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Apollo

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  1. Even if the film shows no redeeming artistic (philosophical) traits, it can still be entertaining for the craft of filmmaking. My best example of this is the Chinese film "Hero". The themes in this movie are unquestionably collectivist and anti-individualistic. But the film is so incredibly entertaining and well made that it's easy to simply roll ones eyes at the last 20 minutes or so. This isn't an appreciation of the art (by AR's definition) as it is an appreciation of the craft, but it's still downright awe-inspiring. If I were to remove from my favorite films of all time list any film that offended me philosophically, I would have a short list.
  2. 1) At best it is a badly studied, politically charged hypothesis with little good evidence. At worst it is a "convenient falsehood" for politicians and an invitation to totalitariansm. 2)The above are nice. Also, State of Fear by Michael Crichton is worth a read.
  3. My usual response to subjectivism is a simple answer like: The epistemological response: "Our senses are our only means of obtaining knowledge, therefore they must be trusted 100%" Common response: "But what if you know you have a chemical imbalance or are hallucinating?" my response: "Any knowledge, past or present, of your own senses' inefficiency must have been obtained by one's own senses. There is still no "priori" doubt of their efficiency." The problem with this argument of mine is that it often makes me sound like a classical empiricist... which is not my goal... The metaphysical response: "There are no absolutes." "You just uttered an absolute". "That's the only one." "You just uttered another one." "Ok how about this: The only absolute is that this is the only one." "That sentence doesn't even say anything. It literally amounts to "This is the only absolute" without even defining itself. You're just being facetious." "I know you are but what am I?" *walks away*
  4. Do you honestly think the common (i.e. non itellectual, as most people are, and as itellectuals often forget.) libertarian down the road wants to legalize marajuana not because of some principle they have (which they may not be able to explain.) not because they want to reduce the tax for prisons, not because they love liberty (even if they are unable to explain why) but because they want to "live in the now", start worshiping Dionysis, declair themselves succeeded from the nation, hold a Woodstock3 and then die of starvation? Even if they did would you care as long as they stayed the hell away from you? (and they would!). All of the negative philosophies that can go along with libertariansm (but don't have to.) are the kinds of philosophies an objectivist could say "if you believe that you deserve it." to. But an objectivist has nothing to fear from a libertarian with the worst kinds of outside-politics philosophies because they (the libertarians) don't believe in initiating force. What can a horrible philosophy in the hands of a libertarian do besides destroy the libertarian? <- Not a rhetoricle question, I'm really wondering. A religious libertarian spouting mystic BS in front of millions of citizens would be irritating but unlike a Republican a Libertarian would never require prayer in any school. An altrusit libertarian telling business owners to think about society's needs would make me angry but unlike a Democrat a Libertarian would never create a welfare system that enslaves business owners.
  5. My parents once had a dog named Dagny... I didn't realize until a few days ago who she was named after.
  6. I currently own an 86, with no programs other than ones that produce vulgar messages created by some jokster friends of mine .
  7. Congrats! Yeah, I don't think Robin Hood was a very good example because at that time the productive members of society were the poor. He was stealing back their gold.
  8. Apollo

    Hedonism

    When "That which is good" is equal to "That which I believe is good.(for no reason I know or care to find out)" It leaves a blank check on what is good or evil and allows for things like the Holocaust to be "good". When "What is valuable" is the same as "that which I or we or they or he or He values" it destroys the entire subject of defining values by leaving it up to a reasonless irrational whim. For example "why does one enjoy eating?" Should be te question asked not "Do I enjoy eating right now?". "Why does man need values?" not "What particular thing should he value for no reason he knows or cares to find out?" Leaving ethics up to whim has been what has and still is destroying society along with food and porn. A cat has the exact same sense of right and wrong that Epicurius had. Automatic, reasonless, whim. "What I am trying to say is that how can something be wrong if the observer of it dosn't consider it being so or dosen't know what is right and wrong." Is something true because someone desires it to be so? Is the victory of a football team dependant upon the fans' desire for them to win? Would the football players be extremely offended by that premise? No? No? Yes? Then ethics is also outside the realm of desires. Objectivism holds that what is good is not a whim but an objective fact based in the nature of existence and the nature of life. Read "The Objectivist Ethics" in The Virtue of Selfishness for a longer discussion. (How many times has that sentance been written on this forum?) For a day to day example: An objectvist would not party when he or she has nothing to celebrate. He or she would not eat unless he or she knows he will be hungry and die otherwise. He or she will not watch porn unless he or she knows it will be beneficial to his or her life (I won't go into detail ). He or she will not consume unless he or she has produced.
  9. I was not yet an objectivist at the time but I traded We the Living to a good friend of mine some years ago and he is now a student of objectivism. I insisted upon another friend of mine that she read the first chapter of Philosophy: Who Needs It? because i felt (and still feel) that she has a very strong sense of life with very little direction philosophically. Her comments were "That's fascinating..." She is still pretty bankrupt but I think I kindled a fire. A friend of mine noticed that I was reading a book called The Virtue of Selfishness on a bus a few weeks ago and was completely appalled until I talked to her about the nature of ethics for about 45 min on the bus. I think she is still a Mormon but I learned a great deal about her. She came up with conclusions as if she already knew them. I mean, without even my saying anything outside "No, no love is a very selfish thing." her response:"So if a man does nothing for his wife he's not really being greedy he just has no integrity." (She even used that word) also things like "No way man, I've never really bought into that crap. I can't stand the thought that I'm not allowed to be happy for me." It was like the altrusit philosophy she had implicitly accepted was supported by nothing more than a twig. I guess those all count as introductions but only the first was really successful.
  10. Supporting the Libertarian party of that state. It's views on taxation and expendature, if they are not too radicaly anarchistic, will probably match mine. If there are no representatives who are not anarchists (improbable), then they first need to be convinced that government has a ligitimate purpose. Most of the LP is already convinced of a reduction of government. If they are anarchists they must be convinced that anarchy is not the answer. After them (if they even require it) all there is to do is convince whoever is making the governmental descision (voters, commitee members, what-have-you) I will leave that up to the Libertarian polititians of whome I share an opinion. (For the part about convincing the anarchists, an essay on the problems of so-and-so's policies in a libertarian publication or even a letter to the editor would be a start.)
  11. Someone at Blizzard Entertainment is an objectivist. Two of the cheats in Warcraft III are "GreedIsGood" and "IAmJohnGalt". The premise if the game is four waring tribes (by Ayn Rand's definition) who are presented with a world killing army from outside reality (My hypothesis is that the Burning Legion is a metaphor for altruism). The plot centers around individuals of the tribes who are trying (and sometimes failing) to remain sane in an insane universe. Never in the game (or in any game by blizzard, to my knowledge) is the word "greed" ever used as a negative. The game play is army vs. army standard RTS but with a twist : (to my knowledge) WCIII was the first RTS to include "heros", units that could become equivelent to entire armies. Heros could gain levels with experience and with higher level came more virtues (same individualistic premise behind most RPGs, but in an RTS.) As for anti-objectivist video games i would say that Pikmin, if it is to be taken seriously and not satire, is a portrayal of totalitariansm perfectly. Pikmin all look alike (except in their single bold color), are seperated into 3 categories (like social classes), and live entirely for the sake of you, the dictator. They act collectively in a herd and are abysmally stupid, following the commands of a whistle. They act like lemmings in that they will obey your every command, even if you tell them to jump off a cliff. You find yourself thinking, and stoping yourself, "I can leave that one behind, a single Pikmin is nothing compaired to the group." The standard of morality when it comes to Pikmin is "that which benefits the player" and, get this, the player is a little man in a red outfit with a red light on his head. I had no idea Shigeru Miyamoto could put any social commentary in a game before I played this... The game is fun too, it makes you smile (and then feel very very guilty).
  12. "The ban of DDT killed more people than Hitler." My favorite quote of the whole book. Had to spend 45 min listening to my Biology teacher drone on and on about how horrible DDT was. Turns out it wasn't even a carcinogen. This book was the highlight of my Florida vacation. I know it's a cliche but "Everyone should read this." is not at all inappropriate.
  13. (by my judgement, it has been too long since my last reply for me to edit) After reading the first 5 pages or so of this thread this is what I'm concluding about the libertarian/objectivism situation in metaphor form: "There is a wonderful machine that can produce light to illuminate the world and all it is missing is the battery... But the battery refuses to enter the machine because the light is not on." "I just don't see how that could be. There is only one point of partial agreement on a small political point where Objectivism and libertarianism might have a bit of common ground: well, communists are dedicated atheists as are Objectivists, so isn't that analogously an argument that we could somehow convert communists? As a reformed libertarian, my advice is simple. Never talk to libertarians about politics. Talk about anything else, just not politics. If you can "convert" them, so much the better. Otherwise, they are no better than communists." But libertarians in general have no other organized convictions outside politics. There is a general trend toward a cynic kind of nihilism but that applies to all philosophically bankrupt people, does it not? My head hurts. I'm done thinking about this for today.
  14. I wouldn't want someone who said they were a libertarian, but who cared nothing for philosophy, in office. But I would prefer almost any libertarian to an evangelist, Hillary Clinton, or Deng Xioping. Some libertarians have ridiculous views on taxes some are anarchistic but I think even they know how extreme for the sake of a publicity stunt they are being. Even their huge focus on The War on Drugs is a publicity stunt because the poor creatures need publicity so badly! An Objectivists can still call himself a Libertarian as an environmentalist who disagrees with many Democrats can still call himself a Democrat. Most libertarians could be much more easily "converted" (if that word may have its normal connotation stripped) than any Democrat or even Republican because both of those parties are so very conservative (Yes even you Mr. Democrat, your ideas have been around for a century, you're not liberal anymore.). The libertarian political beliefs are essentially corect and every non-objecivist (most of them) Libertarian I have met (which i admit I can couunt on two hands) has a wonderful sense of life with a horrible lack of philosophical convictions outside of politics. It is true that Libertarianism is only a political idea but the rest of the philosophy is empty and requires filling. With all respect your attitudes seem to look at a huge group of people, pick the worst in the bunch, and then stereotype. Liberatrianism isn't any explicit political philosophy that happens to be nihilistic, but a category of political philosophy in which many of its supporters happen to be nihilistic. It has no views about most of philosophy (perhaps its weakness) and there are certainly corrupt, nihilistic, evil people who support it. There are also others who aren't so bad. As an example I will give a debate in a libertarian magizine that someone in my household gets and I read because I was shocked that a libertarian could feel that the subject even waranted debate. It was on "The Social Responsibility of Business" The correct libertarian debater said something along the lines of "If the term has any meaning at all the social responsibility of business is to make profit." the other, who claimed to be a libertarian, said that the social responsibility of business was to help the environment, raise living standards, etc. He claimed to be a libertarian because he felt this responsibility should not be enforced but philosophicaly accepted. He said that he loves his wife for her sake and that a new type of capitalism "for the common good" could be reached and many other things I deeply disagreed with. His implicitly accepted altruist ethical views corrupted his mind. In short, I understand that there are very evil libertarians, and that it is absolutely not a substitute for a philosphy nor an automatic sign of benevolence. but.... There is no Galt's Gulch and too few of us to make a difference in the political scene so we cannot escape the necessity to modify a current group. If objectivism is to have a chance outside college campuses, this is the party (of the larger parties) most easily modified and least requiring modification, in the country most easily modified and least requiring modification. If we centralize our efforts to modifying and influencing an already existing party with the correct philosophical skeleton, all there is left to do is to weed out the maggots and build it some flesh. How can this be done civily? Objectivist writers in Libertarian publications would help foster in interest in a rational philosophy. Maybe even have little comments such as "as an objectivist blah blah blah". I'm not trying to sound like an evangelist praying on the weak of sense of life during their weakest times (eg a religious leader telling a group of mourners that they will never see thier loved one again unless they convert.), I'm purposing that we present objectivism to those that have a strong sense of life and in complete philosophical context. Libertarians are not the enemy, they are unschooled potentials who could use a rational philosophy as much as anyone and would be more willing to consider it than most people. by the way: I'm a very young person, my opinions are hardly "convictions" at this point because I know how small my experience in the world is. Libertarianism has been a shaky subject in my mind for a long time and I appreciate this community for helping me hash it out.
  15. Totally. I could watch that movie over and over, excluding the last 20 min or so, which make me want to vomit. Anakin got to kill children though. That's a plus The entire trilogy left a very disapointed taste in my mouth. I liked III way more than then other two though, (Episode I ranks among my least favorite movies) but it was certainly far from perfect. Even the montage was not a good as I might have wanted. The first jedi killed fought back, which which was great but after that they are all like "oh I guess I'm dead now.". How does a jedi who has a slight precience ability get shot in the back anyway? The music was good and well utilized though and the scenery epic... the weakling jedi are forgivable. To stay on topic: The Diva's performance in The Fifth Element The scenes in the flower field or bamboo forest in House of Flying Daggers was excellent for the same reasons as any of the scenes in Hero. Any wide shot in any LOTR movie that has a landscape are all perfect desktop backgrounds. Hmmm, maybe someone should start a "favorite shots in movies" thread...
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