit. So, we Christians believe that God created man in His own image, out of love. (Right off the bat we come to a major difference in our worldviews. This is why we don't agree on much.) As God is love, He made man for love--in such a way that not only his soul but his body reflects that need for love. That's where human s.exuality comes in. It's not something to be ashamed of, nor is it something to abuse; it's a beautiful masterpiece that deserves respect. A man and woman joined in love reflect God, who is love. When their union results in another human life, they become, in a symbolic sense, a miniature trinity. Just as the love between God the Father and God the Son is so strong it is actually another Person, the Holy Ghost, the love between a man and a woman is so strong it results in another person, a child. 
 
S.ex has two purposes: b.abies and b.onding (I don't know if the filter will recognize that phrase or not). The first purpose, re.production, is pretty clear...we need s.ex for the human race to continue. Also, human life is a sacred and beautiful thing. So s.ex is a natural miracle. But s.ex isn't just for re.production; it's also a beautiful way of expressing love between a man and his wife. It brings them closer together; it gives them a way to lavish their love on one another. So, yes, s.ex is about pleasure, in that pleasure is an integral and good part of s.ex...but it's so much more than that. It's not just about pleasure. It's a sacred mystery, really. It's meant for a husband and a wife to share.
 
And when it's shared by a husband and a wife in that way, it becomes such a beautiful thing. It says so much. It's giving yourself totally to the other person, without reserve. It's saying, "I love you so much that I am going to give you all of myself, even my ability to re.produce; I want you to be the parent of my child." If you're c.ontracepting, though, you lose part of that in.timacy; you're holding something back. You're saying, "I don't trust you enough to have a child with you right now." 
 
When you take away that part of s.ex, you're changing the way you look at s.ex. It becomes less sacred. C.ontraception is the first step in a slippery descent towards s.exual im.morality. That's why it's logical to conjecture that we got where we are today because of c.ontraception. What we're arguing about is something that goes so much deeper than charts and graphs, although they're certainly a part of it. We're looking at the changing attitude of a culture. In the last several decades, our culture has lost sight of the beauty of s.ex and, with it, the beauty of life...and it's that mindset that is responsible for the millions of babies killed by a.bortion. 

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stuntddude replied...
Feb. 15 at 9:56 am

"You're saying, "I don't trust you enough to have a child with you right now.""
 
This is a point on which your argument depends, and it's where I'm going to pause your train of thought and bring your speculation back down to earth. The reason people use cont.raceptives is rarely ever a lack of trust. When a couple chooses not to have children, it's almost always for one of two reasons. Either they don't want to have children at all, or they don't think they're ready for them yet and would rather wait until they're in a better position to be able to raise children well.
 
"C.ontraception is the first step in a slippery descent towards s.exual im.morality."
 
You're so close to referencing the slippery slope fallacy by name!
 
"That's why it's logical to conjecture that we got where we are today because of c.ontraception."
 
"I believe cont.raception makes s.ex less sacred, therefore cont.raception is the cause of all societal problems." Where's the logic in that? That's a massive leap! Where are all the intermediate steps needed to take you from your premise to your conclusion?

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 15 at 2:21 pm

"When a couple chooses not to have children, it's almost always for one of two reasons. Either they don't want to have children at all, or they don't think they're ready for them yet and would rather wait until they're in a better position to be able to raise children well."
 
I agree with those two reasons. However, I also think there's an underlying lack of trust there, as subtle as it may be. Even if the couple thinks they're trusting each other, they're definitely not trusting God. (Yes, I know you'll argue that has nothing to do with anything, but in the Christian view of marriage it's key.) 
 
I kind of think you're missing the point with regards to the trust thing. When you're c.ontracepting, you're holding something back. You're not giving yourself to your partner completely. That total giving of yourself is what makes s.ex such a beautiful mystery. If you're not ready to give yourself in that radical way, or if you don't think you're in a position to have a child right now, then you shouldn't have s.ex. There's nothing wrong with regulating the number/frequency of children you have, as long as you do it naturally...which means refraining from s.ex at certain times.
 
Which brings me to another crucial reason that artificial c.ontraception is wrong that I forgot to mention in my last post. If you aren't giving yourself totally and completely to your spouse without reserve, then s.ex becomes less selfless and more selfish. Even if you don't realize or intend it, your motives for having s.ex have changed. It's become less "I love you so much I want to give myself entirely to you" and more "I love you so much I want to have this pleasurable experience with you." There's an element of sacrifice in natural s.ex, and an element of selfishness in c.ontraceptive s.ex. By holding something back from the other person, you begin to see them as less of a person and more of an object. What c.ontraception leads to is, basically, objectifying your partner.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 15 at 2:33 pm

"Where are all the intermediate steps needed to take you from your premise to your conclusion?" 
 
Before I take another shot at this argument, may I sincerely compliment you on your mastery of logic? :)
 
1. A.rtificial c.ontraception separates re.production from s.ex.
2. When you separate re.production from s.ex, s.ex becomes something done primarily for pleasure.
3. When s.ex becomes something done primarily for pleasure, the m.arriage b.ed is no longer as sacred as it was.
4. When the m.arriage b.ed is no longer as sacred as it was, we lose some of our horror of f.ornication, a.dultery, and other ab.uses of human s.exuality.
5. When we lose some of our horror of ab.uses of human s.exuality, ab.uses of human s.exuality become more common in society.
 
Therefore, artificial c.ontraception leads to a.buses of human s.exuality becoming more common in society.
 
A common analogy is the "frog in the pot" phenomenon. If you plunge a frog into boiling water, it feels the burn and tries to get away. If you put a frog in room temperature water and slowly heat the water up, the frog doesn't notice and boils to death. In the same way, if you introduced modern culture's im.morality to 1950s America all at once, America would have recoiled. But introduce im.morality bit by bit, and America doesn't notice until she's up to her ears in trouble.

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stuntddude replied...
Feb. 15 at 7:44 pm

"Even if the couple thinks they're trusting each other, they're definitely not trusting God."
 
Putting aside for a moment that the goalposts have just moved from partners distrusting each other to partners distrusting god, why do you think this is the case? What makes the decision not to have children, or not to have children yet, fundamentally different than the myriad of other decisions we all make every day?
 
Say for example, a couple decides to wait to move in together until they can find an apartment close by that's affordable and large enough for the two of them. Then later, after moving in and getting married, they decide not to raise a child until their financial situation stabilizes and they're sure they can support one. Both are pragmatic decisions based on financial circumstances. Why would one imply distrusting God, but not the other?
 
In the next paragraph, you even say that "there's nothing wrong with regulating the number/frequency of children you have" (presumably that includes waiting before having a first child, and might or might not include having no children). So... is that distrusting God, or isn't it?
 
In that paragraph, as I understand it, you make the following points:

1. Using cont.raceptives means "holding something back" from your partner.

2. Holding back during s.ex is a bad thing.

3. If you can't go all the way with s.ex, you shouldn't go at all. In other words, it's all or nothing.

4. It's okay to regulate pre.gnancy via abs.tinence, but not cont.raceptives.
 
To which I ask the following questions:

1. Generally, s.ex with cont.raceptives is identical to s.ex without contraceptives, except for the possibility of pre.gnancy. If both partners agree that they want to avoid that possibility, then what exactly is being held back?

2. Why?

3. Why?

4. Why?
 
"It's become less "I love you so much I want to give myself entirely to you" and more "I love you so much I want to have this pleasurable experience with you.""
 
I'm not sure I follow. First, what exactly do you mean to say is the difference between those two? Specifically, could you describe in more concrete terms (that rely less on vague idioms) what you mean by the former? Second, is wanting to having pleasurable experiences with your SO a bad thing? Doesn't that describe a lot of what couples do together?
 
"By holding something back from the other person, you begin to see them as less of a person and more of an object."
 
In what way?

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 16 at 5:22 pm

It's not trusting God because it goes against God's plan for s.ex. He intends s.ex to have two fundamental, integral, and inseperable purposes: unity between the spouses and the pr.ocreation of children. He tells us in Genesis to "Be f.ertile and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it;" also in Genesis, He strikes down a man who was trying to have the pleasure of s.ex without the possibility of pr.egnancy. To go against God's plan goes deeper than simply mistrusting Him--it's disobeying Him. I would argue that disobedience is a sign of mistrust. After all, if you really trusted that God knew best, you would do things His way, wouldn't you?
 
"Generally, s.ex with cont.raceptives is identical to s.ex without co.ntraceptives, except for the possibility of pre.gnancy."
 
That's the whole point. When you take out the possibility of pre.gnancy--when you make it physically impossible for s.ex to do one of the two things s.ex is intended to do--you are, if you follow my meaning, breaking s.ex. You're taking away an integral part of it and thus making it into something less than it's meant to be. You're trying to get the pleasure without the consequences. You want the pleasure of s.ex, but you don't want the baby s.ex was made in order to make. C.ontraception goes against natural law by blocking s.ex from doing what it is meant to do. I don't know how to put it any plainer. 
 
That's the root reason c.ontraception is wrong. But it goes hand in hand with giving yourself completely to your spouse. Dr. Janet Smith could explain it so much better than I can; please, if you really want to understand the Catholic view of the beauty of natural s.ex, go to her website, or to any Catholic website explaining the matter.
 
I wish I had time to reply more fully right now. Maybe later tonight.

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stuntddude replied...
Feb. 16 at 5:44 pm

Sometimes, it feels like unpacking logic is all I'm good for :P
 
Thanks for laying out your argument so clearly. To respond to a few of the steps:

2. You mentioned in a previous post that you believe s.ex has two purposes - "babies and bonding", as you put it. If that's true, then removing re.production would leave bonding as the primary purpose, wouldn't it?

3. I just want to point out that this is based solely on your religious beliefs. As such the argument as a whole is not a secular one, meaning its relevance to public policy in the U.S. is limited. And for someone who doesn't share your religious beliefs, this is mainly where the argument breaks down.

4. Same as #3. If someone doesn't share your beliefs about sacredness, both points are down for the count.

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stuntddude replied...
Feb. 16 at 5:53 pm

"It's not trusting God because it goes against God's plan for s.ex."
 
So in other words, it's really not a matter of trust at all. It's simply a matter of whether the couple shares your particular religious beliefs about s.ex or not.
 
"You're taking away an integral part of it and thus making it into something less than it's meant to be."
 
So again, as above, if a couple doesn't share your particular religious beliefs, then this argument holds no weight.
 
Do you see what I'm getting at?

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 19 at 11:51 am

It's true that my argument is based heavily on religious beliefs, so I see what you're driving at. For someone who doesn't share my faith, there's little to no reason to accept my position. The thing is, I firmly believe that my beliefs are the truth. So while I understand why it'd be unrealistic and maybe even unjust to outlaw b.irth c.ontrol at this point, that doesn't stop me from wanting to spread the word about the Catholic teaching. It's everyone's duty to stand for what they believe is the truth, isn't it? :) 
 
I'm curious about something. Although my position does spring largely from a religious foundation, aren't the sins that c.ontraception leads to (i.e., ad.ultery) seen as bad things by most people? I mean...I'm sure that, even as an atheist, you have certain standards of s.exual morality.
 
Regarding your point about bonding as the primary purpose...I assume your point is that bonding is a good thing, and therefore there's nothing wrong with c.ontraception? 

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Feb. 19 at 2:28 pm

1. It is everyone's duty to stand for what they believe in, until it starts infringing on someone else's rights or lifestyle. What you do is up to you, for the most part, and the same goes for everyone else.
 
2. As discussed, cont.raception does not really lead to adu.ltery... adul.tery has existed long before contr.aception, and if anything, the number of adu.lterers now as compared to previous history is lower- and not because of cont.raception.
 
3. I'm sure that, even as an atheist, you have certain standards of s.exual morality. I'm not atheist, but this sentence does bother me. It's something that I see a lot. Intentionally or unintentionally, this is implying that as an atheist, one's morals are "lesser", and I've heard many people asking, "How do atheists have any morals?" It's not being amoral. It's having different morals.
 
4. What I consider to be s.exually wrong is the following: a relationship in which someone is not/cannot/does not understand the implications of giving consent (like while passed-out drunk, too young, or unwilling), or one that causes another harm (emotional, like cheating on another, or physical, like abusing someone). I think that's what is important- being willing and safe, and understanding exactly what it is you are getting into.
 
5. As far as bonding being good, see #4. I don't think we want Humbert Humbert running around. And despite your argument, I fail to see how contr.aception hurts bonding.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 19 at 5:18 pm

1. I agree; that's why I'm not advocating outlawing c.ontraception. But if I seriously belive c.ontraception is wrong--and I do--then it's my duty to explain, defend, and promote my beliefs as well as I can. There's a difference between sharing your beliefs with someone and forcing them down someone's throat.
 
2. Ad.ultery and co.ntraception are both s.exual sins; the same idealogies that promote one directly or indirectly promote the other. Ad.ultery was probably not the best example I could have used in that question, though. F.ornication is more directly linked, but I get the feeling you guys don't have much of a problem with it. I guess I was just trying to express the general culture of s.exual sins...surely we agree that some of these things are bad?
 
3. I'm sorry if I gave offense. Of course I believe atheists can be morally upright people. I was asking an honest question; I really do want to know where atheist standards of s.exual morality stand.
 
4. That makes sense, even though I disagree with it. Thank you for clarifying.
 
5. Bonding definitely is good. The thing is if you take out one of the reasons for having s.ex (in the Catholic mindset), you warp the whole thing. Bonding isn't as deep if it isn't intrinsically linked to the rep.roductive aspect. I'm not very good at explaining why that is, but if you google the Catholic teaching on s.exuality, c.ontraception, etc., I'm sure you'll come across something good. I could do a search and give you some recommendations, if you like. 

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stuntddude replied...
Feb. 20 at 12:12 am

"aren't the sins that c.ontraception leads to (i.e., ad.ultery) seen as bad things by most people?"
 
I'd posit that most people, theistic or otherwise, see ad.ultery in particular as a bad thing. However, the part of your argument that establishes cont.raception as a cause of ad.ultery is based on your religious beliefs. So the jump from ad.ultery being bad to cont.raception being bad isn't one you'd make from a secular perspective.
 
"I'm sure that, even as an atheist, you have certain standards of s.exual morality."
 
My standards of se.xual morality are very different from yours, but I assure you that they're there. You should know I'm not a nihilist or a moral relativist. :P My moral convictions come from a basis of strict moral utilitarianism. They're not really related to atheism. If you want to know my personal stance specific issues, I'll elaborate, but if you ask a different atheist, you might get a different answer. Atheism doesn't prescribe any particular moral philosophy.
 
"Regarding your point about bonding as the primary purpose...I assume your point is that bonding is a good thing, and therefore there's nothing wrong with c.ontraception?"
 
The existence of bonding as a purpose of s.ex wouldn't imply on its own that there's nothing wrong with using cont.raception, only that there would be a positive aspect to s.ex with cont.raceptives, whereas your argument characterized it as a wholly negative thing.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 20 at 3:28 pm

"the part of your argument that establishes cont.raception as a cause of ad.ultery is based on your religious beliefs."
 
Whoa, there, let's back up for a minute. Did I say that? I thought my argument hinged mainly on the point that when people lose their respect for the m.arriage b.ed, they begin to slip more easily into s.exual s.ins. Whether or not the m.arriage b.ed actually is sacred doesn't factor into the "social culture" side of the argument so heavily as whether people see the m.arriage b.ed as sacred. Know what I mean?

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Feb. 20 at 7:41 pm

Your idea of se.xual sins is religious. For instance, I'm perfectly okay with s.ex outside of marriage as long as it complies with my above statement (#4), which I think most would agree with- but it seems that you aren't, and that stems from your religious beliefs. Am I wrong?

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 21 at 5:03 pm

Well, I would argue that many if not most of what I consider to be s.exual s.ins are obviously wrong. (But as you can see, I'm confused about what non-Christians in general think about what's s.exually morally acceptable, and that's why I've been asking.) 
 
But what I really meant to argue is that at some point in the past, people had higher standards of s.exual m.orality, and ever since c.ontraceptin entered the scene, these standards have gradually been eroded in people's minds. Whether or not the standards are correct doesn't matter so much to my argument at this point as the fact that c.ontraception helps change those standards.

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Feb. 21 at 6:42 pm

It was far more common in the past to take a lo.ver/para.mour/whatever you want to call them- Caesar, George Washington, Catherine II, leaders and commoners alike had extra.marital affa.irs. Then it was common, especially among rulers- almost expected, even. Now people definitely expect faithfulness, even more so if it's in a leader.
 
I think that g.ay relationships, which you consider imm.oral, have kind of done more of an inverted bell curve over time- it was also extremely common in older times (Alexander the Great being the example that comes to mind), then it became disfavorable (for lack of a better word), in part because of the Bible, and now it has become more widely accepted again- maybe not to the extent of ancient times, but you get what I'm saying. You may call this a reversion to ancient times, which were royally screwed up at times, but I'll point out that a) not everything ancient is bad, and b) parts of the Bible are older than Alexander the Great, and therefore part of these ancient times.
 
Before these times, it was also common to marry off someone young to someone much older than them, typically through no choice of their own. Like everything else on this post of mine, it's not entirely eradicated, but it has almost no prevalence in America. Relationships between family, despite all the re.dneck stereotypes, don't really happen here either.
 
So all that said, I'd say that these (some of the most se.xual si.ns I've heard claimed) have actually gone down... and therefore have no negative link to cont.raception, if any.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 22 at 4:01 pm

Well, I think morality standards fluctuate through time. I agree, for example, that you can't say something is bad because it's ancient--there are lots of good things in the ancient world, too.
 
When I talk about America's "moral descent," I'm really thinking of very recent history--like, from the 1950s on. I feel like the early to mid-1900s are what people mean when they say "the good old days." 

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Feb. 22 at 4:52 pm

Most people talking about the good old days- or at least the ones I know- are talking about either their childhood (which would be 60s/70s/80s) or a time when things were looking up politically/economically (I hear the Reagan era, but that's from my relatives and their friends). A lot of people's "good old days" are their college years. It's a term of nostalgia, and really doesn't have anything to do with pre-contra.ception times/pre-"moral descent" times.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 23 at 1:52 pm

Yeah, I guess it's the kind of term that changes meaning depending on who uses it. I think lots of people do use it to mean "a more innocent age," though.

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