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Posts posted by Styles2112

  1. I think the best place to get Rush lyrics is at www.2112.net/powerwindows

    A pretty good site if you're a big Rush fan.

    My Favorite Rush song changes from week to week. Lately, I've had "Chain Lightning" in my head.

    Otherwise, I've been pretty stuck on Snakes and Arrows and "The Larger Bowl"

  2. Okay, I haven't posted in a while, but something someone said to me recently got me thinking about a topic. I'm not the best at phrasing questions, so please bare with me (if you will).

    In the Fountainhead, when Roark, Dagny and the sculptor (whose name I forget) build the temple, I got the impression that they all had a feeling of ownership in the temple. Is it not (or how is it not) a feeling of collectivism (bad word for this, maybe?) when a group of people feel so attached to a mutual creation?

    in possible other words, what is the distinction between collectivism and that sharing of creation with others?

    (I'm not talking about property rights or intellectual rights either, in case that comes up).

    Thanks for your time and opinions on the subject.

  3. Obviously, since dogs and fish are encapable of engaging in trade.No, of course not. Why would you think that?Because it's contrary to man's nature, and a being must act according to his nature.

    Fish, not as likely, but dogs? Sure. A dog does not have to be domesticated if it doesn't want to be (I've seen such dogs). HOwever, the dog stands as much to gain from the domestication as the human. Free food, secure home, companionship. If you really don't think there is a value for value trade in domestication, I think you're mistaken. This only applies, really, to domesticated animals, since hunting/eating is an entirely different matter all-together.

  4. I provided a couple sources, how does that not substantiate my claim?

    Not really in the mood to go into this... I've said my piece.

    Critics, on the other hand, claim that Gates has engineered a stranglehold over the entire industry with his ideas and products. He and Microsoft have faced numerous allegations of unethical business practices, copyright infringement and monopolistic tendencies. Even now, Gates and Microsoft are the subjects of an ongoing legal battle with industry competitors and the U.S. Justice Department.


    Main article: Criticism of Microsoft


    Since the 1980s, Microsoft has been the focus of much controversy in the computer industry. Most criticism has been for its business tactics, often described with the motto "embrace, extend and extinguish". Microsoft initially embraces a competing standard or product, then extends it to produce their own incompatible version of the software or standard, which in time extinguishes competition that does not or cannot use Microsoft's new version.[83] These and other tactics have led to various companies and governments filing lawsuits against Microsoft.[84][44][16] Microsoft has been called a "velvet sweatshop" in reference to allegations of the company working its employees to the point where it might be bad for their health. The first instance of "velvet sweatshop" in reference to Microsoft originated from a Seattle Times article in 1989, and later became used to describe the company by some of Microsoft's own employees.[85][86]

    Free software proponents point to the company's joining of the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA) as a cause of concern. A group of companies that seek to implement an initiative called Trusted Computing (which is claimed to set out to increase security and privacy in a user's computer), the TCPA is decried by critics as a means to allow software developers to enforce any sort of restriction they wish over their software.

    “ Large media corporations, together with computer companies such as Microsoft and Intel, are planning to make your computer obey them instead of you”

    Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation[87]

    Advocates of free software also take issue with Microsoft's promotion of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and total cost of ownership (TCO) comparisons with its "Get the facts" campaign. Digital Rights Management is a technology that allows content providers to impose restrictions on the methods by which their products are used on consumer hardware; and subsequently, detractors contend that such technology is an infringement on fair use and other rights, especially given that it inhibits legal activities such as re-mixing or reproduction of material for use in slide shows.[88] The "Get the facts" campaign argues that Windows Server has a lower TCO than Linux and lists a variety of studies in order to prove its case.[89] Proponents of Linux unveiled their own study arguing that, contrary to one of Microsoft's claims, Linux has lower management costs than Windows Server.[90] Another study by the Yankee Group claims that upgrading from one version of Windows Server to another costs less than switching from Windows Server to Linux.[91]

    Microsoft admitted in its 2006 Annual Report that it was a defendant in at least 35 patent infringement lawsuits. [2] The company's litigation expenses for April 2004 through March 2007 exceed $4.3 billion: over $4 billion in payouts, plus $300 million in legal fees.[11] Another concern of critics is that Microsoft may be using the distribution of shared source software to harvest names of developers who have been exposed to Microsoft code, as some believe that these developers could someday be the target of lawsuits if they were ever to participate in the development of competing products. This issue is addressed in published papers from several organizations including the American Bar Association and the Open Source Initiative.[12][13]

    Government anti-trust suits

    In the 1990s, Microsoft adopted exclusionary licensing under which PC manufacturers were required to pay for an MS-DOS license even when the system shipped with an alternative operating system. Critics allege that it also used predatory tactics to price its competitors out of the market and that Microsoft erected technical barriers to make it appear that competing products did not work on its operating system.[25] In a consent decree issued on July 15, 1994, Microsoft agreed to a deal in which, among other things, that the company would not make the sale of its operating systems conditional on the purchase of any other Microsoft product. A Microsoft purchase of Intuit was also scuttled in 1994 due to antitrust concerns that Microsoft would be purchasing a major competitor.[26]

    After bundling the Internet Explorer web browser into its Windows operating system in the late 1990s (without requiring a separate purchase) and acquiring a dominant share in the web browser market, the antitrust case United States v. Microsoft was brought against the company. In a series of rulings by judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the company was found to have violated its earlier consent decree and abused its monopoly in the desktop operating systems market. The "findings of fact" during the antitrust case established that Microsoft has a monopoly in the PC desktop operating systems market:

    Viewed together, three main facts indicate that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power. First, Microsoft's share of the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems is extremely large and stable. Second, Microsoft's dominant market share is protected by a high barrier to entry. Third, and largely as a result of that barrier, Microsoft's customers lack a commercially viable alternative to Windows. (III.34)[27]

    The findings of fact goes on to explain the nature of the "barrier to entry":

    The fact that there is a multitude of people using Windows makes the product more attractive to consumers. The large installed base… impels ISVs (independent software vendors) to write applications first and foremost to Windows, thereby ensuring a large body of applications from which consumers can choose. The large body of applications thus reinforces demand for Windows, augmenting Microsoft's dominant position and thereby perpetuating ISV incentives to write applications principally for Windows… The small or non-existent market share of an aspiring competitor makes it prohibitively expensive for the aspirant to develop its PC operating system into an acceptable substitute for Windows. (III.39–40)[27]

    The proposed remedy (dividing Microsoft into two companies) was overturned on appeal. While new penalties were under consideration, the Clinton administration ended and the Bush administration took office. The new administration announced that in the interest of ending the case as quickly as possible, it would no longer seek to break the company up, and that it would stop investigating claims of illegal tying of products.[28] Five days later, terrorists attacked the Pentagon and World Trade center. Eighteen days later, Judge Kollar-Kotelly ordered the justice department and Microsoft to "engage in discussions seven days a week, 24 hours a day."[29] The judge cited the events of September 11, 2001 in her direction to begin settlement talks but did not explain the linkage between the two.[30][31][32] Attorney General Ashcroft, however, denied that the events of September 11 had any effect on the outcome.[33] Microsoft subsequently reached a settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and some of the states which brought suit against it. Several class-action lawsuits filed after the conviction are still pending.

    In early 2002, Microsoft proposed to settle the private lawsuits by donating $1 billion USD in money, software, services, and training, including Windows licenses and refurbished PCs, to about 12,500 underprivileged public schools. This was seen by some as a potential windfall for Microsoft, not only in educating schoolchildren on Microsoft solutions but also in collecting additional license fees if the schools ever wanted to upgrade. After protests from Apple Inc. (at the time Apple Computer, Inc.), which feared further loss of its educational market share, a federal judge rejected the proposed settlement.[34]

    In 2003–2004, the European Commission investigated the bundling of Windows Media Player into Windows, a practice which rivals complained was destroying the market for their own products. Negotiations between Microsoft and the Commission broke down in March 2004, and the company was subsequently handed down a record fine of €497 million ($666 million) for its breaches of EU competition law. Separate investigations into alleged abuses of the server market were also ongoing at the same time. On December 22, 2004, the European Court decided that the measures imposed on Microsoft by the European Commission would not be delayed, as was requested by Microsoft while waiting for the appeal. Microsoft has since paid a €497 million fine, shipped versions of Windows without Windows Media Player, and licensed many of the protocols used in its products to developers in countries within the European Economic Area. However, the European Commission has charactized the much delayed protocol licensing as unreasonable, called Microsoft "non-compliant" and still violating antitrust law in 2007, and said that its RAND terms were above market prices; in addition, they said software patents covering the code "lack significant innovation", which Microsoft and the EC had agreed would determine licensing fees.[35] Microsoft responded by saying, that other government agencies had found "considerable innovation".[36][37] Microsoft has appealed the facts and ruling to the European Court Of First Instance with hearings in September 2006, and a decision expected in September 2007.[38] Microsoft also has the ability to make a final appeal, strictly on the basis of law, to the Court of Justice, which is expected in 2009.

    Microsoft also faced competition law in South Korea and was fined $32 million in December 2005 and ordered to unbundle instant messaging, Windows Media Player and Windows Media Service, or let competitors' products take their place.[39] Microsoft noted in their October 2005 SEC filing that they may have to pull out of South Korea, although they later denied fulfilling such a plan.[40] Microsoft's 2006 appeal was struck down; they have another appeal pending.

    U.S. fines Bill Gates $800,000

    Government cites world's richest man for violating antitrust waiting period for stock purchases.

    May 3, 2004: 2:35 PM EDT

    WASHINGTON (CNN) - It may just be pocket change for the richest man in the world, but Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has been fined $800,000 by the federal government for violating an antitrust rule.

    Will the world's richest man feel an $800,000 fine?

    The technical incident has nothing to do with the government's massive antitrust battles with Microsoft (MSFT: Research, Estimates).

    Gates, whose fortune has been estimated at more than $40 billion, ran afoul of the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department's Antitrust Division for his purchases of stock in a drug company and a waste-hauling firm.

    The Justice Department said Gates has agreed to pay the civil penalty to settle a charge that he violated "premerger reporting requirements."

    In a civil suit filed in federal court in Washington Monday, the department said Gates' error stemmed from his acquisition of more than $50 million in voting stock in ICOS (ICOS: Research, Estimates), a drug maker, in May 2002.

    The government said Gates did not qualify for an exemption to federal notification requirements because he intended to participate in the business decisions of ICOS through his long-standing membership on that company's board of directors.

    The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 imposes notification and waiting period requirements on individuals and companies over a certain size before they can complete acquisitions of stock or assets valued at more than $50 million, the Justice Department said.

    "The case filed today is not related Gates' position in Microsoft Corp. or the department's antitrust litigation with the company," the department said in a statement.

    The Federal Trade Commission said it had warned Gates about a similar reporting infraction when his personal investment trust bought shares of Republic Services Corp. (RSG: Research, Estimates) in November 2001. The acquisition brought his stake to more than 10 percent of the outstanding shares of the waste-hauling company.

    Antitrust rules require that entities must file with the government when their holdings exceed 10 percent of a company's stock.

    Want more?

    Bees die when they sting. But they'll do so, to protect the hive. Does this prove that they can make a choice? Absolutely not! Your statement, "Either their sole purpose is survival (an automon) or they can make a choice" is utterly false.

    Bees aren't higher functioning animals like cats and dogs. You seem to see everything in black and white, and it isn't. Though, I would be interested in further insect study.

    Clearly, what constitutes "survival" for a creature in this context is more complex than simple, physical survival. Animals do a lot of suicidal things - sometimes because their automatic programming is insufficient to deal with conditions and sometimes because natural selection favors suicidal behaviors under certain conditions.

    The same would be true of humans, then. It doesn't take away from choice, though. Remember, I'm not advocating some kind of full consciousness or animal rights. I'm just saying that BASIC choice making and consciousness ARE there and it's been proven (for higher functioning animals, at least).

    Citing studies proves nothing if you fail to understand them.

    Right back at you.

  5. A link is not an argument. Either make the argument, or retract the claim.Then you will probably want to explicitly retract the claim.Me too. My point is that you made an unsubstantiated and indefensible claim. So now your only choices are to retract the claim, or substantiate the claim.

    I provided a couple sources, how does that not substantiate my claim?

    Not really in the mood to go into this... I've said my piece.

  6. Some of the Rush lyrics have been posted twice now in this thread. Seems like Rush has quite a following here.

    My challenge from earlier still stands:

    I didn't see the challenge until today. It's either from The Rush in Rio CD/DVD (which is what I think it is) or from one of the Snakes and Arrows liner notes (to which the Dragon makes another appearance. I think more the former, though.

  7. So tell us what immoral things Gates did by building Microsoft. Don't forget to inform us why producing useful products as opposed to useless ones is immoral.


    and a whole book on the things he did to get that kind of power


    Look, I really don't care. I thought what Gates did with his will was kind of cool. He's rich, and I admire that, but I just don't fool myself about how he got there.

    Anyways, I just wanted to make a couple points, not really worth pursuing the discussion.

  8. (like Microsoft and Walmart)
    because he is a hack that uses eminent domain to cheat people out of their property. The Vera Coking incident is one such incident where Donald Trump wanted to build a parking garage on her property, but she wouldn't give it up, not for a million dollars. He went to the government to try and have her property seized for the greater good of the city, saying that the streets would be less crowded. Luckily for her, the case got alot of attention which painted Trump as the bully he really is, so he backed down. When John Stossel confronted him about it, he got huffy and stormed out of the building. So not only is he a crook, but he denies the reality that he is in fact one.
    Right, and Bill gates didn't do anything immoral or shady building Microsoft. I get sick of people talking about Wal-Mart as some Objectivist giant, too. They sell the lowest common denominator crap to the lowest common denominator people. The are the ultimate Wynand industry.Like your second example though, I think that Alternate Mode (an electronic percussion creator) is MY ultimate Objectivist business. They make a powerful, unique, and practical instrument (product). You don't have to buy a NEW one every two years, because they can update the original machine for much cheaper. The constantly seek to IMPROVE their product and they have outstanding customer service. To ME, anyways, that's the true definition of an Objectivist business, but I understand there are those who disagree.
    No, it is you who are wrong - anthropomorphizing again. Just because animals are programmed by nature to put themselves in harm's way under certain circumstances does NOT mean that they possess free will.
    Huh? Why are you redefining it? Either their sole purpose is survival (an automon) or they can make a choice. You want it both ways? Can you prove your claim? I've posted the studies several times on here backing up mine.
  9. Let us take the example of the choice of life. Can you say that animals can choose between life and death?

    They cannot because they are programmed by nature to do all that is necessary for their survival.

    Not true. There are numerous examples where animals CONSCIOUSLY put themselves in harms way (and I'm not talking trained police dogs or anything like that) to protect humans and other animals. That's a very blanket statement made that you can't back up.

    Recently, there was a story on yahoo about a Chihuahua who jumped in front of an infant (family dog) to take a rattlesnake bite. If the animal were a pure automon as you suggest, the dog would merely have run and allowed the child (other species) to die.

    There have also been NUMEROUS studies showing a (at the very least) basic consciousness (decision-making) level in animals.

    Just google Animal sentience and you'll come up with a ton of scientific studies.

  10. Peter was not a victim of anybody but his own choices. Keating among many other things, failed to introspect with honesty so he just continued on a wrong path instead of acknowledging to himself: Ok what I am doing is not making me happy. I don't know what the answer is, since I have done everything that I thought would bring me to that state; I don't know what kind of change I have to make but I know I have to change something. Let me take a look at people who are self content in order to learn what makes it possible.

    That is possible to anyone, regardless of childhood influences.

    I agree with Rand:

    I agree, but that was not my point. Likewise, when Peter DID change, it was Roark who told him it was 'too late.' Quite contrary to Miss Rand's quote there.

  11. In a certain sense, Peter is one of the most frightening creatures in The Fountainhead, I think.

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but I kind of see Peter as an example of how vulnerable man can be without a consistent moral basis to guide him. I pitied Peter because he was a victim of his family and the society in which he grew up in. It's not hard to see why he was confused. While he certainly had the CAPACITY, to change that situation, I think his story was, in particular, a shining example of MOST people in modern society.

  12. I didn't so much forget it as not post it because you can't really take a quote from it and preserve the message and impact. Your solution of quoting pretty much the whole thing works for me though :thumbsup:

    Counterparts is my favorite Rush album, the lyrics are powerful and inspiring and the music is pretty much Rush at peak performance - which is saying something. The level of creativity that went into composing those songs is fantastic - as is the musicianship (is that a word?) that it takes to perform them. Anyone interested in the band would do well starting with Counterparts.

    Indeed. Counterparts was an EXCEPTIONAL piece of work. I'm highly impressed with Snakes And Arrows, as well. Probably along the same level, in my opinion.

  13. One more Peart

    What you own is your own kingdom

    What you do is your own glory

    What you love is your own power

    What you live is your own story

    In your head is the answer

    Let it guide you along

    Let your heart be the anchor

    And the beat of your own song

    Also Peart

    We can only grow the way the wind blows

    On a bare and weathered shore

    We can only bow to the here and now

    In our elemental war

    We can only go the way the wind blows

    We can only bow to the here and now

    Or be broken down blow by blow

  14. Glass and minimalism in general is perhaps the most vile "classical music" (if it can so be called) ever devised, it is repetitive to a degree that it makes me feel like I'm having a stroke. It's only redeeming quality is that it is not made of random scraping sounds which have no connection to anything, but rather repetitive scraping sounds which have not connection to anything. It is post-modern art at its most extreme and therefore its worst.

    I don't know if I agree with this. Speaking from a rhythmic stand point (since I am a percussionist) much minimalism is quite interesting to me. Over the years I've found that I've come to enjoy the complexity of sound that it can create. I'm not a fan of philip glass, but I really like Steve Reich's percussion pieces (Namely; Sextet (six marimbas), and Music for 18 Musicians). I love the shifting melodies and tones, and ever changing wall of sound that is created. But, overall, I find that minimalism is best when comebined with other musical styles. Bands, such as Tortoise, do a phenominal job of combining minimalism, jazz, rock, and electronica into emotionally moving pieces of musical art. Even in my own composing, I'm finding a great use for minimalist ideas (in a work in progress piece, where it starts of with a 7/8 marimba chordal movement with mandolin and keyboard shifting elements of the main rhythm/melody against each other. Then the bass comes in playing the root of the sequence, while everyone drops out, and it then goes into a jazzy section utilizing the bass sequence, with an off-beat keyboard rhythm hits, and (eventually) a Vibraphone/mandolin counterpoint melody over it).

    Basically, all I'm saying is that the IDEAS of minimalism can be very cool when used in conjucture with other musical forms or ideas. It can be cool on it's own, too, but I think that's much harder to do, and used too much will create, yes, a boring piece. I don't, however, find it to be trash. But then, I think I'm a bit more liberal in my definition of music then most here (not THAT liberal, though!!! I'm still conservative by most standards). :worry:

  15. I am currently serving in the Infantry and soon going to be deployed to Iraq. This is my first post on these forums, but I have been reading them for over a year and I am an avid fan. I became an Objectivist in the military and a lot of what is being said about the robot mentality in the Army is inherently false. Most of the time your leaders will give you a task that needs to be accomplished and let their subordinates figure out with their own minds how to accomplish the task, It is what the Army calls "Adaptive Thinking".

    That's very true. I come from an intel background and was thinkin of the old intel joke "You know you're in Intel when, after recieving an order, the first word out of your mouth is, 'Why?'" It's funny because it's true.

    The way the Infantry works is the man best suited for a leadership position gets it purely because of his ability. I know that I have had several Platoon Sergeants get relieved of command because they could not handle it and they have been replaced by somebody better and lower ranking than them. In the Army especially in the combat MOS's you have to have good leader that gets the job done, because if you don't people die. I just wanted to comment on that because of the experience I have. Just remember when you think of the Army do not automatically assume we are mindless robots.

    Yeah...I wish that theory worked a little more THROUGHOUT the army, but overall, yeah. That's been my point.

  16. Yeah but ground troops are by far the largest majority of enlisted men. I know that following orders without question is a military necessity, I'm just saying given my personality I'd absolutely hate it.

    Likely. That's why I'm not in the ground troops. I like being in the rear theater.

    Even in other MOS's though, you are obviously not going to have the same room for freedom or creativity as the civilian counterparts. And ultimately you're obviously still placing your life (your highest value) in the hands of someone sitting in an office off in pentagon. That, frankly, does not sit well with me.

    I suppose that would depend on the civilian jobs. I know people who have much harder task masters than I've had in the Army. Again, I think that, like any other job, it really depends on the individual you're working for. I have a LOT of freedom in both sections of my job (granted, I'm in the band, but I've had it in other jobs, too).

    Also, given our current state of homeland security, I wouldn't say your life is in any better hands. :)

    Like I said, the only situation where I would willingly enter the military is if our nation's existence is unequivocally threatened, as in World War II. I would never, ever, consider it as a career path.

    And it's not for everyone, I admit (I don't think it's a career for me, but it was a nice start with education and experience, but I haven't fully decided yet). There are certainly those (of the rational selfishness kind) who can make a phenominal career of it.

  17. First, if you put a link in, we could better see what this dude is arguing, and thus be better able to assist.

    I can't link you to the argument, as it's an army forum (meaning only army personell, or AKO users can access it). His personal website (which lists his beliefs as a 'truthseeker') is www.truthseekersfellowship.com

    Totally wrong. Who cares how you die? What really counts is how you live. Don't buy into the assumptions of the death-worshippers. Life matters, work to live, not to die pleasantly. Start over. What does a life-based ethic tell you?

    Well, right. But what about in terms of justice for murder? I mean, I understand the point about living, but I'm not sure how that addresses the subject of justice (especially in terms of injustice. i.e. when someone dies before justice can be brought to them). Or is the issue that I'm trying to win the argument on his playing field?

    Here is a poor segment of the argument (which has dissolved a bit into ad hominems from both sides) I bolded his statements for clarification.

    ""What are you going to get out of Hitler being viciously murdered millions of times?" Justice"

    What justice? How would you know? Have you been personally tormented by Hitler that YOU (Grover Hughes) NEED justice? Because you feel a need to know that those YOU consider bad people (like us atheists) will recieve eternal torture? That makes YOU FEEL GOOD? And you don't think that's sick, twisted and EVIL?

    ""Is that, honestly, going to be much consolation to the Jews who are already dead and to their families?" As opposed to what? Is the fact that "Hitler's dead and can't commit those attrocities anymore" any consolation?"

    That's EXACTLY the point. You're not doing anything more for them. To put a dead man through further torture is pointless, and certainly lacking in your "all-loving" dept. Maybe you're just starting to show your true colors, Grover, but the way you present this stuff is scary.

    "Why is my PR unjust? The key is "true repentance"; God cannot be mocked; a person reaps what he sows. One cannot pretend to repent. No empty bottle--if you repent--and it is free."

    Which is bogus, to us. You throw all this eternal torture stuff, but it can all be changed, just by saying the magic words. That's not Justice, Grover, and you know it. Now, those mass murderers are all sipping wine with god, while many of their victims lay in eternal torture in hell (for either not believing in god, or believing in the 'wrong' god). But, hey, this is your Justice and it's JUST.

    "You've NOT already established flaws in my "PR, EL &UJ."; you arbitrarily choose to ignore the flaws in your own, beginning with the statement "IT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST", which is NOT a proven fact, thus rendering the point relevant."

    I haven't ignored anything. I recognize certain flaws in our justice, and we continually work to towards real world solutions for those issues. We work with the best we have at the moment. Since YOUR ultimate justice is not proven to exist (and there's no evidence to the such) it is functionally non-existant, and therefor useless. You said yourself, it renders it moot. Making the only thing we HAVE to work with our current justice system.

    Also, thank you for taking the time to help me address this. I appreciate it.

  18. I can understand how someone could point to a bad guy, claim they went unpunished, and use that to make the case for predation. However, it's not clear how he is relating this to the case for God. Even if one were to grant his (incorrect) premise that Hitler got away with injustice, and that it would be nice if some super-powerful God would send him to hell, how does he use that to claim that God exists? In other words, how does he go from "I wish God and Hell existed" to "God and Hell exist"?

    Well, he's playing tricks by saying god 'may or may not exist' (though, he clearly believes it does). What he's trying to do is establish a NEED for a god/Ultimate Justice. What we're trying to do (there are several atheists arguing with him) is establish two things; 1. the Justice he advocates is as flawed as the earthly one 2. That there is no NEED for a god (while I find much of it obvious, I have a MUCH harder time putting into words.

    He like to use intentional miscommunication (or wordsmithing) to connect ideas. Such as, accusing atheists of not being open to ideas via his "We should be open to all ideas and believe in the things that provide sufficient evidence." However, in that case, I've been trying to establish that you don't base one's philosophy/life on things that may or may not exist, but purely on the things that DO exist.

  19. As one can imagine, I'm engrossed in a theological debate with a chaplain on a military forum. I've held my own so far (as, obviously, he doesn't have any NEW arguments for god), as he's trying to establish both a probability (propensity?) for god and also a need (one to correlate the other). Anyhoo, among his arguments for a 'need' for god is an Ultimate Justice, since he views our current justice model to be irreplacably flawed. His main example throughout ALL the debates has been Hitler and his crimes (I tried to explain to him Godwin's Law, but he's just not getting it). His view is such that because Hitler killed himself prior to us being able to do anything to him, that justice is not served (thus a god is needed to ressurect him and torture him eternally... :) ). His view states, that since death occurs to us all, it is not a punishment, nor justice. However, I'm having a hard time rebutting this particular argument.

    I've tried establishing:

    -It's not that you die, it's how you die (i.e. a happiness angle)

    - Justice is only measured through the victims (i.e. unless he is a direct/indirect victim of Hitler, why does HE need justice from it)

    - The fact that his name and face and history is stated to make him the most evil man to have walked the earth.

    These are, clearly, weak arguments and I'm not sure how to attack this particular angle. If anyone has any suggestions, insights, I'd be very grateful. He's fairly arrogant against the atheists he attacks (attaching Moral Relativity bombs at us every chance he gets).

    Anyways, Thanks for the help.

    (Also, if this happens to be in the wrong section, or has already been answered recently, please feel free to move or merge it, but I didn't see anything, and I thought this pertained to ethics.)

  20. Yeah that's true... not literally potato peeling necessarily, but definitely boring.

    Well, you know...that's all we do in the military is peel potatoes..... :)

    That's the thing about the military -- personally I hate blindly following orders. I absolutely cannot stand the whole culture of "always do as you're told and never ask questions". No matter how inefficient or inept you think the man above you is, or how little sense the rules or regulations makes, there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. For myself it would be difficult if not impossible to give up my freedom and my reasoning mind to serve in the military.

    A lot of that particular attitude is fading from the military (though, thankfully, not all segments). There are certain MOS's which REQUIRE one to ask questions and to understand WHY you're doing such things. Especially with the younger crowd coming into the military today, who aren't huge on being told what to do. There are some very cool jobs in the military (I've done a couple of them), there are also some jobs I'd never want to do.

    Also, you can do things to change the military. If a rule or regulation does not make sense to you (usually many) you are free to re-write it and send it up the chain for revision. If your change is liked, it will be used (privates have been able to change regulations). The army/military continually wants to better itself and its soldiers. If there's a way to do it, then they will usually do it (unless, apparently, it has to do with berets...then we're stuck). Anyways, it's really only in the ground troops that you enter that "don't ask questions" mentality, and there's a GOOD reason for it. Beyond that, most CS/CSS (Combat Support/Combat Service Support) tend to be a bit more on the reasonable side (also for good reason).

  21. From the aether, this little gem of postmodern aesthetics.

    Who needs things like pitch and rhythm and harmony, when worms are the way of the future! Never again will musicians be burdened by creativity!

    I'm having difficulty not being sarcastic. It is really quite unfortunate that the word 'music' gets attached to things like this.


    I don't know. I certainly wouldn't call it music. "Audio art" maybe? My percussion instructor made a piece after recording the sounds his laptop made. I think it's a neat use of naturally made sounds, but it certainly isn't music in the sense of what we traditionally refer to as music.

  22. I suppose, to my own defense, the speeches felt long because I ALREADY agreed with the premise, and I, being of lesser patience than others, wanted to get moving onto the plot. Regardless, the cartoon was not really meant as some kind of snotty intellectual humor. Just funny as a quick quip about the length of AS. I apologize to those who found no humor in it.

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