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Brule

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  1. I have played GTA4 (and some of 3) along with Saint's Row, etc. I can understand how the sandbox, open gameplay is appealing. You get to do things nobody can in reality. In fact, it is in such contrast to reality that it is absurd and that's the fun. Yet, overall I really don't love playing the games that much, I do seem to have some philosophical qualms. That said I don't see the harm in a mature person enjoying the game as a game. If we play chess we really don't think we're knights and bishops murdering each other.
  2. This has been all over the news and conversations here in Nebraska. Green loving wackos are clearly against it. The Tea Party people seem to often be for it, as are other libertarian and pro-capitalism groups. (though state Republican leaders are not backing it) I certainly don't agree with the environmentalist extremists who think another pipeline is death to our groundwater. In fact, because of efficiency the pipeline would be good for the environment, barring a major, major disaster. My concern is the use of government sanctioned easements forced on private landowners. Trans Canada (the private company that would build the pipeline) hasn't helped their case by, at first, being threatening to some landowners even before it was approved. They're doing a huge public relations move here. Even had giant signs at the state fair. If I was a landowner I'd take the easement cash and say thank you. But I would like the right to say no. Usual political allies don't seem to agree. Any thoughts on this issue? It seems a common issue related to things like eminent domain or building new highways. A popular vote on this forum obviously won't decide for me, but if I am off base I'd welcome reasoned correction. http://en.wikipedia....ystone_Pipeline
  3. This question (a good question at that) reminds me of the often political questions some new members ask. "If the world turned Objectivist tomorrow, wouldn't old people starve and children have no schools?" The world is not turning Objectivist tomorrow. Gradual change would be needed in the political arena. The same sort of change would have to occur in this question. The intellectuals of a culture shape and direct its philosophy. In this way, those would have to be the first people to change. The effect would trickle down affecting every aspect of even a relatively unintelligent person's view of life. If this person grew up in an Objectivist oriented society they would have a very good chance of following the logic involved. After all, they would have been taught from an early age that their mind is important and how to use it. Some basic ethics could be understood by even a simpleton. Out here in the current, real world, I have my doubts for their success. It is certainly possible, (we do have free will and all) but when one is surrounded with intrinsicism and subjectivism from most every angle since birth, it would take some serious force of will to come out of it. Building up knowledge from such a shaky foundation is tough. The best chance would likely come from Objectivist parents who sought out an atmosphere conducive to rationality for their child. I'm curious if there are any case studies of a sort that would test this?
  4. Happiness is not the private reserve of the old, wise, or accomplished. They may have more fulfillment, but I would contend that you can be just as happy at 20 as at 60. It is not a choice to act happy as much as a choice to attain those values that you find important. As long as you are working toward having those values, you can enjoy life. Rand's novels often put the protagonists in epic struggles, only to come out victorious. We often live more murky lives and unless we are Galt we have to obtain the values available, sometimes only in increments. This should not diminish our real life accomplishments in any way. They are still good. It's not right to compare good to some sort of Platonic perfection. Yes I'm happy. Hope to be more so tomorrow.
  5. That is sort of the point. First, there is difference between journalism and the opinionated shows. Fox News, more than the other organizations mentioned, make it more clear as to what is complete opinion and reporting. The liberal bias is sleek and underhanded. MSNBC will report global warming (or climate change, or whatever is the flavor of the month name for it) as if it is fact. Even a CBS news report will assume more leftist viewpoints. Really the only reason Fox News may be so clear in their bias is that almost every other news organization tends toward the opposite. If CBS, ABC, and CNN all were centralist (or right leaning) Fox News may appear similar and MSNBC may appear the more obviously biased.
  6. I don't see the problem. If you are completely 100% clear that you do not believe in their God and never, ever surrender a single view in compromise, there is no problem recommending that book. I would gladly recommend Aquinas to a Christian, while being clear I do not agree with his views on theology. (I'd do the same with an Objectivist with Aquinas)
  7. I do agree with one thing that was said: "too many corporate media reporters present one side and then another as if both are equally valid; sometimes, they're not." This is completely true, though I may leave out the Che-loving "corporate" adjective to reporter. The entire point though is to present your case as it adheres to objective reality, not to your own subjective whims. (or to a nonexistent medium of thought) This report is interesting in showing how some people choose to look at reporting, supposedly a more objective field. And to think I used to think of the news as "pure" as a youth, I think of it as another Santa now.
  8. I think it's important to recognize that, contrary to a popular notion, democracy does not cause freedom. As others have pointed out, whatever the intellectual and political climate, that is what will influence the amount of liberty in a country. This idiotic notion that all we have to do is "spread democracy" somehow still exists. (instead of spreading rationality) I'd rather live under a monarchy of Frederick the Great than a democracy under Hitler. The original question is interesting and important, yet it is secondary to philosophical change. (for an interesting read, I suggest "Democracy in America" by Tocqueville for an enlightenment view)
  9. Considering it is a political question of to best protect rights, I'd say no it would not be a pure democracy. The best form I know of is a Constitutional Republic with a strong, immovable foundation of rights which could not be voted away. In the future another form of government could be created that is better, but until then I'd stick with the form we (should) have now.
  10. For this case, assume the FDA was eliminated tomorrow. I could see, almost immediately, several new groups would emerge to do its job better. I always think of Consumer Reports when this question is asked. Major pharmaceutical companies would want a trusted stamp of approval to put on their drugs. They make enough money from legit drugs that they would want to protect the public's trust in their drug safety. Of course patients and doctors would have to make their own decisions and not accept things as blindly as they often do now. But if your doctor says the drug is the best for your condition and it has the seal of approval from both an industry funded non-profit testing agency and a for-profit commercial testing agency (both agencies with established testing procedures) I'd feel more comfortable taking that drug then I would now. (with an FDA full of red tape and with often subjective motives)
  11. I'll tag along and say I personally love Christmas time. I don't surround myself with strangers who I don't value, I am around those people I tend to value the most. It's a proper celebration of those relationships that embody the "good" in life. I even find many Christmas songs beautiful. Of course Jesus is not the focus of my celebration, but showing goodwill toward people in general and affection for those I love certainly makes my life better.
  12. Are not many of these conditions somewhat arbitrary? I think they are good guidelines but not necessary. Once any government starts using force against its citizens, a more moral government would have the right to displace that government. That "better" government could be internal or external. Of course for a just revolution, peaceful or otherwise, to succeed it requires that a large proportion of the population would be in disagreement with the government. These discussions are interesting but until there is a revolution of thought among intellectuals and the citizenry it is not a real life scenario. If a drastic change for the better occurs on the philosophical level, political change would be easy. (likely by ballot box and not armed rebellion)
  13. I see what you're trying to say but still I just can't understand that definition. I've felt different levels of fear in my past. If I see someone else in a state of fear similar to what I have felt, I can "put myself in their shoes" in an intellectual way without having to experience that fearful emotion again. Do people who can not feel empathy, like some serial killers, not make that intellectual link or do they just not experience that emotion briefly? Ah, the joy of definitions.
  14. I agree with the above assessment concerning that definition of empathy. To me empathy is understanding the emotional state of another person. You mention in particular the emotion of fear that Galt could or couldn't empathize with. I see no reason why he could not. His ability to understand that fear was essential when he makes his speech. Understanding what irrationality caused that fear was necessary so he could target that irrationality for change.
  15. In a general sense, reaction to force with force in self defense is "moral" in the sense of relations between men. The real question is whether it is appropriate and good for one's life, and I hate to use this word but, in a pragmatic sense. Running around killing Nazis in in 1943 Germany would have accomplished little, except one's own death. Revolution, being either peaceful or (gasp! for the Libertarians) violent, depends on your ability to succeed. Galt waited for a tipping point where he could succeed and did so.
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