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Lateralus

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  1. You're right about the war hero, The Boss (letting you know that's her name, in case it's confusing) knows and obeys the leaders decision on her own will because she's the ultimate patriot. The game is a staged assassination where your mission is to kill The Boss. But my other example the hero (an idealistic youth) is only told the plan at the moment it needs to be carried out, and you get the choice as a player to either obey and go the lawful path or disobey and go the chaotic path (later on you get another choice if you go the chaotic path, to join back with them and go the neutral path, which is an example realpolitik). The pacifists (townspeople) in the game were people who are willing to endure a miserable slave life so they could live in "peace". You're part of a minority rebel army going against a totalitarian state. The ideals of the hero are up to you, that the ends (massive gain in support, followed by peace, no more totalitarian rule - at least the current one) justify the means (massacre of the townspeople/pacifists who do not want to join the Duke's revolt) or not is up to you. The Duke thinks so (and the ones carrying the orders).
  2. I should've left that line out, it's the only one that got attention. I was suggesting that a situation where saving the lives of 20 people by sacrificing one would be a more realistic situation than sacrificing one to "save the world". I didn't intend to expand that situation any further, since it doesn't really change anything so nevermind. DavidOdden: Well in one of my examples the rebel leader decided to use one loyal soldier so that an entire nation could progress towards peace (and take out the current totalitarian rule); the other example, the leaders order a legendary war hero to become a traitor and take the blame for using an american nuclear bomb, because they needed to offer proof to the enemy that THEY didn't use that bomb (they didn't, it was someone who stole it), so they can secure peace and avoid a nuclear war. What did you think of those situations? Are they justified or moral?
  3. A more realistic version of Ehre's example would be saving 20 people by sacrificing one person's life. Anyone here played Metal Gear Solid 3? There's a part in the game where The Boss reveals why she's doing what she did. She explains that the government needed someone to blame for the event to prevent a cold war (an insane terrorist fired a bomb at a russian military base, i think it was nuclear). The Boss used to be a military hero and she sacrificed herself completely for the greater good. Now she will be remembered as an traitor. I think that's an example of the use of the ends justify the means by the government. Another example, in another videogame (I'm a geek), Tactics Ogre you get a moral choice at one point to between doing what the Duke told you to do and not to do it. The Duke wants you to get people of a town to join your cause and these people are pacifists and will not join. This result was known in advanced by the Duke and a higher up tells you that the Duke had the intentions of killing them all if they would not join. If you choose not to kill the townspeople they are killed by other soldiers, but you get a price on your head and you're blamed for the massacre. The event was all a plan by the Duke to gain the support of neighboring anti-government groups to have a more unified liberation movement. Another example of the ends justifying the means. Both examples are of authority using their own people as a means to an end (for peace).
  4. 2+2=4, yes, but even something as simple as that needs to be re-examined at least once in your life. Sometimes when you're a kid, you're not told the why, the reply you get is " because that's what it is " (because the parent/elder does not know the answer or can't be bothered with a long answer). This information you got as a kid stays with you if you don't question it. It's like cheating on a test, where you know the answer to the question because you know what the answer is, but you do not know why that is the answer. If somebody were to ask this cheater why he answered that way, the cheater would not be able to answer correctly. Or even worst, remembering a phrase by heart withouth knowing why that's the answer, and I remember being told to do this a lot in school. I might know that A=A, but Ayn Rand writes pages on the subject about the why A=A. Which means there are people who have a problem with it or don't understand it. Basically, it's good to doubt the knowledge you've been taught a few times. I don't mean that somebody should doubt 2+2=4 forever. Somebody should doubt at least once, like the moment you found Objectivism, I'm sure you started doubting everything you knew (especially if you were on the opposite end of an Objectivist). If an Oist takes in everything just because Rand says it withouth knowing why she reasons that way then that Oist is on the wrong path again. I don't know if you would call all of that active-minded or open-minded. It was common knowledge that the earth was the center of the universe once. Galileo was executed because of his new ideas which conflicted with their traditional knowledge. The sun being the center of the universe contradicted the earth being the center of the universe (both turned out to be false). Would you say they were passive minded or closed minded?
  5. Is it wrong to take a picture of a portrait and then make copies of it?
  6. Values are the important things in your life. Like freedom, privacy, money, love, family, etc. To determine your values, just think of the things your life would be miserable and not-worth-living withouth.
  7. Being open-minded is simply looking at both sides of the issue before making a judgment or an opinion. It's not about staying undecided. Closed-minded is when you study one side withouth looking at it from the other side before adopting your own view. Like say you were taught something (girls are evil) by your parents and never bother questioning their word. Being open-minded also means you can re-examine your views on certain things with skepticism.
  8. Lateralus

    Manners

    I'd like to offer my point of view of manners, reading this thread gave me an urge to tell my thoughts on the subject. First off, I have never cared about (traditional) manners in my life. I always viewed it as fake, not respectful. Opening doors: I push the door open and keep my hand on the door so that the other person behind me hold the door open for themselves, man or woman. When you guys talk about opening doors, do you mean standing at the door with the door open to let the other person walk through? That's just plain silly to me. I do only what is necessary. I show that I value women by letting them be independant. They don't need men holding doors open for them hoping they scored some brownie points. They see through the act. Men should show they value women by being sensitive. + somewhat related: I don't open the door for vehicles. I don't pull chairs. Why? Because if I were female, I would not want that being done to me. It is not romantic, it is simply uncomfortable and embarrassing. When someone says men and women should be treated as equals, it means they think men should treat women like men and not "ladies". Some women like being the strong independant type, and dislike being treated like the frail-dependant-on-her-man-lady stereotype that these manners create an image of. To them being feminine is an insult. Hats: I think this started because hats were associated with going outside and taking your hat off meant you're staying inside for a bit. I don't really see any justifications for taking hats off. First time I experienced this rule was when I went to a funeral with my cap. Never went in public with it before that so I wasn't aware of all the etiquettes associated with hats. Paying: It doesn't have to be completely equal. What I mean by that means that it doesn't have to be kept track of and everything (I payed last week now it's your turn!) That will just cause problems. It just shouldn't be one sided. Keep it simple. I don't expect everyone to do it my way, but I think my reasoning is justified and shouldn't be judged because I don't follow the old traditions. I thought I was reading a christian forum for a moment.
  9. First of all, I am not an Objectivist. I just discovered the philosophy recently and I plan on studying it. Just reading what the members of this forum had to say about liberals/democrats and conservatives/republicans has made me unsure about what I know about both of these parties. I don't know if it's me or the members here who have their information mixed up. Let me explain... Republicans of today, in my view, are religious conservatives. But Objectivists are (generally) Atheists and believe in secular government and (I'm not sure on this) are against social issues such as pro-abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-school prayer. Which Democrats hold the same view on those issues. Democrats want a secular government, equality for all. Yet, these Objectivists think they're Conservatives. Because they are against Socialism/big government and pro-Capitalists. So these Objectivists are pro-social liberties and pro-economic liberties... on the political spectrum that indicates Libertarian. But these Objectivists are against them too because Libertarians are too Anarchists. Back to Republicans. Why should Objectivists support this party? They have some kind of dangerous religious agenda. George Bush said it himself that he think Atheists should not be considered citizens or patriots. Plus, they're trying to shove their silly ideas like Intelligent Design into science classes. Thus they're not the type to support reason. But Democrats support Socialism and Altruism which goes against the philosophy. I myself considered myself a liberal but I'm re-thinking about Altruism and espistemology and my values and I'm not sure anymore where I stand. The point I'm trying to make is that I really can't see why Objectivists could support Republicans OR Democrats... so who or what do they support?
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