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Pete

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    Ohio
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    Shawnee State

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  1. Wow Megan: that was a little odd. I was raised Catholic and practiced it even after I left home and joined the Navy at the age of 18. I began talking to someone that showed me the inconsistencies in the Catholic religion and I ended up joining a very fundamentalist Christian group....I was searching for absolutes. After being in this absolutist Christian group for 4 years, I found that I could not practice a Christian lifestyle anymore and I dropped out, thinking that I was going to burn in hell for the rest of eternity. A friend of mine introduced me to Atlas Shrugged as an answer to why he didn't support the welfare system about 2 years after I left the Church and voila: I was hooked! I would say that the reason I switched so easily was because the influence my Dad had on me in my childhood. Even though he raised me as a Catholic, he also was a thinker and thinking leads to the discovery of absolutes, which led me to the discovery of Objectivism.
  2. Pete

    Abortion

    I've always had a problem trying to understand an Objectivist deliniation between a "potential human" and a human. At this point, I'll have to agree with you, Sherlock: so far, I haven't seen any evidence that proves where the fetus ends and the human being begins. I'm inclined to take the position that the human being begins with the fetus: the first stage of development of the human being.
  3. Being an ex-Christian, I can comment that the term "Christian" is a very loose term in this country. There are so many denominations of Christianity that they only resemble each other remotely. Most "Christians" only give lip service to their philosophy, for one hour on Sunday mornings, and then spend the other 167 hours of the week chasing after material goods and the pursuit of happiness (i.e. Capitalist). The more Christianity is integrated into their lives, the more time they devote to the Christian philosophy, the less time they devote to the pursuit of their own happiness, the less they are Capitalist. This is one of the reasons it is a little disturbing to see the rise of the Religious Right. The Christian denomination I came from did not tolerate the pursuit of material goods. We believed this was considered "the love of the World, and anyone who had the love of the world, the love of the Father (magic sky daddy!) was not in him". I believe true Christianity will lead to material suicide. Look what it did to the Roman Empire.
  4. Persecutions on a national scale usually involve a ruling elite with almost unlimited power against a minority that is at odds with those in power. Our current political environment does not support any organization with near unlimited power; so, persecution on a large scale as the examples you noted in your original post, cannot exist....in the United States. My hope is that Objectivism will grow and influence this culture to the point that, by the time it does become a major cultural influence, the political climate in this country will not be allowing a ruling elite to persecute those with contrary views; however, I'm not optimistic. Persecutions on a smaller or individual scale probably occur routinely for Objectivist. I crossed a picket line in New Jersey and had to lock my doors when I got home from work that evening. I was going to call in sick that day (had a stomach flu) but when I heard that the workers in my department had organized a one day walk out strike to show support for organizing a union and had established a picket line, I wanted to show them that I did not support their stand and they knew why, so I crossed their line and went in to work that day. There are more details than that, but I'm sure there are other members that can share some instances where the outcome was a little more violent. Anyone want to share?
  5. After spending most of my life in Southeastern Ohio (part of Appalacia AND the Rust Belt...with Midwest climate {cold, damp, and cloudy}), I'd pick Israel: never a dull moment!
  6. Pete

    Libertarians

    Another note about the Libertarian Party, a few elections ago, they almost had Howard Stern run on the Libertarian Party ticket for Governor of NY. The party obviously has strictly political ambitions (and please don't try to defend Howard Stern).
  7. I know of a guy that didn't pay income taxes or social security taxes. There was a coarse he spoke of that referred you to the documents that chartered the Federal Gov't, including the Post Office. The charter that extablished the Post Office stated that it could never charge more than 2 cents for a stamp and he said that he never paid more than that for a stamp. A bunch of people challenged his statement, so he took their addresses down and, within a week, they all received a letter in the mail with a 2 cent stamp on it! As far as income taxes, it has to do with the Federal I-9 form you fill out with a new employer. You have to claim yourself as a "Foreign National" and not a US Citizen. US citizens were suppose to be only Federal Employees and we're suppose to be Foreign Nationals to the US Gov't. Other than that, last I heard, the Gov't found a way to get him on tax fraud; so, I wouldn't recommend trying to go head to head with Uncle Sam.
  8. It's already established in some areas developed by real estate developers, that if someone buys a property lot in that area, they are obligated to build their house within a specified square footage, not to have junk piled in front of their house, etc., etc., as part of the building code that the real estate developer determined would be best to sell his property. In a free society, some of the other obligations would be that the buyer pay a "security fee" to support a local law enforcement agency (call it the police, Wackenhut, or whatever the developer "chooses"). If someone was to "initiate the use of force" by breaking and entering in to a persons home or business in the area where he signed a contract and payed a fee for security purposes, that person could call the security enforcement agency for recompence for their losses. Depending on the policy, the agency could: 1: Recompence you for your losses and then prosecute the offenders to be reimbursed (a very high premium I would presume) 2: Attempt to apprehend the offenders and retrieve your stolen property (may not be very successful but would be at a lower premium) 3: A miriad of other alternatives, as much as the "free" market would have to offer.
  9. Pete

    Libertarians

    I voted for Bush, but under no pretense that he is a good President; but, he is doing some things right. Kerry is a definite liberal and voting for him would have been a slap in the face to our troops in Iraq (his desire to fight a more "sensitive" war). Here's something of interest: I started to support the Libertarian party (even sent them a campaign contribution); then, I read an article from a Libertarian who is the Law Professor at Ohio State University: He urged all libertarians to cast their vote for Bush, with the election being so close and so much at stake. A vote for Badnarik to provide a "protest vote" or show of support for libertarian politics would only help Kerry get elected. Kerry is for some of the most profound politics that would undermine America's sovereinty like no other President in History (legislation and policies such as "Sustainable Development", The Kyoto Pact, and others).
  10. Pete

    Immorality

    That's the question, Citizen: is it both...can all acts of immorallity be traced back to an error of knowledge? I'm wondering if there are those that, at the core of their being, hate life so much that they intentionally try to destroy it, not being fully aware of what they're doing. The fundamental choice: to live or not to live; and they chose not to (referring to the James Taggarts and some of our more hard core liberals).
  11. Pete

    Immorality

    That's a good reply; but, I know people that think they're doing the moral, humane action, by voting for a democrat that won't cut Social Security, believe they are supporting a moral idea; when in reality, the idea they're supporting is immoral.
  12. I just recently came across the theory of string theory and wanted to know some more about it. I also just replied to your "Introduction" thread. I hope you stay around for a long, long, time: we all have a lot we can learn from you. Once again, glad to have you aboard!
  13. Hey Eric, Welcome aboard. Ayn Rand's philosophy saved me from a life of condemnation. I left a church that had condemned me to hell eternal, thinking that since I had forsaken Christ on the cross, he would forsake me at the final judgement. I was taught that I needed "forgiveness of sins" to exist in the afterlife and to forsake this life altogether. With Objectivism, I discovered something better than the forgiveness of sins: knowing I had nothing to be sorry for in the first place! Enjoy your journey, stick to your physics degree if that's what you want to pursue. Don't drop your passions because you think you need to spread Objectivism: you'll do more good for Objectivism by following your passions. Afterall, that's what the Philosophy is all about. Good Luck!
  14. Pete

    Immorality

    Ayn Rand stated that morals are ethical principles. If a person acts immorally or unethically, could you say that they don't really know any better? Can all acts of immorality be traced back to an error of knowledge?
  15. I read part of the book and had to take the coarse at work; some of it is kind of disturbing. Not really good material.
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