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Charles T.

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Everything posted by Charles T.

  1. I'm getting more and more curious: what does it mean to "go through the temple"? Is it some horrible ceremony or "rite"?
  2. Thanks for letting us "listen in" on your thoughts. I am thrilled to see you making such progress, and I look forward to whatever you choose to share. But I'm glad you aren't going to tell us *too* much. CT
  3. "Worst case, [. . .] dishonest. Best case, stupid. " lol This sums up my feelings about so many people.
  4. Concensus, and the details of her history, are excellent. I don't think she necessarily needs to be unattractive. Being attractive could be part of how she tries to draw others in. How about, for The Mob, you have a hideous monster that sort of springs up out of gatherings of the "right kind" of people? You could draw him/it with faces all over his body, make him a patchwork of ugliness and grime, legs and arms sticking out all over. The ugliness of it would be key. It needn't even resemble an individual person, just a big jumble of bodies, perhaps even without a head, or any evident center of awareness, since it has no consciousness and communicating with it is impossible. Of course, the essence of The Mob is brute force, so I can understand your representation. Yours is also a lot easier to draw, I'm sure.
  5. RadCap, That updated image of Rational Man is superb. Need some investment capital to get things started?
  6. Radcap, that is a fantastic idea, and the character descriptions you came up with are excellent. Are you going to run with it? By the way, do you recommend a particular book for learning formal logic?
  7. "Deserve" is an evaluation. It means that the title "Objectivist" is something good about the person who holds it, that it is an achievement or a value he has earned. It isn't." You've been an O'ist, or student of O'ism, for 40+ years, and you're not proud of it? That's what it sounds like you are saying. Perhaps I misinterpret your remarks. I am proud of being an Objectivist, or "student of Objectivism", precisely because it IS an achievement. It requires hard work to learn the philosophy, study it, and integrate it consistently in one's life. That is *exactly* why there aren't more Objectivists! Don't you agree? "Their real concern is whether they and others are in sync with reality and whether they are on track to achieve their values. That's where a person's real worth comes from." That's true as far as it goes, but a person who has the explicit understanding of how and why they are "in synch with reality" (an Objectivist), is far more valuable/admirable (to me AND to themselves) than one who lacks that understanding. Without that understanding, one CANNOT defend oneself morally, in public OR in one's own mind. The way I see it, to be an Objectivist is a virtue, not merely a "description". In other words, if I know someone who is a pleasant, inoffensive person but not "an Objectivist" and who has, let's say, only minor inconsistencies compared to most "non-O'ists", they might be pleasant to behold, and even admirable in their accomplishments and character - but if they aren't explicitly aware of what is right and wrong, and why, and they aren't therefore able to defend it and advocate it explicitly, then I CANNOT value them as much as someone who does possess that knowledge. I think Objectivists are superior people, in moral terms. Taking the time and making the effort to understand objective reality in a consistently principled manner warrants pride and praise.
  8. Another good O'ist writer I recommend is Joseph Kellard, of The American Individualist. www.theai.net
  9. Can't recommend him enough. I've been reading his stuff for years, and I think he is exceptionally wise and insightful.
  10. Read it and weep: Mich. city council approves Muslim prayers Hamtramck, MI, Apr. 21 (UPI) -- Mosques in the city of Hamtramck, Mich., will be allowed to broadcast their Muslim calls to prayer over loudspeakers. The issue, which has divided many of the city's 23,000 Muslim and Christian residents, was approved by city council, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday. The controversy centered on noise pollution and religious freedom and tolerance. Those opposed to the measure said they didn't want Islamic beliefs imposed upon them [Ooooops. Wrong argument, folks. Try again. - CT]. The prayer, which is in Arabic, occurs five times a day between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Supporters said the issue is an Islamic tradition. They cited the city's church bells, which ring at least every hour, as comparable. Opponents vow they will defeat the ordinance, possibly taking the issue into federal court. Masud Khan of the Al-Islah Islamic Center said it took courage to approve the plan. "Hamtramck is going to be a pioneer city for the whole United States," he said. [Let's hope not. It's all I can do to refrain from assaulting the drivers of cars with radios loud enough to shake my walls when they drive by. If I was forced to listen to Muslim prayers five times a day, I would destroy the loudspeakers. - CT]
  11. Excellent photos. Thanks for posting the link to them, shelle39. I'm going to share that link with everyone I know.
  12. I realize you're an O'ist, I was just joshin' you.
  13. "I got to be quite an expert on Mormonism until my expertise led to my awareness of all the contradictions and the lack of a base of factual evidence supporting their religion." What, you doubt the story of the angel Moroni and the golden tablets buried in the forest that required magic seer stones in order to be translated into english? Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb, dumb. Perhaps this site will help you: http://www.exmormon.org/ "A site for those who are Questioning their faith in the Mormon Church And for those who need support As they transition their lives to a normal life."
  14. I just watched an ex-IRS agent talk for an hour on C-SPAN's booknotes program. I felt simultaneous pity and loathing for the poor slob (but mostly loathing). He's written a book subtitled "Confessions of a Tax Collector", and though I'm not going to buy it because I would hate to give him any money, it sounds like it's full of enlightening insights. He was 28 when he first took the job, after having failed at all other careers he attempted (gasp! big surprise). He was a self-described "artsy-type", who wouldn't have known a balance sheet if he'd seen one. He admitted to knowing next to nothing about the history/origins of the 16th Amendment (another big surprise). He said he just did his job without questioning things because he didn't want to lose it. He admitted that he grew to like the job because of the power and control, which made him feel competent. His mentor/boss once told him the IRS gave them "H-Bombs to take out molehills". His boss also taught him that it was not his job to help people, it was his job to "feed the beast", pointing to an image of the U.S. Treasury as he said so. He was advised to "leave work at the office", otherwise he would go insane (an implicit nod of acknowledgement there to the unconscionable nature of their work). He eventually learned that he had to treat the more pathetic of his victims differently than he normally would "as a human being". An implicit acknowledgement there of the inhuman nature of the work. To his slight credit, he did seem to be explicitly aware, after having worked there for 12 years, that the sense of efficacy and competence he achieved through this work was due mostly to the fact that he had the power of gov't force backing him up. Kind of hard to feel ineffective when you have H-bombs to take out molehills, eh? He said the IRS categorizes delinquent tax-payers into three categories: will pay, can't pay, and won't pay. He referred to the last as the "red meat" of his job. Isn't that pleasant. Get this: he said he had "the time of his life" taking on tax protestors, those who openly refuse to pay, and who challenge the gov't to "come get it". Why did he have no pangs of conscience where these folks were concerned? Because when dealing with them, he felt he had the "moral high-ground". (!!!!) One time he said he actually felt a "rush of adrenaline" when seizing a man's $20,000 cherry-red corvette. He actually compared the IRS to The Sopranos, but quickly added, "Not that the IRS is the mob or anything", he just meant the way it's such a close-knit "family" type of unit, a closed culture. Well, except for how even "your own co-workers will stab you in the back". Actually, sounds more and more like the Sopranos the more he reveals. And the crowning tidbit of insight: his mentor/boss once explained to him the "secret of the job" - "Figure out what they love and what they fear, and either take what they love or exploit what they fear." Disgusting. The only good news revealed in this interview was that (according to this guy, and how could you trust him?) ever since the something-or-other Act of 1998 was passed, seizures of any type have gone down dramatically, and there are now only 3000 tax-collectors for the entire nation (those are the ones who actually confront people and work out payments, seize things, etc.). The pity I feel for him is due to the fact that he is a "typical" man. He has never learned how to look at reality objectively, in a comprehensive, principled manner, and so is incapable/unwilling to explicitly recognize the contradictions in his thoughts and actions (which lead to his anxiety and unpleasant emotions). It was interesting how, throughout his interview, he mixed in observations about himself and his job. At the end, he explained the book as an attempt to sort out the experience, to see what it had meant and what he had learned from it. He said he started out "wide-eyed and naive", and ended up "numb", after a middle stage of "cold, hard, and cynical". When he got numb, he figured that was the time to get out. And that is precisely what such "work" will do to a person - numb their consciousness. And when I think that incomplete children like that are given such power to influence the lives of so many of us, I shudder with revulsion and anger. It's so wrong.
  15. "at least direct me to the research." Read Ayn Rand's books.
  16. lol No, but thanks. I had my message boards confused, anyway. Oops. I was thinking of the "movies worth watching" thread over at CapMag.com. Heh heh.
  17. Now THAT is the kind of post I would like to see more of in this thread. People have generally just been listing films they liked. But so many of the films listed are what I would call TRASH that such lists don't help me figure out which movies to be interested in. That last post told me exactly WHY the film is worth watching. I am now intrigued, and interested in seeing Mystic River. Can we change the name of this thread to "Movies Worth Watching - and WHY" ?
  18. That guy (Allah) can be extremely witty, cutting, and insightful (as well as unnecessarily and unpleasantly crude). I read his site every day, and hope for the good stuff. I asked him if he was familiar with Rand a while back, and he said he knew who she was, but he hasn't read any of her stuff. Claimed he intended to, though.
  19. "It's assumed at the outset that I am wrong and that objectivism is right. You assume that I am wrong and that you will simply show me how." Well, he got that much right, at least.
  20. "I think Vernunft actually put up with you people for an admirable amount of time." That's funny. Were I in charge, ol' "Vern" wouldn't have had the chance to post a second message, let alone "put up" with us for any amount of time. His first post was obnoxious, condescending, and confrontational, and he was the quintessential troll, simply seeking to argue and irritate.
  21. "Existents are no more separate from existence than a drop is separate from the ocean." That encapsulates all the errors of your idea. When you speak of drops of water and oceans, you are comparing physical entities, whereas when you compare existents and existence, you are comparing physical entities to an abstraction, a concept. The concept of "existence" necessarily subsumes all "existents" - that's why you can't "seperate" them. Also, your observations about water are mistaken. A "drop" of water is, indeed, completely seperate from an ocean, that is precisely what makes it a *drop* of water. There are no "drops" of water IN an ocean. There is no such thing as a drop of water until a tiny amount of water is seperated from a larger body of water - only then is even the idea of a "drop" of water possible.
  22. Haven't read all the posts in this thread, so I'm sorry if this has already been mentioned or discussed. I came across this today: http://usabig.com/autonomist/hijacking.html It's a book, "The Hijacking of a Philosophy - Homosexuals vs. Ayn Rand's Objectivism". Anyone familiar with it? I am not.
  23. "I do wish the government would stop looking after "the little guy". I am a very small investor, so I suppose they consider me a little guy. No one asked if I wanted protection, and until the government intervened in these businesses, I needed none. Who do I go to for protection from my self-appointed protectors? While Ms. Stewart had nothing to do with her persecution, and did nothing to abet it, Microsoft cannot claim the same. They've now entered into the blackmail game played by thugs all over the world. I find that thoroughly disgusting." Old Salt, That's the makings of a pretty good letter to the editor. CT
  24. What about those families that just pay lip-service to religion? My family-members would tell anyone who asked that they "are Catholic", but I wouldn't be able to tell you the last time ANY of them actually went to a church service, or prayed before a meal, etc. I'd sure like to think that it's that way with the majority of people in the U.S., but I fear that is not the case so much, anymore. Or is it? That's an insight I would like to gain: sincere "faith" vs. mere lip-service. How much of professed religious belief is merely a caving in to peer-pressure, but which a person would actually disavow if they were to be totally, candidly honest? How many families go to church simply to "maintain appearances"?
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