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noumenalself

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  1. Yes, but you made the point about the ocean naturally cleaning up the spill in connection with the political question, presumably to say that there is no problem in need of being solved. The material you just posted does describe a mechanism for the gradual disappearance of the oil, but it doesn't specify the time frame. How many months or years of fishing will have to be destroyed before the ocean takes care of this naturally? In any case, I agree that in a free society, there would be no collective government response to this problem. But you're still maintaining an unrealistic stance about whether or not this will affect you. You don't have to eat seafood to be affected economically by a disaster for this many other people.
  2. Do you have any scientific evidence to back up the claim that it will reabsorb the oil in a timely manner? In months, years, decades? OK, but this disaster is big enough that it will affect many of us, whether or not we directly benefit from the gulf. The price of seafood will increase. The price of oil may increase. If the economy of Louisiana tanks (further), this will hurt people in other states who trade with Louisiana, etc. This isn't a rationale for any special collective government action with respect to the Gulf, but the situation is not as easy to isolate oneself from as you project.
  3. That's just bananas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qff098NCNDE...feature=related
  4. I disagree. Many Christians are good people, or at least not evil. Sure. The same is true of many Muslims (though perhaps not as many). But the ideas of both Christianity and Islam are fundamentally the same: fundamentally mystical, anti-happiness, and anti-freedom. The extent to which many Christians fail to embrace these ideas is a consequence of the fact that they live in a culture that has been influenced by the Enlightenment and has caused the separation of religion from secular affairs. Muslims who have lived in a America for a generation or two are the same way. Had history been different, and had an Enlightenment occurred and been sustained in the Muslim world instead of in the West, Christians would be the ones launching terrorist attacks against the Middle East. Islam and the other threats you mention are indeed great threats to freedom today. But what is the greater threat: a threat we're faced with immediately, or the threat that makes a whole series of threats possible? If the good Christians you mention were to abandon Christianity and embrace reason, they would immediately deprive our enemies of their greatest weapons: the Christian altruist code of morality. It's this code that makes possible the pacifism that weakens us against Islam and emboldens the terrorists. It's this code that makes Republicans weak-kneed in their opposition against socialism. This, after all, is the lesson of Atlas Shrugged. The greatest threat is the man who sanctions his own destroyers. Evil by its nature is impotent, and cannot challenge the good unless the good gives over to the evil its own power. Think of Islam 100 years ago. The Ottoman Empire was in decline, it was the "sick man of Europe." No one would have thought that pathetic Muslim kingdoms could ever pose a threat to the civilized, industrialized Western superpowers. It was not until the 20th century, when Western powers abdicated their moral certainty and declared that they bore the guilt for the problems of the third world that Islamic totalitarianism became a live political option, and its terrorists became genuine threats. Had Western powers refused to permit the nationalization of their oil fields, the long, drawn-out hostage crises involving their citizens, and the long trains of terrorist attacks without retaliation, the likes of bin Laden would never have dared to take us on.
  5. I don't want to undercut your question about finding the things that are still great about America. But as a sidebar, I just want to point out that there's something bizarre about saying that most of our problems are caused by "socialism and Islam." If you're looking for religions to blame, Christianity has wrought far more damage, including but not limited to motivating the moral argument for socialism, and underpinning pacifism in response to Islamic terrorists.
  6. See here: http://www.the-undercurrent.com/blog/campu...-campus-revival
  7. Ellen Kenner, who is an Objectivist therapist, recommends finding a certified cognitive therapist: http://www.drkenner.com/how2choose.htm Cognitive therapy is the very successful modern approach to therapy which approximates most closely the Objectivist approach to the emotions: the view that our emotions are products of our thinking, and that we can solve emotional problems by solving thinking problems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_therapy Kenner links to the Academy of Cognitive Therapy web site, which includes a searchable database of locally certified therapists: http://is.gd/6qvFy If you search by Colorado, there is one listed in Denver, one in Castle Rock, and one in Boulder. I don't know anything about these individuals so please don't take this as a recommendation. There are many other therapists who follow a cognitive-based approach who are not necessarily certified through this particular academy. I don't know if Kenner thinks that only those so certified are reliable. To your health!
  8. You have a lot of freedom, but it's freedom you properly should use sparingly. The department is not hiring you to teach your own ideas. They're hiring you to teach about a variety of views on a given subject. You often can't help but slant things, but if you're just using the course as a platform for your own views, you're not doing your job and not giving the students what they paid for.
  9. Be honest, but be careful. If you want to make reference to an idea that is Rand's, not yours, then you should acknowledge it, at the very least in a footnote. But be careful, because you don't want to make a paper *about* Rand when that's not the assignment (if it's not). That's important both because you don't want to drown the paper with irrelevancies, and also because you don't want to turn off your professor unnecessarily. I wrote too many philosophy papers as an undergraduate which featured Rand prominently, when this was not the assignment and not necessary for what I wanted to say. Usually all you need is footnotes, for the sake of avoiding plagiarism. And you should think about whether you need to refer to Ayn Rand's ideas as much as you might otherwise want to. Usually a professor is looking for you to give your own thoughts on a question. Sometimes you may agree with Rand on matters that are directly relevant to the question, in which case your thoughts are her thoughts. But you should think about whether there are ways to answer the assigned question that don't involve stating an alternative philosophical position. You may be able to answer the question just by raising critical questions about another view, pointing out logical gaps and overlooked facts, etc. Generally, I would say, use Rand in your paper only when it is necessary, only when you don't have original thoughts of your own on the assigned question--and when you are able to present her ideas in a way that looks intelligent, not slavish.
  10. It doesn't say "because." It says that Descartes theory involves a form of misintegration, *and* that concepts apply to percepts. You would read this better as involving a form of misintegration *even though* he thinks concepts apply to percepts. Notice the contrast with the M2, according to which "percepts are in conflict with concepts." The part about concepts actually applying to percepts is what makes M1 better than M2. But it's not a fully "integrated" theory, because concepts only apply to percepts--they don't also derive from them.
  11. Here's the way it's done. http://www.noumenalself.com/capitalism.jpeg http://www.noumenalself.com/capitalism-original.jpeg
  12. noumenalself

    Permission...

    Whatever you do, don't call them "rants." It's a cute combination, but a "rant" is generally pejorative.
  13. There's about a zillion sites run by amateur Objectivists, which make even more amateur errors and omissions. If you worry about this one, you'll have a zillion more worries.
  14. noumenalself

    Anarchy

    Though I think you're exaggerating the ARI position, it's noteworthy that it's not just ARI that disagrees with you. It's also Ayn Rand: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...lian_casualties And there are *philosophical reasons* for this position. You should think about them: http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=New...cle&id=6418
  15. Darren quotes Michael Huemer: Huemer is using a timeworn, standard method of philosophical argumentation here: reductio ad absurdum. This method involves noting that an idea has absurd consequences, and then rejecting the idea because of those consequences. We Objectivists use the same method all the time. We say, for example, that environmentalism logically implies that man should commit suicide for the "interest" of nature. Environmentalists will then always get offended and say, "But we don't think we should commit suicide!" And then we have to explain that we are talking about the essence of the idea of environmentalism, which most environmentalists hold inconsistently, because they do not grasp its meaning or implications. Huemer is doing exactly the same thing. He's saying that Ayn Rand is wrong to advocate egoism, because the *idea* of egoism *logically* implies exploiting other people even if Ayn Rand doesn't recognize that it does. Of course I think he's wrong that it implies this, but no where here does he say anything like the following: "Ayn Rand says we should hurt, exploit, or ignore the needs of others. She is wrong to say this." If he had said anything like this, then there would be a problem. But he doesn't. The simplest explanation of what he's doing here is giving a reductio ad absurdum style of argument.
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