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Everything posted by Whoisjohngalt

  1. ... I don't know where Rand did this... any help? Thanks.
  2. Isn't the damage to the enemy (Islam) more important than the "damage" done by the state to the people? The people are just being protected by the government by drafting people into fighting for the national security against Islamic Totalitarianism. I don't see how this is contradictory to a rational policy.
  3. Yes. The cost I'm talking about is to our enemies.... killing all enemies of the state. Of course, we need to protect ourselves (our state). For example, the movie 300 had a draft and they were fighting as one. Everyone was a professional soldier. Isn't that a good thing? Of course, the economy will have to be a command economy for it to work. But such temporary concessions will have to be made to protect the national security.
  4. I still do not see why one needs to explain natural events by other theories than the scientific factors that caused them (I am guessing you mean natural disasters, evolution and the like). Your last question would probably lead to asking what was the degree of political freedom in those societies. I'm still not convinced why anyone needs history to fit certain pet theories like the Marxoids insist on.
  5. I support staying united as one people, killing the enemies of the state and protecting reason, self esteem and national security at any cost.
  6. Well, if you are a materialist-determinist, like Marxoids are, it may be. However, I had thought that Ayn Rand thought that history is caused only by ideas, i.e., philosophy determines history. In such a case, I really do not understand why one needs to "theorize" about it.
  7. I am very surprised to hear that there is an Objectivist theory of history. Why is there a need for a "theory of history" in the first place?
  8. If it does come back, it would be great since everyone could fight the nation's and people's enemies to protect the national security.
  9. (Its been some time since I visited these forums. Here is an essay of mine that I just wrote.) TRADITION AND MODERNIZATION The often heard complaint that tradition and modernization are incompatible and that one must choose between them is not a valid one. Traditional or modern ideas are either true or false depending on the content of these ideas. One has to choose between the right and the wrong ideas and not among the traditional and the modern ones. I will first give some common examples to illustrate the commonly held beliefs about tradition and modernization. Later, I shall show that one should rationally evaluate both the traditional and modern ideas before passing any judgments on both. Some people say that traditional ideas are always false and some say that they are always true. To cite a simple real world example, if a father tells a son not to touch fire since it may burn his hand, it would be well for the son to consider this advice before taking any further action. Now, if the son rejects this advice point-blank, citing, for example, that he is too modern to listen to old people’s advice, and goes ahead and touches fire, it will surely burn his hand. It is only now that he will realize that his father’s advice was a sound one. On the other hand, it is the argument of some that tradition is always true. For example, in India, it is a popular tradition that one’s caste, which is determined by birth, determines one’s qualities. People hold this to be valid merely because it is a tradition. However, this is not valid since it is not always true that birth decides the qualities of an individual. Proper bringing up and education play a more important role in deciding one’s qualities. Thus, the argument from tradition that caste is a major factor in deciding one’s qualities is a false one. Similar examples can be given to those who say that modern ideas are always either true or false. Since these examples will be repetitive, these will not be included in this essay. Let us now understand the terms “tradition” and “modernization”. Tradition, as commonly known, is the knowledge handed down to us from past generations. To elaborate, traditions are the thoughts and practices of people who are older than us. On the other hand, modernization is the knowledge, inclusive of thoughts and practices, handed to us from the present or recent generations, that is the people who are nearly of our age or younger. Thus, time is the only difference between traditional and modern knowledge! Saying tradition and modernization are incompatible is akin to saying what is said at a particular time X is false and what is said at another time Y is true just because time X occurred before time Y or vice versa. This is patently absurd since it does not take into account the actual content of the knowledge, but only takes into account the time at which the knowledge originates out of the human mind. For example, if I see a box and, at time X, say that it is blue and, at time Y, say that it is green, which of my utterings should be correct? This actually depends on the color of the box but not on the time of my saying it is of such and such a color. Since this is the case, the time at which I say that it is of such and such a color is totally irrelevant to the discussion. The dividing-line between tradition and modernization, which is implicitly assumed by so many people of today, is a false one. This is because, this dividing-line does not take into account the actual content of the traditional and modern knowledge, but only the time at which the two knowledge’s originate from human minds and this “time factor” is an irrelevant consideration while evaluating the thoughts and practices of other people of either past or present age. Therefore, to say that tradition and modernization are incompatible is not correct. This is because neither traditional nor modern ideas are always true or false. Some ideas may be false and some may be true, but this depends on the ideas themselves and not on the time at which these ideas originated. Thus the choice that one has to make in evaluating ideas is between right and wrong ideas, not old and new ones.
  10. Let us not forget "Les Miserables" and other novels by Victor Hugo and "Human Action" and other works by Ludwig von Mises. Actually, all the Austrian School economists are good to read.
  11. Could you elaborate a bit on the "voluntary donations". I personally do not like the word donation as it subtly implies protection only for those who donate. So, pretty much everyone who does not want their houses to be robbed will have to "voluntarily" donate to the state. This is just another tax, IMO. That is what I am saying above. How exactly is "donation for protection" different from paying "protection money" payed to thugs, since the government does hold a coercive monopoly on force? I would like to know how these military installations will be maintained, unless by having at least a minimal tax?
  12. The "Student" above gives no reasons supporting his beliefs in a supernatural entity. Instead he tries to show why God cannot be disproved and also why "science" is based on "faith". But, science is not really based on faith. It is based on reason alone. Also, why is the "atheist philosopher" teaching his students evolution? ("Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey? ") This should be a suitable reply. Any other answers to the above would be welcome.
  13. Funnily, I was thinking about such a list myself and I'm delighted to find it already. The "other list" of the most harmful books is quite useless IMHO unless you were religious and looking to "shield" yourselves from others' opinions. In the present list, I would include "On Liberty" by JS Mill and other books by Classical Liberal authors like Lord Acton ("Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.") Of course, I agree that revolutionary books on evolution and modern physics should be included. I was actually a little disappointed with this. In particular, the ending was totally hopeless.
  14. I have a couple of questions: Provided that Objectivism posits the necessity of a "rights-protecting government", would this government own the roads and/or other public places? In other words, would some form of "public property" exist in an Objectivist society? If so, would collecting taxes from the people for maintaining these places also be practised? Thanks in advance for your answers.
  15. You have included "Beyond Good and Evil" twice. Why have you mentioned this at all? It is true that all these books have contributed to: socialism, communism, fascism, Christianity, Islam, feminism, environmentalism etc. But what school of thought do you think Nietzsche has in particular contributed to? BTW, how did you make up this list?
  16. I thought the same too, after I posted. I wonder what the situation was during the early and middle 20th century when socialism was the "craze" among everyone? I wonder did they even have an idea of free markets? I would also be curious what the global situation will be in a few decades time.
  17. worldpublicopinion.org Interesting that China, a former communist country, has the highest percentage of pro-market people in the world.
  18. How did you you gather this? The author of this piece does not pass over the gulags etc of the Soviet Union which most leftists try to ignore. Personally, I am impressed with the factual accuracy of this article. Or has he got some facts wrong?
  19. Fascist America, in 10 easy steps Is this article worth anything?
  20. (source) To answer your question, it may be based on past experiences. But my question is: Can we predict the course of a society or country based on the past or present state of that society or country. Unless one is a determinist, I do not see how one can claim that the future of a society will follow its past or present.
  21. Me too! Voldy actually taunts Dumbledore in OotP during the fight that Dumbledore wouldn't use a killing curse against him. So Dumbledore might actually have been holding the curse back knowing Harry had to kill Voldy in the end. Voldy actually uses the killing curse against Dumbledore and he is saved by the Ministry of Magic statues. (I remember in detail as I just finished the book)
  22. Sorry for the late reply. I was caught up in work. The reason that I asked this question was that the claim of some that "the philosophy of a society determines its future" sounded a bit historicist to me. However, Ayn Rand's reply to the interviewer in her Playboy interview was: Source: http://www.ellensplace.net/ar_pboy.html And, as far as statistical predictions go, I have to say that they are some caveats on that too. For an example of a caveat, if 300 people in a town were killed by road accidents in one year then the statistics would say some similar number would die the next year. Now say the town is destroyed (by, say, a tidal wave), then naturally the statistics would not hold for the next year. The socialists' predictions that communism will replace capitalism has no basis in fact, but is just as valid (or invalid) as an astrologer saying the fates of people and countries are in the hands of the stars. In conclusion, saying: is not right (unless it is said in jest) as we have no way of predicting the future by some arbitrary conditions. Also, I would like to know the non-historicist reasons, if any, against state interventionism. By that, I mean: Historicist reasons for anti-interventionism would go like: "If the government interferes, the economy will be destroyed". That sounds historicist to me. Is there any non-historicist argument against interventionism? P.S. Sorry for the long post
  23. Sorry if this is irrelevant to this discussion, but A Study in Scarlet gives a chilling tale of Mormonism.
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