Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by SkyTrooper

  1. Another good idea that Covey puts forward, although I don't know if he was the first to originate it, was that you should write a mission statement for yourself. It's a good integrating exercise and something that you can refer back to to quickly to put your life in context when you are creating your quarterly goals, making big decisions, etc.
  2. Even though it's been several years since I first read this book (prior to reading non-fiction Objectivisim), I still use this method for time management. Also when asking myself how I can somehow decide what to do when faced with many alternatives I remember Covey's imperative to "Plan and execute around priorities." Of course I set those priorities by rational ethics, and not by what makes me the most 'interdependent' ( ).
  3. Negative, you are misattributing the posts of others to me. Generally when I use explitaves I use the more colorful counterpart to "frikin." I agree that I may have read too much into the question. So, Brian, why do you ask?
  4. I think that this is the key problem here: you (and Mr. Wallace) are attempting to construct some type of situation where Objectivist ethics would fail you. There are many such hypothetical, extremely unlikely or impossible, situations. A good example is the Prisoner's Dillema, which is what is used to "disprove" rational egoism and "prove" altruism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The dillema is discussed elsewhere on this board, but basically it just shows that if you are a prisoner in a dictatorship being interrogated you can live slightly longer by confessing to your captors, but the Encyclopedia uses falicious inductive reasoning to say that this rare circumstance somehow disproves egoism. The falacy takes the form of: 1. Hypothetical situation A is possible 2. Objectivism fails to give guidance under A 3. Therefore, Objectivism fails to give guidance under any circumstance and is false While really, the fact is that no system can tell you what course of action to follow in a dictatorship, or in a lifeboat. No one can tell you if you should murder your friend in the lifeboat to survive or let him murder you so he can survive. Objectivism will probably keep you out of the lifeboat in the first place. What should be of a greater concern is that systems like altruism fail in normal circumstances, eg. "should I take this job?", "should I sleep with this person?", "should I vote for Hitler?"
  5. I contest that this is possible. In a free system no one man could gain a monopoly on that nuclear material. Can you point to any time in history that one man had a (non-government enforced) monopoly on a needed resource? Do you have any evidence to indicate there is a shortage of Plutonium or Uranium? I can assume this impossible world, build a system of ethics based on it, then determine an answer to the dillema. Just as I can assume the Platonic Forms and then prove that the only proper political system is Dictatorship. However, I don't see the purpose of doing so and can only guess it is something sinister.
  6. The question does not apply to life on this earth so is invalid to the study of ethics. Besides rewriting reality to eliminate 99% of the Uranium stocks on earth, it also assumes there is no Plutonium, lethal biological and chemical agents, or Green Berets (who would be able to elimintate the leadership of assumed aggressor powers). As it happens, the US has enough WMD to destroy the world several times over. We could come up with hypothetical realities all day that would invalidate ethics. What if, instead of being men, we were a race of floating heads powered by Michael Jackson music? What if you were immortal? What if everything you touched turned to Skittles?? Although you can perform these thought experiments, it does you no good to learn that within an impossible context Objectivist ethics (which were developed for actual reality) will not help you.
  7. It's always good to be reminded that the Islamofacists have problems of their own.
  8. This is the primary error. Islamic Totalitarianism is not a reaction to meddling in the middle east, support of Israel, etc., but because of a fundamental incompatibility between mystic Islam and rational western values. Percieved "incursions" by western culture into "muslim" countries are simply the result of people deciding that freedom is preferable to tyranny, and do not justify the killing of Americans. The Quran explicitly states that Islam cannot be seperated from the State and that Muslims should "fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them." Bin Laden siezes on this rhetoric to justify mass murder of innocent people. Ron Paul is a terrorist apologist, and I will vote for Hillary Clinton before I vote for him. The larger issue with Ron Paul is his claim that America is founded on the Christian Religion, and if he were elected he would introduce these ideas into the Supreme Court (appointments will be made in the next term). Due to the Democrat controlled congress, the majority of Ron Paul's better ideas could not take hold. Were it possible for him to be elected, this would make him a serious threat to freedom.
  9. Miss Rand's central purpose to writing Atlas Shrugged was to create a great piece of art. She wanted a fiction book with characters that reflected her philosophy. Spreading her philosophy was a secondary motivation, but yes, as a "romantic realist" novel it does contain much more philosophy than modern "naturalist" writers do (naturalists describe average events, eg. going to the bathroom.).
  10. I don't doubt this, but what is the best evidence to support that this is his position? I'm having difficulty finding a good source to show that he plans to do anything more than provide "incentives" for national service.
  11. Did this remind anyone else of the scene where Rearden is put on trial in Atlas Shrugged? Perhaps his response should have been more along the lines of "I have no defense, I do not recognize the right of the this court to try me."
  12. I have a poster of Tiananmen Square. I always liked the image of a lone man standing in front of a column of advancing tanks (do a google image search for Tiananmen Square if you don't know what picture I'm talking about). You can find it on most of the big poster sites.
  13. Well I'm in the American military, not the Israeli military, so let me discuss that and hopefully it will help you. In America I think we still have the best Constitution the world has ever seen and despite the steady crawl of socialism and various other evils into our government, we are still a free country. I will go AWOL and rebel if America ceases to be free. My objective criteria for that is the day freedom of speach is struck from the US Constitution (once that is gone, Reason no longer has any power to bring us back and the only resort is armed force). Right now, America is still worth fighting for. I had a difficult time with this for a while as well, especially since my involvement with the military and with O'ism began at around the same time. My belief at the time was that if America is doomed then there are no longer any values in the world possible for me to pursue. I decided that if that was the case then fighting for America would be my way to honor the memory of the greatest country on earth as it finally plunged into darkness. "Like laying flowers on a grave." Of course my view of the world is not that grim anymore: I think that we will win. I think we will defeat Collectivism, Islamofacism, and anything else our enemies want to throw against us.
  14. Under the current definition of "war criminal" this is correct. A "war criminal" is anyone who violates Just War, which is the theory of altruism applied to warfare. Thankfully, the US was not plunged deeply enough into the influence of altruism for Just War to affect how Grant formulated his strategy to fight the south. Had the Civil War been fought under more modern philosophical influences than we would still have slavery today. Sherman, as someone who excelled at philosophy during his time at West Point, knew that his "March to the Sea" was actually a highly moral policy. In his own words to the people of Atlanta: "You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace... You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride." http://www.sagehistory.net/civilwar/docs/ShermanAtl.htm Sherman knew that the southern civilians were responsible for the actions of their representatives, and were responsible for the war. Sherman also knew that the reality of war would have to be brought to those civilians before the war could end. Sherman, Grant, and Lincoln, were nothing less than heros.
  15. Not exactly. Pakistan is extremely duplicitus in that it plays the dual role of supporting the Jihad while attempting to appear to support the west. When the US launched cruise missiles on Afghan training camps in 1998, Bin Laden and his terrorist thugs were warned in advance by the ISI (the Pakistani intelligence agency). The ISI has also historically diverted large amounts of foreign aid to Islamic causes, which has been overlooked by Washington for “pragmatic” reasons. Pakistan's contributions to the War on Terror have been largely superficial. The only reason Pakistan is still in existence is due to various realpolitik strategies engaged in by the US. If not for our interference, semi-free India would have destroyed them long ago. Keep in mind that Pakistan is still waging a proxy war against India in Kashmir, and the only reason India can't retaliate is because we keep them on a short leash. I'll be curious to see how this martial law situation changes things. I would guess not very much. Clearly it's not desireable for Pakistan to have nukes.
  16. I was actually largely influenced by Machiavelli and modern day personal subjectivist Robert Greene right around my sophmore year of college. The main problem with this type of philosophy is that you are pandering to the irrationality of others for your survival, instead of to their reason. It was only after re-reading the "48 Laws of Power" that I realized that almost every character held up as a brilliant practitioner of "power" in Greene's books ended up dead or worse. Personal subjectivism is not a viable long term strategy for life. Altruists say you should sacrafice yourself to others, Machiavellians say you should sacrafice others to yourself, and Objectivists are oppossed to human sacrafice on principle. There can therefore be no such thing as "Machiavellian Objectivism."
  17. On principle the tactic is sound. You have enemy A and enemy B, you back enemy B against A, then when A is defeated you turn and defeat B. This is known as "Jiè dāo shā rén" or "Kill With a Borrowed Knife" (36 Strategies). However, I don't think that this is Patraeus's intention at all. He honestly considers the Muslim moderates as allies because they seek to create political Islam through democratic action, instead of through brute force. Al Qaeda would establish an Iraqi Islamic State under Sharia Law. He will back these Sunnis against Al Qaeda, and then when Al Qaeda is defeated he won't even notice or care that the Iraqis have voted themselves into an Islamic State under Sharia Law. Krauthammer's views on the subject are, unfortunately, tragically over-optimistic. Oh and we defeated the Baathists in near-absolute terms so you don't need to worry too much about them anymore. (let me know if you ever want to come eat lunch with the head from Saddam's statue )
  18. Eudaemonist, Please go out and buy yourself a Tazer immediately. Also, in all seriousness, I reccommend taking Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
  19. Inspector, Thanks again for the well thought out reply. I don't see how I am contradicting myself. Salsa and Tango are not the same as Grinding: granted. If Grinding is dancing, than I agree that Grinding is worse qua dancing than Salsa and Tango. However, you say it is not dancing at all. I asked what objective criteria can be used to define what is a dance and what is not. How is this a contradiction? I am saying: yes "clearly there is a difference" but what makes it not a dance? Although you insisted earlier that claiming grinding as sex is not part of your explanation, havn't you (and others) used solely that statement to prove your point? Taking the form of: 1) [implied dilemma] Grinding is either sex or it is dancing 2) Grinding is not dancing 3) Therefore, grinding is sex or directly, by claiming it is frottage ("dry-humping"). So although I know there is more to sex than just vaginal, it seems like a conceptual disaster to define every time my clothed crotch comes in contact with something as "sex." If this is the case then I have had sex with motorcycles, jetskis, bicycles, M16 rifles, horses, etc. That's not what I said. If sexuality is wrong, in itself, then we must all be reduced to burkas. If sexuality is good, in itself, then we should all be copulating in a big pile in the middle of times square. There are contexts where sexualty is good and contexts where it is bad. I was just letting you know, as an aside, that my default position is generally the opposite of the people who try to kill me. I have no issue passing moral judgement: I am willing to pass moral judgement on my own mother if it comes down to it. This follows if grind-dancing is not dancing, but is actually sex. I'm not convinced that it is. Girls can dress sexy without looking like sluts. Cute girls have to work hard to have a nice body (I'm guessing 1+ hours a day at the gym). This shows hard work, self-discipline, and an honest assesment of reality since you can't just wish to look good. If she wears clothes that fit and don't hide her curves, what's wrong with that? If I see a well-dressed, nice looking girl that is in shape, then I have at least some indication that she might be worth talking to. Now a guy that has only one criteria, girls dressed like whores, has basically no standards whatsoever. Those men and the women that try to attract them are self-deprecating nihilists.
  20. Inspector, What are objective criteria for dancing? Girls will tell you that "some guys can [grind-]dance and some can't" so there is slightly more to it than just sticking your crotch on a girls ass and rubbing away. Apparently, there are even Instructional Videos to learn to grind. Clearly there is a difference and I wasn't denying that there was. I meant my question literally/honestly: I want a clear answer as to why is it different. "Just look at it!" doesn't work for me. My burka comment was my reducto ad absurdum not an accusation that you are a puritan mystic. If public display of sexuality is categorically wrong, then isn't a burka the only option for wear (really more than a burka since soldiers coming back from Iraq claim to get turned on by ankles after being deployed for long enough)? For example, how does wearing a bikini at the pool show a lack of reason or self-respect? A fear of doing so strikes me as a lack of reason and self-esteem. No, I didn't say that. I am aware of how to judge actions without using religion and I've seen enough of your posts to know you are not religiously influenced. Sayyid Qutb, the “father of modern Sunni radicalism” visited America in the 40s and declared that the way Americans danced was “immoral,” which apparently justifies killing us. If you show me that your right, I'll accept it, but I sure hope that bastard wasn't right about anything. I think that on drinking, at least, we are in agreement.
  21. Inspector, Please consider this my attempt at discussion, not argument. When I say "sex" I mean, specifically, coitus: "Sexual union between a male and a female involving insertion of the penis into the vagina." (American Heritage Dictionary). So if we are in agreement on what sex means then I see no way that "grinding" can be considered sex. Grinding is "a type of close partner dance where two or more dancers rub their bodies against each other in a manner perceived as sexually suggestive." (Wikipedia) Now, I'm not much of a dancer but I have certainly seen Salsa danced in ways that are less romantic and more sexual. I also think that I've seen grinding passionate enough for me to consider it romantic. So you say that Tango and Salsa are romantic wheras Grinding is not.. what makes one romantic and the other not romantic? On to my Country Western remark. In the United States at least, I don't see many other types of dances going on. Unless you live somewhere with a lot of night life you are not going to find a Swing club or even someplace with a Latin night. You could go to a rock concert like you said and sway rhythmically like a zombie if you call that dancing. You could go to a Country Western bar and line dance, which is probably the least romantic dancing around (walking around in a circle dressed like a moron.. fun!). So although I know you don't intend it, my first response to your hatred of grinding and drinking was to see an assault on celebrating in general. So, in your view as far as not dancing the mystics really got it right in this case? I simply do not see the connection you make between indiscriminite sexuality and suggestive dancing. Close dancing does not neccessarily imply sexuality. For example, in South Korea many Korean men dance close together in clubs but they are not gay (even though US soldiers accuse them of it all the time). Even here, girls grind on each other in clubs, but there is nothing sexual about it. People here walk around with a lot of exposed skin and sexually suggestive clothing. Is this indiscriminte sexuality? It's certainly some type of sexuality. Should we all wear Burkas? Probably not. So what makes "grinding" indisciminite sexuality? What makes it "depraved, debasing, self-hating, and nihilistic"? Clearly this is bad. Were you using this to illustrate the point about leftist promiscuity, or trying to draw a parallel to grinding? I fail to see how this is similiar. I said nothing about being indiscriminite. Grinding with a fat communist would be indiscriminite, grinding with a hot objectivist doesn't seem like a bad thing. So since you misunderstood my position: In certain contexts, I think pride in one's sexuality is a good thing. Ayn Rand was saying that sex needs to be discriminite. She also said it should not be approached in a casual fashion. She doesn't say that it needs to be "private" or hidden, although I don't think anyone will contest having sex in public is a bad thing. Sexuality on the other hand isn't addressed by that quote, I would guess pretending to be asexual would be a form of dishonesty. Let's clarify this, because I have shirts that show off my muscles a little too much which I might need to get rid of. There is a difference between setting out to get drunk and continuing to drink with friends. Most people I know can function quite well in reality with 5 or so drinks, but if they go to far and get drunk it's usually a mistake of knowledge (not knowing thier limits). So, like I said, drinking in itself is not automatically bad and even being drunk on occasion is not an indication of bad character.
  22. Inspector, First, thanks for the lengthy reply. I am not aware of any "standard Objectivism" on dancing or drinking. I read a brief letter by Piekoff on drinking but beyond that wasn't aware of anything Ayn Rand wrote about it. I'm always happy to look up references. Also, since you asked, my self-interest in the topic comes from being around the same age or younger than the people in the photo. I did not construct a straw man by disagreeing with the claim that "grinding" is "simulated sex." It was clearly refferred to "simulated sex" by Qwertz in post 50. Anyone who starts by reclassifing their dancing as sex begs the question so that the conclusion of their immoral status automatically follows. The other time you accussed me of straw man was when I said I didn't see them as a threat to my life, and I don't see how this consisted of me attacking a position you didn't hold. I think that covers the personal attacks on me (namely the accusation of not being enough of an Objectivist and of trying to use sophitry to defend the drunk jackasses). Unfortunately, I'll have to discuss the ideas later since I have to go meet up with some friends right now for some wild board game playing.
  23. To clarify, when I say "I think it is perfectably acceptable" I mean "when I evaluate it, I find it morally OK" not "society accepts it."
  24. I said "I'm not certain that any particularily depraved viewpoint is neccessary in order to "grind" on a girl" not "grind on a random girl." You're inferring that context. What if, for example, a married couple is out at a club and they decide to dance in that fashion? Also, the Rand quote, although very good, refers to sex. Dancing with someone doesn't mean you're going to have sex with her.
  25. They are dancing. Granted, taken into the larger context of the quotes that were provided along with their clothing and overall appearence I'll concede that they are "degenerate buffoons." I'll accept that conclusion because of their poor grammer, appearence, and attitude towards women. However, there are many situations where dancing in the current fashion of "grinding" is perfectly acceptable. (if not, the only place young people can easily dance is Country and Western bars) Also, drinking in itself is not an issue. There is not a crowd. There are a few people standing in the background talking to each other, plus whoever took the picture. They are not having sex on the dance floor. They are not even "simulating" having sex on the dance floor-- at least not any more than the Tango or the Salsa is simulating sex. To reclassify that as sex would be a conceptual disaster. You tell me, since I'm not quite sure. I'm not certain that any particularily depraved viewpoint is neccessary in order to "grind" on a girl. Certainly a lack of shame over one's sexuality, which strikes me as a good thing. Well having a drink is certainly not an issue (unless, as I said before, you determine that alcohol is physically harmful to you). Being drunk doesn't even strike me as bad unless the purpose is to escape from reality.
  • Create New...