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Everything posted by BreathofLife

  1. Of course a fraudulent person can't be happy. They have to live with the fear that every time they defraud someone they could be caught. They have to constantly try to come up with new ways of taking the unearned and getting away with it. This is all aside from the fact that the criminal is robbing themselves of the pride of sustaining their own existence and being independent. All of that right there is enough for me to say "That's not going to make me happy" and this should be true for any other human in their right mind.
  2. Either way it's conserved and that was my point. Thank you, though. It's been a while since my last physics class. I just started taking it again this quarter. In the fall it's on to engineering (calculus based) physics. I will probably love it and drive myself completely nuts with it
  3. In order convince people to be for capitalism, they MUST realize the benefits of sustaining their own existence. They must learn the meaning of pride and the meaning of the concept earn.
  4. **Disclaimer: I have only read the original post, didn't have the time to read all the others.** That being said, have you ever heard the phrase "Man looked to the sky for a God and found himself?" (or something along those lines). Do you really think about a God that created all of this or are you merely thinking about yourself, what you want to be, and of existence. Or the other possibility in this situation is that you could be picturing in your mind as God, what actually in reality you understand to be the "benevolent universe" of existence (benevolent in this context is means that it does not act against you). Just think about what it would actually take for a God to exist. Most religious people think of this omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent being that is eternal. Ask yourself, in all of your experience of existence, have you ever experienced anything to lead you to believe that such a being is possible? The issue here is what Rand called Primacy of existence vs. Primacy of conciousness. You cannot have a conciousness without existence, therefore existence HAS to come first. Try to imagine an all powerful being who existed in non-existence and created existence out of non-existence. Not working? because it's riddled with contradictions. You cannot have an all powerful being that created existence because no conciousness has the power to create or destroy the existence of matter. In physics this is known as the law of conservation of matter. If you have any doubts about this let me clarify with an example: You can kill a man. His conciousness ceases to exist, but not because you simply wiped it out of existence but because you rearranged the necessary matter and chemicals that resulted in his conciousness into an arrangement that no longer works. You can change matter into an amazing array of different formations but you cannot destroy or create it. It simply is. The only thing concious beings have the power to create or destroy is a particular arrangement of matter that often results in something: ie a table or a human or a dog. The reason I use these examples is because once you combine what you feel (most likely about yourself) and identify it's cause and then destroy the contradiction in your mind (God) that you attribute that feeling to, it may help to clear things up.
  5. Knowledge itself cannot be a highest goal. If you pursue certain kinds of knowledge and that makes you happy, happiness is still the highest value. If you made knowledge your highest goal qua knowledge, you would be essentially trying to make yourself omniscient. Once you divorce knowledge from the applications it has to your life (which is exactly what you do when you pursue knowledge qua knowledge) you go after any minute and trivial detail just as much as the things that impact your life. Knowing how many twigs are on a pine tree becomes just as important has how to catch a fish or grow corn. The number of hairs on your neighbor's head becomes just as important as how to build your house. Because after all, all knowledge is equal if knowledge is your highest value. Happiness has to be the highest value and knowledge has to be the means to obtain and sustain it otherwise you just have a random, rampant quest for any bit of truth that in normal circumstances, you wouldn't care about. What you have to ask when it comes to knowledge is: What good does this do me? and when you ask that question, you are implying happiness as your highest value.
  6. I loved them all. I've read the entire series twice and a number of them three times and I just love the way he tells stories. Very inventive and adventurous. I think there is a huge plus in being able to continue stories over a series because you can reveal more of the characters in a number of different situations. The fact that Richard is fighting battle after battle (although very different battles in very different ways) shows that life is a constant process of motion and of achieving values. They are essentially adventure stories and what kind of adventure has no battle (in any form)? I think saying that Faith of the Fallen was another presentation of Atlas Shrugged is completely off base. There may be the same philosophy behind it (because it is the philosophy of life) and it may be approaching the same topic but both Rand and Goodkind do it in their own way. There is a lot of Goodkind's sense of life in his stories that really shine through.
  7. It's still hard to believe people are so ridiculous. What kind of universe would be so illogical in nature as to have a system where a man is to exist without being able to fully rely on the only senses he has. There was one sentence in there that is such a blatant contradiction I was amazed the writer could even have written it. "The Fallacy of the Enlightenment is the glib assumption that there is only one limit to what human beings can know, and that limit is reality itself." If it is beyond reality then what the hell is it? non reality. not real. non-existent. Absolute insanity.
  8. I don't really know much about animal behavior/conditioning and whatnot in general but from what I have observed I would say animals are very prone to growing aclimated to human presence and eventually have no fear of humans- I see this in squirrels all the time. If you're out hiking and you try to approach a squirrel in the woods they tend to be more skittish and keep their distance. We have squirrels at my college campus as well and they will stand a foot away from you and not even care.
  9. The closer you become, the more you hate life and the more you would want to destroy the things that embody that force and the more pain you would be in. It isn't possible to exist as 100% selfless because of the nature of man, the closer you get the more you want death and the death you'd want the most is your own.
  10. Whenever someone brings up this kind of issue I only have two words to say that will solve the problem: "Privatize it!" but no one listens.
  11. There is nothing wrong with a monopoly in a truly free market. That just means that one company was far superior to it's competitors. So I am wondering why you tried to argue against him in the first place?
  12. Stadler founded the SSI and therefore was the one trying to appropriate the money from taxpayers in the first place (with the help of the government). However I think Steven's point is that the deed of the theif does not pass to you. If you accept a job with that company you are not the one doing the stealing, the theft has already been committed and there are clear victims and criminals. It cannot be unethical for you so long as you oppose taxation. However this means that if the chance came to get rid of taxation, you would take it even if it meant the end of that job. The government is the thief and the organization is the one accepting unearned money. You would be a worker accepting money earned from the company, where the company gets it's money is the company's problem and if they are immoral in doing so they must pay for it, not you. The next question is whether you really want to work for people such as that.
  13. I'm too lazy to read all of the replies so I'm just going to say this: Material possessions will not fill any void in yourself. The only reason for buying a material possession is because of the value it gives to you, a rational value because that thing will serve a purpose to you. Example: I buy a nice desk because I need a work surface and a place for my computer and I want it to look nice because I enjoy nice things. No void filling. The moment it becomes an escape is when you begin to buy things not because they have a value to you but because you can say to people "this is mine" and you try to suck some sort of admiration or prestige from that.
  14. I love witty and just strange humor so incredibly much. The Python's are great. Life of Brian is one of my favorites next to The Holy Grail. "Come Sir Galahad!" "No really, let me go back and face the peril!" "No, it's too perilous!"
  15. That depends on if the good feeling she gets out of it comes out of the fact that she enjoys doing it for it's own sake completely or if she gets a good feeling out of it because she thinks she's serving some higher cause- because she thinks it's right to do so and that it is what "god" would want. In that case anything she gets out of it stems from a false and particularily dangerous premise.
  16. I don't believe in God because I have no reason to. The exact same reason that I don't believe in giant purple aliens with 6 legs and 12 nipples- There is nothing to lead me to believe that they exist. Now, when it comes to disproving God- here's one I have been thinking about: If God is said to have created the world yet the rest of the universe just existed without God's interference, then why could the world not have existed also without his intereference? Surely if the rest of the universe- the planets, the stars, the space could have just existed then the earth could have as well. The reply I would expect from a person who believes in God would be "God didn't just create the world, he created the universe". My next question would then be "Where was God when he created the universe?". Because if the universe is defined as: 1. All matter and energy, including the earth, the galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole. 2. A. The earth together with all its inhabitants and created things. B. The human race. 3. The sphere or realm in which something exists or takes place. (courtesy of dictionary.com) First of all I am going to dismiss definition number 2 because it ignores parts of the other two definitions making it somewhat incomplete and second because I think when we say "Universe"- we mean not only the earth and the human race- but that we mean space, all the other planets and stars, matter and energy, and everything as a whole- basically definition number 1 and 3. Well if we accept definition number one of the universe then it would appear that the only way God could have created the universe is if he is somewhere other than a place where all matter and energy and the contents of intergalactic space are- meaning he somehow resides in a place without matter or energy, and seeing as conciousness is a product of matter in certain formations it is obvious that nothing could exist here but a vacuum, let alone a God. If we accept definition number 3 then it would appear that God exists in nonexistence and somehow managed to create the earth out of nothing when he didn't exist. The only defense the religious have against this is that God must exist somewhere else... some other type of universe- which they call heaven. If we can prove that the universe has no boundaries or limits that obviously leaves that option out. Even if we cannot- if a universe needs to be created then how could a God exist in another universe? unless his universe somehow didn't need creation. Now if the religious can accept that an alternate universe (heaven) exists without creation then why can our own universe not exist without creation? If they can concieve of a being that exists in nonexistence and creates a universe out of nothing then the argument stops there.
  17. You beat me to it. I second this recommendation. Terry Goodkind is great.
  18. Very good movie. I haven't enjoyed a movie this completely for a long time. Not only the story was great but the cinematography was excellent with some very artistic techniques.
  19. Don't forget Monty Python and the Holy Grail. hahah.
  20. Very good way of thinking about it. I replay that same scene in my head when i'm thinking "alright, what career do I want to pursue? what am I going to make my major?". Then I picture myself in that situation and say what kind of work would make me do what Roark and Cameron did?
  21. I wouldn't worry about your grade so long as you have good argumentative skills. The professor (or grad student teacher or whatever) cannot give you a bad grade so long as you understand the material and do a good job of supporting your arguments. He cannot fail you just because he doesn't agree- he can fail you if your arguments are weak and your understanding limited.
  22. That is horrible. It completely destroys the concept of passing along knowledge and building upon what those before you have discovered. If everyone used that sort of idea in every part of their lives men would be living in caves in the very near future.
  23. I enjoyed "The simplest thing in the world" very much. My analogy of treating it like the plot of a story comes mainly from the fact that I want to be a writer (at least as a hobby, for now anyway) and the fact that I write a lot of music on my acoustic- it's like nordic influenced type folk stuff, very very melodic. The parts to this kind of music are very definite and precise and the songs usually contain many many guitar parts overdubbed, so it fits well and lets me move around parts and whatnot. I'm gonna be recording in september so I might put some up here when it's done.
  24. It's amazing how many things people will find to blame "The state of the world" on (ie the state of how people are becoming more and more fearful and guilt ridden). They say people don't want to make choices. They say people are depressed. They say people are scared; Or they say people are greedy, or heartless, and blame selfishness. In the first case they state the symptoms and fail to ask "why is this so?" because the simple answer is "they lack a standard of morality and therefore lack morality altogether". The second case they just want a scapegoat to pawn off their problems on.
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