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The Passion of the Koresh

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  • Birthday 01/25/1982

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  1. All right, I've been directed to this thread because I've been told that I have grossly misinterpreted Gattaca as luddite propaganda, so I feel somewhat compelled to reply here. In the fictional world of the movie, it is still immoral. We have an equivalent issue to the discrimination shown in the movie in the real world, and it's called racism. Specifically, hiring practices influenced by racism. Yes, racism is immoral. But choosing not to hire someone for such a reason is within your rights as an employer, irrational though it may be. The choice of whether or not to hire someone is a private affair and is not a justification for fraud to any extent. Fraud is a violation of rights, plain and simple. To call this a non-essential when a central focus of the movie is fraud in the face of discrimination is absolutely unconscionable, and perhaps even a little evasive. Here I see someone making the same mistake. The Howard Roark comparison is ridiculous in the extreme. Roark was not acting in response to someone not hiring him but to breach of contract, an actual violation of his rights. Let's see what Rand has to say about this (emphasis mine) If you'd like to know more about Ayn Rand, and her philosophy, called "Objectivism," I suggest you visit www.aynrand.org. It'll change your life, I promise you. Absolutely, yes, and the safety hazard is a moral problem because in addition to Vincent's fraud he's putting others at risk without their knowledge or consent. The lives of his fellow astronauts are in peril because he hid a health problem that would get an astronaut in training screend out in the real world for the very same reasons. The movie doesn't treat this as essential, but it nonetheless is, despite the thoughtlessness of the filmmakers. Gattaca is not only every bit as luddite as it appears to be superficially, but is anti-life and anti-capitalist to its very core. The scenes with the janitors were obviously meant as allegory for class struggle. You see this in their downcast looks and the scene where . Every scene with the made men and their activities exudes an insipid shallowness that matches countless other films portraying the wealthy in the same light. The exceptions are a woman who is at least decent enough to feel ambivalent about Vincent's lies, and a man so crippled on the inside he (Face it, Jerome's self-hatred was intended by the filmmakers to make him more sympathetic, because they were worried we would succumb to the same irrational envy Vincent has for the rest of "made" mankind.) In the scenes of Vincent's early childhood, there's even a tacit criticism of private health insurance; it's not explored too heavily, but it's in the same ballpark as the bullshit you hear in arguments against genetic engineering and even genetic testing. If the movie is not a luddite and socialist fantasy, why then, was there no outcry from the filmmakers or anyone involved when the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was passed, with Gattaca mentioned in so many discussions of the bill right up to, and after, it was signed into law? It's already had a damaging and lasting effect on this country. Has anyone seen a version with the writer/director's commentary that can shed some light on this?
  2. Which is pretty much exactly what the movie demonstrated. Please rewatch the scene with Project Mayhem's members chanting "his name was Robert Paulson" over and over again and tell me what you think the message of that scene is. My list of philosophically bad movies: Gattaca (luddite propaganda) Forrest Gump (The prosperity gospel at its most extreme. Wealth goes to those who have faith in the invisible sky wizard, or perhaps who are lucky.) Signs (Everything is part of god's plan, even the most hurtful, insanely ridiculous things. Especially if they lead to a renewal of faith. Which some previous event, also part of god's plan, had taken away in the first place.) ANY MOVIE where an animal or forest creature can talk, and has something to say about humanity Any romantic comedy where the protagonist is an inept, utterly worthless human being and manages to win the object of his desire through sheer blandness\whining. These are especially awful when you realize that the premise they share is that a good woman will always give herself to the one who is the neediest, not the one who she ought to value the most. That's usually coupled with the premise that men of ability are insensitive assholes who don't appreciate women. Young teens watch movies like this and then learn to hate the opposite sex for not conforming to this idiocy.
  3. We can start with the destruction of real money and subsequent replacement with fiat money, which makes it far easier to loot on a large scale from many citizens. Every asset is preemptively stolen from its creators before they have a chance to enjoy it. The IRS and the Fed work in tandem to make sure that all you get is a vague promise of public projects that might benefit you, with the possibility of being allowed to use some--or hopefully most--of the wealth you created. Next there's the creation of a new form of collectivism that somewhat mimics capitalism, even going so far as to call itself such, but makes it disreputable instead. A culture of lobbying and corruption has replaced one that rewards prime movers. This is the "democracy" that the US encourages others to emulate. It is a morass of protectionism, Keynesian economics applied on a global scale, and the usual squabbling over the spoils by looters. American politicians have the temerity to call this a free market. There's also the draft. It's medieval, the idea that the lives of citizens are objects of sacrifice. This practice is not currently in use, but may return. The horrible notion that any soldier's life is an object of sacrifice persists to this day. Let's not forget the Great Depression. (Yes, the government caused this. The stock market nosedive might have preceded it, but government actions that followed ensured that it would be one hell of a disaster.) Those are just a few. They're not holocausts, but let's not pretend everything's peachy.
  4. In my opinion, the United States has failed catastrophically to respect individual rights. While I thank the Founding Fathers for moving in the right direction, I feel very disappointed with the end result. I have a dimmer view of this country than Ayn Rand, and I think praise for America from many Objectivists stems from a desire not to be impolitic. I don't think we should settle for "far fewer atrocities than other nations!" but should instead dare to assert that a nation run by Objectivists would be far, far superior to any currently existing country. I don't see disagreeing with Ayn Rand's appraisal of the United States as criticizing Objectivism, so I'm not sure why this thread is in this subforum.
  5. Let me be the second person to suggest here that perhaps they just picked a popular classic, at random, for Sawyer to read, and that's all.
  6. The message of the film isn't that nihilism is attractive, but that it's attractive to impressionable idiots. I can't believe how many people miss this.
  7. Right on the main page of Yahoo, I find this crap amongst the headlines: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061214/od_nm/...ogy_driving1_dc This came from Reuters. Is it just me, or is it getting more and more acceptable for the media to outright lie, rather than just slant, when it comes to "spirituality"?
  8. I predict that by 2020, environmentalists will have extended their forcasts of catastrophic change twenty years further into the future. The end. It doesn't sound as excitingly dystopic as scenarios B and C, but it follows the path of least resistance.
  9. I don't know. I liked that Batman Begins concerned primarily Batman, and not the villains. It didn't romanticize the villains, make them particularly sexy, or let them steal the show. Scarecrow got his due in a more satisfying way than the grandiose overkill prevalent in so many movies. A simple taser transformed him from an arrogant evil to the pitiful, disgusting wretch underneith. In that way evil gets exposed as a weakness, rather than an excitement.
  10. I have a problem with Determinism with regard to conclusions its proponents seem to jump to. First off, they say that free will doesn't exist. What, exactly, does "free will" free itself from? Causality? If they define free will as such, then I agree with them that it doesn't exist. Many of them go further by saying that volition does not exist. Very often, none of their premeses even remotely support the conclusion that volition doesn't exist. "Your choices come about solely because the physical form of your brain and the movement of particles, and laws of physics, etc." Yes, they come about solely because I exist in actual reality. And? "But this means that given the exact same circumstances, the exact same physical conditions, positions of everything in the universe, and same universal constants, you would always make the exact same choice." Of course. I exist as myself, which verifies--as does everything--the axiom of identity. My brain would repeat, make the same evaluations/computations/judgements, and make the same choice. This still doesn't negate the fact that I made a choice. Determinists, by defining choice as some action free (in any way, shape, or form) from causality, make it an impossibility in some odd, contrived way. I consider their argument against volition or choice frivolous when they define them as such. Consciousness, by the way, does not require any "boot-strapping" to make itself somehow above the system around it. It exists in tandem with its physical medium (the brain, in our case) and uses senses in tandem with the sensory organs (subject to the laws of physics), and perceives (via processes also subject to the laws of physics that govern how the brain operates) what it senses. It then processes the data through computation, evaluates the information resulting from the computations, and makes judgements which lead to choices (all subject to causality). Without an absolute, predictable system the way Determinists describe it, consciousness and volition can not exist.
  11. Yes. I learned of his nonexistence at the age of nine, a little later than many of my peers. They had, actively, told me that he was real with a straight face. They even made up stories of their own about how, since we didn't have a chimney, he went through the keyhole of the front door. They said the Santas at the mall were admittedly not Santa himself, but were actually his elves in disguise. Maybe it seemed a little far fetched, but hey--if you can't trust your parents, who can you trust? I felt let down, confused, and betrayed. Then I took the lesson they seemd to be teaching me to heart: all the fun/good things in life are constructed with lies. I wouldn't have used those exact words back then, but I can remember thinking something along the lines of "if it makes you happy, someone's playing you for a fool." An amusing side effect of this was that I became an atheist only two years later, at the age of eleven. "An invisible sky wizard, omniscient yet forgetful enough to need rainbows to remind himself not to drown us all, wants us to be good little boys and girls so when we die we can go to a magic place called "Heaven"? Ha! HA HA HA! I get it. I get it! Very dry."
  12. As I read this, IAmMetaphysical stands alone as the only one I consistently agree with. Chops, Kevin has a point that talking down to her won't make her feel better, but you have absolutely no reason to grovel pitifully at her feet for having convictions. Only your reason and judgement can tell you whether you argue respectfully or not. You absolutely must not yield on this issue. You must not lie to your child! You do not raise children for the sake of your partner. (This makes a good relationship between parents a necessity before reproduction, so they don't battle for influence over their children.) You do not raise children in accordance with an immoral tradition simply to avoid offending the sensibilities of the "non-crazy" parents. You do not raise children with so little respect for them you would sucker them into believing a fairy tale just to squeeze a few heart-warming Kodak Moments out of them. (Wow, it doesn't sound so "magical" when I describe it so accurately and succinctly, now, does it?) You do not do these things, or you do not raise children at all. You and she can't "get your issues straight" without debate. Don't let anyone tell you you don't have an absolute right to speak your mind about the beliefs of another person in a respectful way, even if it means "poking holes" in their beliefs. If you want to make your stance known to her without "being a dick," you just need to tell her, simply: "I will not lie to my child. (Unless to save his/her life.)" Only a fool would castigate you for a statement so direct and righteous. She might say that telling a child that Santa exists somehow doesn't constitute a lie, or that it doesn't harm the child to betray his/her trust. But you just flatly state that when Chops Jr. asks Daddy if Santa really exists, he will say "no." The child will feel upset, probably, but he/she will learn that dear old Dad will speak the truth no matter what. By the way, you don't have to celebrate Christmas, even if you have religious relatives. You have a choice. They don't own you.
  13. Ugh...I reread the post and saw that my previous reply did not answer the question. Mods feel free to delete this.
  14. The use of force, initiated by others, prompts us to cut our losses first before we figure out how to make things right.
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