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FlashFour

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  1. Sorry, I wasn't exactly clear about that. What I meant was in order to become citizens and have the right to register to vote, immigrants are given a test.
  2. Ok, so you have the magical power to change exactly one thing about the American government as it is right now. Everything else stays the same, unless your change directly affects something else and forces it to change. What do you change? P.S. no sweeping generalizations like "Make America an Objectivist state" or "make all politicians rational"
  3. Immigrants have to take a test so that they can vote, why not citizens? I think if everyone took an immigration-style exam, we would have a much better informed pool of voters. Then we could lower the voting age to 14 or so, assuming the 14-year-old would make the effort to learn about the government sufficiently to be a well-informed voter. I would personally love to have that kid decide the fate of the nation rather than the idiot who has dont nothing for his right to vote besides stay alive in America for 18 years. Someone suggested giving parents the right to vote for their children. Horrible idea, because: a) most young children don't have political beliefs, or, if they do, they are exactly the same as their parents because they dont know anything else. this is basically giving the parents multiple votes do you really think that there wouldnt be a vast number of parents who would exploit this? if someone's second grader tells him or her to vote for the guy running against his or her candidate, who the parent dislikes with a passion, how many people do you know would cast the kid's vote for the opposing side? and c) Places like the Bible Belt would be a major issue. religious fanatics, no contraception, myriads of underage children, this would multiply votes for people like Bush tenfold overnight. shudder.
  4. I think there need to be some serious alterations in the way America views children, or rather minors. Obviously a five-year-old has not reached a mature and rational state, but there are many teenaged minors who really are capable of utilizing their own rights but are instead forced under the control of their parents until they hit 18. On the other hand, some people live their whole lives at the maturity of the average twelve-year-old. The system of determining rights by age is inherently flawed in that everyone matures at a different pace. The problem is most comonly manifested in teenagers, who usually by this time have formed some kind of credo of beliefs, yet can still be forced to live according to the beliefs of thier parents (i.e. forced religion, how much homework they have to do, ect.) simply because they are underage. A person does not even own himself in most states until he is eighteen. California has recently considered giving minors as young as 14 weighted votes in government elections. This could possibly give minors the representation and rights that they seriously lack in government today. A classic example: driving laws. Sixteen year olds have so many restricitons up on their driving habits, but cannot do anything about it because they cannot vote. Senior citizens, who are statistically only sligtly better drivers have no extra restrictions because they can and do vote. I know a woman who was driving legally blind for years before anyone did anything about it. Obviously, there's no perfect solution, but America's minors deserve better.
  5. FlashFour

    "heroes"

    I must say that I am inclined to admire the lawyer who takes on a challange. Personally, I value what I earn and I do as I please with it, but I think much more worthwhile is the actual challange of the work done and the greater benefits I reap (such as the janitor someone mentioned who helps put men on the moon). I think theres something deeper when you are working harder and earning more than just material things. I feel like I am being more respectful to myself when I am testing my own capabilities. I think there is an underlying issue here, which is, as some people hinted, that Objectivism isn't just about money. Obviously it is very important, especially in practical applications, but like Concerto of Atlantis said, "Monetary profit is only ONE type of profit". I almost feel like there is too much of an emphasis on the selfish aquisition of money. This is understandable, as this aspect of Objectivism is the one that is usually under attack. However, as a general trend, the other ideas involved here are overshadowed by this and Objectivists tend to be seen simply as misers. I when I heard Objectivist ideas denounced elsewhere, I investigated, and I think many people who oppose Objectivism would not if they could see that (correct me if I am wrong) it is more about the value of personal achievement than making money.
  6. FlashFour

    "heroes"

    Just wondering what some of your thoughts were on the following: I think most (if not all) of the people here detest the image of the hero as a self-sacrificing public servant. So what do you feel is there to be said for the person who works for himself, but primarily for something other than material gain? For instance, the example that got me thinking about this was a play I saw in which a lawyer who only took challanging cases that could really make an impact and fight for what was right compared himself to his colleague who was making tons of money but would only take on open and closed cases. I think there's something to be said for those who can make themselves happy in a more...important kind of way. For instance someone who has fought for the rights that he enjoys rather than someone who has worked to become wealthy. What do you all think?
  7. Sorry if this is repetitive, but my newbie self needs a clarification: So...if you are sarcificing yourself (lets face it, maybe you dont hope to, but you sacrifice a lot for these types of jobs) for the good of others, but in doing so you are upholding your own moral values, then it doesn't go against the "I will never live for the sake of any man" rule?
  8. There are always write-ins. Theres got to be someone that you think could be a good president. I know write-ins a total joke, but I think that if you don't even *try* to get someone good in office, you are pretty much as guilty for what the idiot who gets in does as the person who voted for him. But short of that, I guess its a lesser of two evils decision.
  9. Hey everyone. I recently became interested in objectivism after I read a bit about it this summer. I recognized that the basic beliefs were entirely in tune with how I have felt for as long as I can remember. I have a pretty firm set of values, some of which are different from those of objectivists, but I am still beginning to consider myself to be an objectivist. Anyhow, I have a few questions about how some of these ideals come into play in a less-than-ideal world. My main question is about charity. Not everyone can get along in the world, some people really have been dealt a bad hand (and I'm using the strictest definition of "a bad hand", ie a child, or someone who is severely disabled, ect). Is it anyone's responsibility to take care of these people and get them on the right track, or do we let them starve? If so, whose responsibility is it? I'm guessing its not the government's because in the US, that makes it society's, which is unfair. Should these people rely on voluntary charity then? Speaking of charity, do many objectivists give to charitable organizations? Does Objectivism support giving to a cause if it is not out of sense of duty, but if this makes the donor happy? I personally get no joy out of sitting on money I have no use for, and I like to see my hard-earned money at work for something I believe in. Is this normal/common among objectivists? What about people who accept charity/financial assistance? Are they non-objectivism in that very act, or can they go about it in a way consistant with these beliefs? (for situations like college scholarships and for situations like food banks) Another thing I recently read was a belief that we are not responsible to take other philosophical ideas into consideration or to respect them. Am I getting that wrong? That is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. Thanks to anyone who actually got this far, but I was excited to find a group of people who I could discuss objectivism with without getting the "duty to society" line. Cheers, Natasha
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