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apathetician

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  1. Well, let me put any reservations you have in my knowledge of heroin aside as I announce that I was once a junkie myself. Opiates are validly comparable to alcohol because we are discussing its capacity to take away from what would otherwise be a full awareness. If the differential was health dangers, I might - instead - bring up cigarettes. But i don't even believe that would be necessary because excessive and/or long-term alcohol use, as you will find if only by a quick google search, accomplishes all of what you have described heroin being capable of only more rapidly.
  2. Hah, the fuzzy end of the lollipop -- I like that. Your post was bitter-sweet as I was sure critical thinking would be where I would find an atmosphere conducive to what the title implied but you have put an end to my deluded optimism and I thank you, hehe. I thoroughly agree with you on all accounts. In answer to your question about where this assignment leads: I don't know. Hopefully a productive place.
  3. Thank you for the reply. In answer to your comment about the class's value, it is hard to tell so far as it just started. The teacher has already made clear on several occasions, however, that "it is okay to believe one thing and then the complete opposite as well." This was said in light of his introducing the class to what it means to consider other's opinions and conduct yourself in a discussion without forcing ideas on one another - a lesson I deem important but definitely not the way he suggests. Other than constant reminders of the professor's rejection of objective truths, the class does keeps me busy in a way I enjoy: I analyze and write on issues to come to important conclusions that matter. I have not recieved a graded paper back from him though, so whether or not I am "critical thinking" in accordance with his subjective designation of the term is another story. I want to ask about your summation of my assignment as "playing devil's advocate." (btw, i'm surprised you didn't say, "pun/no pun intended," hehe.) I agree insofar as my reasoning would have to stem from the opposite viewpoint that I have; but wouldn't you agree that playing devil's advocate is a cognitive strategy I would use to come to a truth? So it would be distinct from what I am required to do - create the best defense possible - by virtue of it leading me innevitably to conclude that Satan does not exist and hence I have not done the assignment? (This really is irrelevant but I just thought i'd ask...) With the assignment so far, I have decided to equivocate the term Satan. I will defend that Satan "exists" by treating it as a term that refers to either the literal accounts of the pre-concieved entity or the conglomeration of base and sinister attributes one has observed in the course of one's life and simply multiplied them exponentially to an unfathomable standing. It is weak and riddled with holes, I know, and clearly attempts at getting away with satisfying the assignment by hinging on semantic details but hopefully the teacher can appreciate it. Any thought's are welcomed.
  4. I am currently taking a college level "critical thinking" class. This past week my professor displayed on the overhead a copy of a tabloid article that explains the sighting of Satan's face in a cloud of smoke over Haiti. He then told us that our assignment is to partner up with someone and find out there last name. Whichever person's last name begins with a letter that falls in the beginning half of the alphabet, is required to write a letter to his/her partner defending their position (regardless of what they actually believe) that what is displayed in this tabloid article is fact and that Satan does, in fact, exist. Conversely, the other person is to write a letter defending his/her "issued belief" that Satan does not exist; that the tabloid is rubbish. Well, guess which side of the alphabet my last name's first letter falls...that's right. I have to write a convincing letter to my partner as to why I am correct in believing Satan exists and - ipso facto - how my partner is wrong. The agony this task imbues needs explanation. I understand it the following way: "critical thinking," like any other thinking as such, is not a process of mulling over disconnected items of knowledge - which in Objectivist terms I think is reffered to as "compartmentalization." As I confidently presume, we all here agree with the fact that all knowledge is interconnected and any new information can and does only become knowledge if it can be integrated with the rest of one's context of knowledge - i.e., without contradictions. As such, to think - especially to critically think - and expect any meaningful conclusion demands that one bring to bare all related facts of a given matter. In regard to the assignment I have been given which asks of me to disregard as a minor detail what I really do believe (as in my teacher's mind it is more than likely unsubstantiated anyhow), and not only defend but push this non-belief I have on grounds that truly are irrational is purposeless. I do not see the value of the assignment since it subverts the whole goal of learning to defend a position. To hold the concept "to think" as appart from the knowledge it employs is a "stolen concept." Put plainly, how am I to defend and especially persuade a person when I myself see the errors in what I am supposed to be professing? And to be graded on my effectiveness? There is my formulation thus far. I am asking that anyone who reads it and honestly considers all the issues described to comment on any errors in logic and/or suggestions they might have for the assignment. Thanks.
  5. Hah, just how do I go about ACTUALLY reading your posts? Am I going to have to drink any alcohol for this? If none of my interpretations were correct, could you please offer clarification? As to "some guy's romantic wedding anniversary dinner," I don't understand how drinking to cope (yes cope, that is what you are suggesting - believe it or not) with issues at work or (and i cant believe you consider this a good reason) dishonest drivers is justified. I would venture to guess that this "guy" has larger problems than the dent in his car if he needs alcohol to focus on his relationship.
  6. So you support the use of alcohol as some kind of personality crutch? A glorious novelty one uses to make up for a character defecit? Any person acting on this idea will very quickly realize the thing they are embracing is a vice. Could you please explain how you arrive at your judgement that the use of alcohol to make up for some inability to cope with daily stressors is a "good thing"? This is alcohol dependency in the making. In your example, you seem to try and justify the use of alcohol by the urgency of some social event afterward that requires no less than the "good company" the person drinking could be had those stressors not impacted him so negatively. Its almost like he just wants to erase the fact that those stressors impacted him so. Like he wants to erase the fact that they even occured. You know, its almost like he just wants to evade the reality of it ALL - the events that took place AND himself with his responses. Disregarding the idea that this person might be acting to dishonestly appease his company by operating under the false pretense that everything is ok by means of a steady buzz, I would - again - disagree with you even in saying it is a rational and selfish motive by your reference to the value he is to others. Those people who care about him so much (if they do in fact care) are going to WANT to experience him in all his stressed-out, wound-up fury because that is who they are valuing. (or at least thats who they thought they were valuing.) THAT is the purpose for my word "natural" in my previous post, if that helps. Please bring to my attention anything I misconstrued or left out. Thanks.
  7. Ok, putting aside that i disagree and believe alcohol is prefectly comparable to heroin as far as its damages - let me restate my thoughts. I can only imagine one reason people should want to use alcohol and that is to achieve a state of relaxation that would otherwise be impossible to achieve naturally. I can only think of two reasons someone would want this: 1. one believes natural relaxation is inadequite, or, 2. Someone has a physiological or psychological impairment such as a stress or anxiety disorder and therefore seeks out alcohol as a temporary fix which I regard as an evasion. Have I left anything out? Are these reasons to want to drink justifiable?
  8. Yes. Small doses of heroin can and do serve the same function for someone who is accustomed to the substance. That is why I am juxtaposing it to alcohol. As for its addictive properties, I believe they are within the similar range (however im sure it varies from person to person). Also, if you'll notice in my previous post, I accompanied my question with a hypothetical where the heroin was produced and sold in the same way alcohol is. In such a case, wouldn't the same principles apply and the person who advocates the use of alcohol also have to advocate using heroin? For example, earlier in the posts it was said that drinking alcohol after a traumatic event would be in someone's rational self interest. But isn't a traumatic event one of the many times you would need your rational faculty most? Someone else even mentioned the taste as a rational purpose for drinking. So, if I happened to like the taste of opium smoke and considered its debilitating affects only a tolerable after-thought, aren't I placing my rational faculty and health below this value of taste? I am having difficulty accepting these. My question for those people and anyone else who would care to input at all would then be: wouldn't shooting a bit of heroin after work to "wind-down" be just as permissible? If so, how? If not, why? As far as I have been able to reason, there are no fundamental differences between them to not necessitate the acceptance of both on principle. I am asking out of genuine curiosity. I have been grappling with this issue for some time and any input is much appreciated.
  9. Sure. I asked about justification. Would someone who drinks (whether on occasion or perpetually) offer the same justification for the use of heroin in the same manner?
  10. You misunderstood my question. I used taste as an example of a possible reason for drinking alcohol and did not intend to ask about heroin's.
  11. I am curious to find out from those who justify their use of alcohol by its taste, color, limited amount of consumption etc., whether or not they see any similarities between alcohol and something with a more apparent threat to one's well-being: heroin. Lets say, hypothetically, that heroin was produced and sold the way alcohol is; it is clean, legal and thus safe so long as it is not mis-used (the same way alcohol can be misused). Would your same argument still apply? That is, would you still defend your occasional injection of heroin so long as it was in a suitable context?
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