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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. This is something I wonder about myself. As an environmental scientist I've learned quite a bit about the far-reaching effects of certain types of land use, such as logging for one. I find your example a bit confusing. Let's say you own a timber-company and you clear-cut your patch of land (which is a big assumption in today's world - most companies cut on state or federally-owned land from which they buy or are given the logging rights, which is one reason there's little accountability). You clear cut your patch of land, and now runoff is a problem. I live downriver from your logging sit
  2. Can you explain how one arrives at truth without the use of reason?
  3. Here at Texas A&M University, we just had a vote on allowing this recently. I voted to allow people to have licensed, concealed-carry weapons on campus even though I myself do not and have never owned a gun, nor ever fired one. If someone is going to come shoot up my campus I somehow doubt it's going to be one of the duly licensed and registered folks, and I don't think a prohibition is going to stop them.
  4. From a historical perspective, Caesar was the beginning of the end of Rome's glory. The first few emperors, especially the first one (Augustus Caesar), weren't bad. But they got progressively worse with time and more and more of Rome's wealth was destroyed with each successive failure, causing them to be increasingly dependent on looting their conquered neighbors, expanding the empire beyond the range at which it could effectively operate. What Caesar ultimately did was move Rome away from a Republic and towards mob rule. Appeasing the masses became more and more of a central focus of ea
  5. But why would it ever be reasonable to accept any notion of God? This is the burden of proof you must meet if you're going to make any headway. Why should one accept any claims made by the Bible, which is a contradictory and factually incorrect historical document?
  6. I've heard this excuse too. Someone has mentioned to me that they think he was unjustly convicted and not the bomber. If that's really what's going on here, they should say so. Otherwise, we have to assume that he was in fact guilty of this terrible crime, in which case he really should not have been allowed to live as long as he has anyhow.
  7. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine...nted=1&_r=1 While the article doesn't get everything right and doesn't necessarily understand the issues on a deeper philosophical level, at least this is a clear indication that there is some understanding that individual rights, especially for half the world's population, are necessary to solve many of the world's problems, most especially poverty. I also appreciated that there were no pulled punches out of respect for "other cultures and their heritage" - sex trafficking, slavery, physical abuse/murder, and legal inability to own proper
  8. No, funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals who understand what it means not to have a rights-respecting and rights-PROTECTING government.
  9. I believe it's one of her Q&A sessions, perhaps at Ford Hall Forum, but I know that doesn't exactly narrow it down and I apologize for that.
  10. On that same note, however, she also implied (I don't have the quote I just remember this) that such an arrangement would almost certainly be temporary and that a choice would inevitably be made between the two lovers (or of course you could leave both).
  11. I may perhaps agree with the spirit of Grames's commentary to a degree, but his tone is a bit insensitive to say the least. It's nothing to celebrate over when something doesn't work out for someone.
  12. Recently I saw coverage of a town hall meeting in Iowa and was pleasantly surprised that people were able to discuss things in a reasonable manner. No one was shouting anyone down. So maybe it is getting better.
  13. I have to stick up for Egoist a bit here. I'm as against the healthcare plan as anyone else here but a lot of these town hall protesters and teaparty guys are only making the rest of us look as nuts as they are. Shouting and flailing are not rational arguments. I have yet to hear a reasoned, intelligent question from one of the protesters that made the news. This does not help us. We need to fight this with ideas, not just try to shout down the other side. Not only does this bring us down to the level of the other side, we cannot and will not beat them at their own game. I sympathize
  14. I'm horrified that we permit this to happen in our country but the truth is that in many of these immigrant communities these honor killings do occur for all number of reasons. I wish that the government would crack down on it and really protect individuals in this country. But unfortunately the police are not very good at protective or preventative activity anyhow, mostly just cleaning up the mess afterwards. We don't even seem to be able to protect women from abusive boyfriends very well, let alone homicidal Muslim families. Just a few months ago in my own town here a guy went off and ki
  15. Yes, I would have a hard time with this as well. I would feel so profoundly disrespected I'm not sure I'd value the family enough to want to save it. Then again I suppose I've indulged in enough emotional masochism before that I might end up giving it a shot like this woman did, but even if I recognized that his struggles were "not about me", they still AFFECT me, and the fact that he would allow what was going on in his own inner world to hurt me would be a big slap in the face. I bend over backwards not to do such things to those I care about.
  16. That's Just Me by No Doubt (pretty self-explanatory) Make Yourself by Incubus
  17. I think it is also worth noting that with cognitive therapy, changing your most basic and typical thought patterns will literally over time change your brain architecture and chemical composition. So what is going on in the "mind" has very real physical effects.
  18. Ok then, that makes sense. Then you and I are not in agreement, nor are you I suspect in agreement with Wrath or Tom or most of the other posters. I see nothing metaphorical about hallucinations or bipolar disorder.
  19. You did not answer Wrath's question. Do you or do you not, personally, accept that there exists such a thing as mental illness and that there are in fact mentally ill people? If you do not believe that there is such a thing as mental illness than what would you say about people currently diagnosed as schizophrenic, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, chronically depressed, etc?
  20. For anyone who was not already aware of this, there are so many horror stories about the mess that is Tricare it would make your head spin. They are far worse about actually covering things than even the slimiest private health insurance company. Worse than Kaiser, even.
  21. I believe you misunderstand him. It's not that rational men won't ever have conflicts, it's that the INTERESTS (i.e. fundamental, long-term interests) of rational men do not conflict. This is chiefly because rational men do not seek the unearned or seek to evade reality, which are the two biggest sources of conflict. Say I'm in a grocery store, and I buy an apple. The cashier shorts me my change and gives me a big smile and a "have a nice day", hoping I won't notice. This really covers both - he's faking reality by trying to get me to believe I made the exchange on the terms I expected to
  22. I'm not so sure that you're ignorant anymore. Now I think you're evading. Reasons for this are to follow. You chose to ignore the examples which I already gave you in my prior post, of the lobe-finned fishes as well as the very much alive lungfish which you could go look at yourself in central Africa if you were so inclined. What possible reason would we have to think something like that would exist? When's the last time you saw an underwater antelope??? Animals have structure that reflects the environment in which they live and helps them to survive. What you are asking f
  23. You couldn't be more right. I've been saying this for a while now. Nearly all the mainstream pro-choice arguments are utilitarian in character and I was never satisfied with this long before I ever heard of Objectivism. To my recollection I have always been pro-choice since I was old enough to understand what it meant. I don't think anyone is going to argue that the fetus is ALIVE. Of course it is ALIVE, but that is not the point. A cow is alive too but no one except the most strident eco-goofs will argue that consuming beef is immoral on those grounds alone. But the problem with most
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