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Everything posted by Catherine

  1. you should indicate that you, indeed, are in a relationship (on your profile status) otherwise mammon will keep being all creepy on you

  2. 100+ years? It's taken far less than a century to get as far as we have, and that's with our current technology. And by the way: what is your standard? Because to me, a woman is distinguished from a man by: a) her reproductive organs her hormones, how they function differently from a male's (psychology) and c) her behaviors (anywhere from peeing sitting down to getting out of a car without showing anything under your skirt). Your answer has only assumed that sexual transformation is impossible, which I think is ignoring how far science has come in even the past couple of decades.
  3. No, I think you're misusing the word "superficial". You haven't offered any evidence that it is, except to say that the current medical procedures are "crude at best". There are women AND men who aren't "fully functional" - and yet are still, for all practical purposes, "male" or "female". I suggest you ask a transsexual, or listen to a radio broadcast/television interview. I doubt any of them will call the process "superficial". While it hasn't been perfected, the medical procedures that currently exist are still pretty advanced - transsexual women still can achieve orgasm, etcetera. They may not be able to reproduce, or nurse their children, but a ) certain women NEVER will and b ) I doubt that it will be impossible for scientists to figure out how to enable transsexual men to. Whether we cannot RIGHT NOW is irrelevant to the morality of the subject - especially since medical professionals are nearing a point when people CAN change their sexual identity completely. The discussion here is: if it were possible for a person to undergo a sex change, could they change their sexual identity and still be fully happy? and is a person's "self" defined by what they are born with?
  4. What do you mean by this? Not only is it possible to switch your reproductive organs, but there are also mental and hormonal therapies available to men/women who undergo transsexual surgeries. Are you suggesting that your only true "self" is the self you are born with? Because at this point in time, it IS possible to both physically and mentally change your sex. I'm not sure how you're using "superficial" here. Again, if you change your "self" - biologically and mentally - how is it a denial of self? Homosexuality is a denial of what our reproductive organs are designed for, and what our physical/mental needs are as men and women. Transgenderism is BECOMING someone of the opposite sex. I would agree that transgenderism without sex change is a denial, but post-sex change operation, I would disagree.
  5. Anti-homosexuality sentiment is NOT rooted in Christianity - it's rooted in Judaism. And I agree - I think "fear" is an inappropriate word in our discussion here. The fact that ancient Greeks were homosexual does not make it objectively moral. I'm sure there are multiple topics on this forum that would address this, so I won't bother. * As for transgenderism, I think the term "mutilation" is also inappropriate. I don't see what about the procedure separates it from cosmetic surgeries such as rhinoplasty or breast augmentation, or from a procedure like an appendectomy. I think they are completely two separate issues! One deals with a man sleeping with a man (or woman/woman), and the other deals with someone biologically changing their sex. How are they at all the same? If someone becomes a biological woman, in what way would it be immoral for her to sleep with a man? I think the fundamental question surrounding this issue is: should people be allowed to change what their genes determined? I agree with the Objectivist principle that homosexuality is a denial of self, but I don't see how changing your sex is (especially since transgenders DO go through therapy to become their new, respective sex in both body & mind). Perhaps Inspector has a comment on this?
  6. I ended up seeing the movie, and agree! The acting was great, and I loved the cinematography (especially for the scene on the beach during the war). Otherwise, the book was better. As for why I found it disgusting, I found that
  7. Having searched through the other threads myself, I haven't found any post that directly addresses this (or where everyone reaches one conclusion). My personal response to this would be that this statement is inaccurate - and that I, and other members on this board, HAVE found a single person that fulfills all of our needs (intellectually, sexually, etc). I don't think anyone here considers polyamory disgusting - the debate is whether polygamy is a moral ideal (or, alternatively, monogamy). The Objectivist position is that one is [objectively] better than the other. Is it better to have multiple partners to fulfill your desires, or one person?
  8. Catherine


    Sorry, perhaps I should've explained, but maturity is exactly right. I realize that these beliefs are mostly associated with religion, but regardless, I think if someone is mature enough to have sex, they're mature enough to think for themselves. While I understand your point, we've already established that the original mother doesn't have to raise the child. I don't really see this as relevant to whether or not abortion is a violation of human rights, because mothers who actually GIVE birth may still not be equipped to take care of their child, and killing their child would not be morally responsible. So it seems that we both agree on this point, but it's still lacking specifics. When would it be okay, and when would it be immoral, for a woman to have an abortion (and why?). If a fetus were not a specifically human life, wouldn't this be a moot point?
  9. Catherine


    Back in my sophomore year of high school, Imagine was one of my absolute favorite songs; now, however, I would say it's one of my least favorite Beatles songs (for obvious reasons). I don't think the Beatles were very musically accomplished - although they tended to be good poets, sometimes. As for my favorite Beatles songs, I love Here Comes the Sun, Hey Jude, Back in the USSR, ah... I can't list all of them.
  10. Catherine


    Hm there is a difference between "facing consequences" and being "held responsible" for them. I'm asking why abortion is a responsible choice at all (I can only see it as such when a) a woman and man have taken proper preventative measures or if the woman was raped). It has always been of some comfort to me to acknowledge that abortions ARE serious choices made by women and their doctors (not just last-minute solutions), but just because someone broods over something doesn't necessarily mean their decision is morally right. A baby's ideal diet is still extremely selective... they can only eat certain foods, served in certain manners... I would venture to say that caring for a born baby requires more attention than caring for a fetus. And, again, I don't really see as only it's mother being able to care for it as a valid point for denying a fetus a chance at life if the mother took the risk of becoming impregnated in the first place. I guess I just don't see how these technicalities are relevant? Hm, in the case of a miscarried fetus, it wouldn't be relevant. Actually, I don't think any of these would be very relevant. These babies would never have the ability to exercise human rights, and would probably die prematurely from other (predictable) complications. And regardless, they are uniquely human fetuses. My stance has always been yours: "abortion should be used as a last resort only". Abortion is never good for a woman anyway (neither is the morning after pill, although I'll admit, I have used it in emergency). I'm really just trying to reason out what a legitimate reason for a woman to have an abortion is. If giving birth threatens the mother's life, I would DEFINITELY agree that the mother has every right to choose to abort the fetus. I guess I have a hard time admitting that a potential human is so easily disposable as someone being, say, financially unstable or embarrassed, especially when there are people willing to even pay the medical expenses for a baby, and when people who are embarrassed of pregnancy should not be having sex anyway (rape, of course, being the exception).
  11. Agreed - if you search the forums, you will find a more elaborate answer to this question. But for a shortened version: Ayn Rand says that the abortion debate is really only applicable to the first trimester, since that is pretty much the only time during which legal abortions are administered, and there is a large difference between a fetus in the first trimester and one that is merely a few weeks away from birth. I would agree with Andre's answer on this. How is the parasitic lifestyle of a fetus any different from that of a baby's? Neither can survive without specific attention from a parent. A baby cannot provide its own food, nor can it shelter itself.
  12. Catherine


    I have never been clear on the issue of abortion anyway, as even a baby cannot technically "live" on its own either; its style of life is still parasitic, to some extent. Not only that, a woman chooses the risk of becoming pregnant by having sex, except in the case of rape (and, say, a broken condom, etc.); I don't see why she shouldn't be held responsible for her actions. At this point, I still consider myself pro-abortion (at least in the early stages of pregnancy, which is pretty much the only time it is safe for a mother), but I want clear answers from supporters. I have a hard time seing a fetus as nothing more than a cluster of cells/tissues; as far as I know, a fetus can ONLY become human. It may be in the same league as a cancer, but a cancer cannot develop into a conscious being.
  13. You should come kick the bucket with us in chat!

  14. I saw your post on narcissim and I realized you haven't posted here in awhile. Sup?

  15. Catherine


    Of course there's a difference between an animal and a human baby! Babies have the potential to reason, they simply haven't developed matured reasoning skills. An individual animal does not have that potential. I always run into people who are confused on this point. I don't think that rationality gives one the right to life - I think the ability to reason gives us the right to life. That said, I agree with both what DarkWaters says - a couple who makes the conscious decision to have a child has the responsibility to raise the child until he/she can care for himself. I also have to agree with David, especially as it applies to old people. You don't choose your parents - you aren't required to take care of them when they get older. They should be allowed the right to earn enough money throughout their lifetime to retire into a special home for elderly care, but they aren't entitled to their children's time.
  16. This is what I've been considering as well. You're right - it definitely devalues the dollar, and it's really scary to think that our money will eventually be worth NOTHING. I've actually talked with my boyfriend about investing in gold, but I'd be really careful to ensure that the gold I bought was real.
  17. I hate the term "narcissist" - it attempts to extinguish any reason that a person might have of being proud of their accomplishments, with uses of words like "grandiose" and "fantasies". As if none of these people achieved greatness in their fields (Picasso is debatable)? I don't consider it a valid mental disorder, because as we all know, people are only lonely when they (and those around them) have are convinced that being social is inherently important.
  18. Hm, I think subtlety is a bit more complex than that - I do agree that it "camouflages", in a sense, but not solely through metaphors and symbolism, which I consider more obvious/trite forms of subtlety. Subtlety extends to implied action and thought - as you mentioned, "showing" and not "telling". One of the more recent works of literature that I've read that has utterly mastered subtlety was Atonement by Ian McEwan. In one particular scene (one of the most beautiful I've read in all of literature), the two protagonists are irritated with each other, and end up breaking a family heirloom out of carelessness, sending a large chunk of it to the bottom of a deep fountain. The woman removes her clothes and dives to the bottom of the fountain to retrieve the chunk, and after surfacing, stomps off to repair the vase. The man is left speechless. Her action implied several things - most obviously, her intent to prove to him that she wasn't a sensitive, weak rich girl. Additionally, she was also attempting to shame him. But most importantly, and more subtly, she was provoking him sexually (and their attraction to each other is unveiled a few chapters later). Her intents were not expressly stated, but you had to piece them together based on the information you were given - they were both adults, they were frustrated at their awkwardness around each other, and they were male and female. I hope you understand what I'm getting at - and obviously, my description does NO justice to McEwan's art. Incidentally, it's one of the most misleading and disgusting books I've read, but the language was so beautiful that I was able to justify the time I spent on it. Oops, forgot to add: I think it takes a lot of strength as a writer to effectively write subtlety in a novel, and I admire any time it's done well. I think the technique is easily abused, though, especially through metaphors, which I think often APPEAR complex because of their cultural ties, but are really just trite - especially the use of colors, animals, and flora. Also meant to add: Subtlety and "showing" are not the same thing, as someone said above. I think subtlety is a form of showing, though.
  19. Catherine

    Death Note

    Agreed. Halfway through is about when I quit reading. The anime seemed to ignore the morality/thought processes behind the characters, and as usual, I found myself preferring the manga more.
  20. I remember the buzz that surrounded this movie, and remember thinking that it sounded really sensationalist, without any intellectual contributions. I would chalk up the amount of failed assassinations to the security surrounding Bush; an old roommate of mine remembers being stopped in traffic for hours in LA while the highways were shut down to allow Bush & his bodyguards sole passage.
  21. Wow, I hadn't seen this documentary - thanks for posting! What Bob says is regretfully true, but I disagree that there is little good in Dawkins' "preaching". Although Rand said the exact same thing years before, not everyone finds Rand first. Rand has allowed many people to work through the philosophy of reason, and Dawkins, an extremely talented writer (in my opinion) has the potential to do the same (I would be surprised to hear that he hadn't "converted" many thus far.) As a person who was irrational before reading Rand (granted, I had to be at least slightly rational to understand her ideas), I can safely say that people CAN change. I've also noticed that Dawkins particularly emphasizes the evil of the irrational. Many of the atheists and rational people that I know "open-mindedly" accept other religion, and refuse to touch on the topic, passively saying people are entitled to their own opinions (we all know this story). While I agree that force should never be used to convert people to atheism (or any way of thinking), I don't ever think it should be something that is passively accepted. I think there is much that a rational person can gain from Dawkins' argument, especially in this respect. Not ground-breaking, I agree, but still refreshing to hear. It's so comforting to know that there are people in the world, albeit only a few, who are guided only by reason.
  22. I agree that chance is one of the worst things that could happen to any work of fiction. It's what ruined the Spiderman movie for me, besides, you know, the entire altruism thing. But you haven't listed any situation that's ruled by chance. (I think a mod already said we didn't have to use the spoiler tag this far along in the thread? Please correct me if I'm wrong and I'll fix it.) Harry CHOOSES not to kill Stan because he knows Stan's under the Imperius curse. At the same time, however, Harry's scolded for his hesitation by Remus when they arrive at the Weasley's, so it's not as if he gets away with it. Kreacher is friendly to them precisely because they gave him the locket. Note: he also decides to help them after Harry says that it would help Kreacher's favorite master, Regulus. The change was, admittedly, a little too sudden, but it wasn't unwarranted. Once again, everything you listed here was based on a choice that Harry made. You say it was made on emotion, but that's discrediting why he feels that way. He respected Mad-Eye and abhorred the idea of Umbridge keeping his eye on her door. He detested what Umbridge stood for, and championed that which Mad-Eye did. It wasn't a matter of, "His eye doesn't look right here," it was a matter of, "his eye doesn't BELONG here." As for saving the mudbloods, I think it's a grave generalization to say that Harry did it for altruistic reasons. Harry did it because he couldn't bear the thought of anyone DYING because they were wrongly accused for crimes they didn't commit. The word "instinct" here is a misnomer. Even Ayn Rand admits that when one is so in-touch with their philosophy, the decisions they make almost seem "instinctive". You can read about this in OPAR. Harry admits and is ashamed that his only motivation for returning to Godric's Hollow is to see his parents. In fact, he hides this from Hermione, who knows that they have VALID REASONS to be there. And it doesn't turn out to be a pointless visit - it's during this time that Hermione retrieves a copy of Dumbledore's biography, which provides them with Deathly Hallows leads. You're ignoring huge answers that Rowling gives to your questions. Ron finds them by using the Deluminator that Dumbledore gave him. Snape has been working for Dumbledore all along, and his job was to DELIVER THE SWORD TO HIM. This is a huge misrepresentation. Harry discovers only ONE of the horcruxes this way, and it's the Ravenclaw one (which, Harry decides, should have been obvious all along). He discovers the teacup because Bellatrix goes postal when she suspects they've been in her vault. Dumbledore had also suspected that Nagini was a horcrux since the sixth book. I'm not even going to bother with the rest. None of these are chance whatsoever.
  23. I agree that this was the best of the five movies. I think the acting, for one, improved immensely, and I think I've finally gotten used to the idea that the movie characters are bound to be different than the book ones. Considering the fifth book was the longest as well, I think the screenplay writer did a good job of selecting which things to include and which to eliminate (minus a few nit-picks I have). I think they generally included all of the essentials that crop up later in the sixth and seventh books, but the movies are made for people who've read the books anyway. An interesting fact: the scenes that took place in the Department of Mysteries were constructed entirely using CG, making it the first COMPLETELY computerized set ever. I thought it looked beautiful! I shelled out 11$ to see it at the IMAX, and have to say that it was completely worth it. I watched it a few days later on a normal theater screen, and the difference in quality is enormous.
  24. I saw the movie and was pleasantly surprised. Although I love Pixar's other movies, (I've only seen part of Cars, but I didn't find it interesting in the least) I think Ratatouille is my absolute favorite. I couldn't stop talking about this movie for days after I saw it. I read this awful editorial in the New York Times (I can't find it online, though) that accused Ratatouille of "discrimination" against, essentially, bottom-feeders (people who chose not to indulge in good things). While I think the New York Times is right, the writer of the article seemed to consider this the movie's weak point, while I considered this its virtue. One of Ratatouille's largest themes was that talent was universal and could come from anywhere. In other words, it stripped thieves and "looters", as Rand would call them, of an excuse to "scrape by" in life without ever seeking something better. Essentially, it said that no one had to live like a rat if they chose not to, and naturally, people are angered by that.
  25. Hm, by this logic, people can't praise books either unless they've written one. Certainly one needs to understand the principles of good writing in order to offer a worthwhile criticism of a book/work of literature, but I don't think they need to have written a book. This is based off of Nearly Headless Nick's deathday party. If there's another way to derive a date, I haven't yet found it. Also, Lily and James died in 81, which means Harry was born in 1980 (he was 1 at the time of their death). Deathly Halllows would've taken place probably during 1997.
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