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themadkat

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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. themadkat

    Retribution

    This is kind of what I was driving at. I think this is the distinction I was trying to tease out. So in that case, it seems like as a juror it is only moral to vote to nullify if you believe the law should never be enforced ever against anyone (i.e. I would vote "not guilty" if I was supposed to convict a woman for having an abortion) but you can't nullify a sound law like the one against murder without risking the destruction of lawfulness itself, no matter how much you feel the person was justified in what they did. By the way, in my original example, there was not supposed to be
  2. themadkat

    Retribution

    Along these lines, what is the morality of jury nullification? What if, say, the aforementioned lover kills his girlfriend's killer (who everyone knows is the killer and he got off on a technicality), then turns himself in and goes to trial, counting on the fact that when he gives his reasoning the jury will sympathize and hand down a "not guilty" verdict. If you are a jury member, is jury nullification in such an instance appropriate or must you morally follow the law? Is jury nullification EVER appropriate? I personally think it is in cases where the law is unjust (and I mean that in the
  3. You're very welcome. I'll get back with you when I have a bit more time to do it properly. I appreciate this type of discussion because my area of research is closely related to these sorts of questions, although not exactly (my research question is how environmental conditions affect social cohesion in nonhuman primates). My philosophical interests lie most strongly in epistemology and ethics as well. So these kinds of inquiries have a strong bearing on my area of interest. I will put the caveat out there that I'm not an Objectivist scientist, nor necessarily an Objectivist, nor even a
  4. Hi gurugeorge, I'm coming in a bit late to the discussion but I wanted to add to the folks that have been telling you that you are not necessarily interpreting the science correctly or separating the observed facts in these studies from the researchers' interpretation of them. My own research interest is behavioral ecology and I've got a good grounding in evolutionary bio, genetics, and philosophy. When you spoke of "mental modules" some ways back it evoked thoughts of evolutionary psych, e.g. Tooby and Cosmides and specials with John Cleese. Please, please do not consider the matter set
  5. The most evil politician of my lifetime is probably Dick Cheney, so your analogy doesn't hold.
  6. On what do you base your judgment? I'm curious. I would agree that some of her "down-home-ness" is probably a front that she puts on but from every appearance and television spot I've seen she does not exactly come off as a genius. I don't think you have to be well-read to have a basic mastery of your native language and string a sentence together.
  7. Firstly, careful with the quotes. You attributed something to me that was actually what Zip said. I'm leaving the issue of "perfection" and whether it's actually an appropriate concept for human beings alone for the moment. All I'm going to say is that someone DID come up with the ideas and theories, and her name was Ayn Rand. Although the heroes and events were not real in the sense that the book is a work of fiction, remember that their words and principles were effectively made real by the publication of the book by one very brilliant lady. I admit that occasionally I find topics l
  8. Because she's so unbelievably stupid it's embarassing, and if we had elected McCain it would have put us one heartbeat from having Caribou Barbie as president. Specifically she's not only ignorant but she wears her ignorance like a badge and plays it off as a good thing which it is in certain backwards redneck circles.
  9. Intellectually and physically perhaps no, but Rand definitely holds that every man is capable of being perfectly moral. Remember that morality does not require omniscience and that errors of knowledge cannot be immorality (although evasion is).
  10. Well if nothing else maybe Alaska can get a real governor now.
  11. Agreed, I don't see anything wrong with cap-and-trade in principle, especially if it's applied to something like fishing rights among a local group of fishermen (this would be a contractual agreement between them, not a legislative act). The issue is what is being capped and traded, and in the case of both CO2 and taxi licenses, those are not things that should be morally capped.
  12. You are throwing a lot of junk out here at once, my friend. The truth is that a "god of the gaps" is no God at all, and I'm not exactly sure why you seem to have this psychological need to believe in an intelligent creator. I'm only going to address one part of your post, as it happens to be my areas of expertise and the others are not. I'm sorry to say but your ignorance is showing here. First off, you don't really have a firm understanding of biological history of the tree of life. The fact that life began in water does NOT imply that fish, whales, and sharks came before lions an
  13. To my way of thinking infidelity is the ultimate show of disrespect in a relationship. The person who was cheated on deserves to be respected and deserves better than someone who would treat them that way. I know it can be incredibly hard to disentangle from someone you love and admire and have put in many years with (if in fact that is the case), but there comes a time when you have to look at what the other person's actions say about how they see you.
  14. You're looking at the question the wrong way. It's fine for Salk to choose not to patent his vaccine so long as he does it for the purpose of furthering his values, ie saving as many children as possible in the shortest period of time. It would only be wrong if he valued his personal profit more and only refused to patent it out of a feeling of duty. But neither choice, either to patent or not, is right or wrong without benefit of the context of Dr. Salk's values. Also keep in mind that the source of funding matters. If Dr. Salk were working purely for a private corporation, it would ac
  15. This chick is the man!

  16. Not really. Think of it in terms of the value of all that he stole. He was such a monumental destroyer and looter of other people's productivity that I really don't think it's a harsh sentence. Pointless, of course, as he's already getting on old age, but I don't see it as any more arbitrary than any other sentence that has to have a time bound. He's exactly what we need to be trying to eradicate, a person who believes that money is only stolen not made.
  17. No, neither of us saw anything wrong on the BMW driver's part up to that point. I mean, here they are, pulled over in a remote dead-end location, and these two dudes come over with baseball bats, presumably to smash up either the car or the occupants or both. I think he was entirely justified in pulling a gun to protect himself, his companion, and his property. I don't think it was unjustified for him to take the keys either, since the hillbillies' ability to follow after him was part of the continuing threat, and temporarily separating them from their keys neutralized that threat. The r
  18. My bf pointed out that if in fact the video is real (which he doubts), the guy in the BMW did not do anything wrong until he took the camera. That would constitute theft regardless of the circumstances of the situation. He can only make them stand down, he can't use having them at gunpoint to take property from them. But he thinks the video was staged anyhow.
  19. Yes, I am taking that into account. I do not need to evade knowledge of what kind of procedure is going on here to stand firm in my position. And they are still not babies. It is a fetus unless and until it is physically separated from its mother, no longer depending directly on her body as its sole source of survival. I am specifically making the case that this man was not a dirtball at all but a very brave man performing a needed service, and it ultimately cost him his life. Where you mention what another doctor had to say about the "necessity" of these medical procedures that sounds
  20. Are you taking into account that many of these "babies" (they are not) were either dead already or horribly deformed? Those are the two main reasons for having such a late abortion. Not only should you have sympathy for this guy, you should demand his murderer be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, like any other scumbag.
  21. Hey, that's pretty good and/or funny as well. I think it makes an excellent point about added cost as a result of state-by-state restrictions on what type of insurance policies can be offered.
  22. No kidding, I was class of 06 and I'm STILL paying...
  23. Of course it can. There are many kinds of productive work. Work on yourself counts as such, so long as you are not mooching in order to accomplish this goal (and you're not). Go to college and enjoy it. You will never have another chance not only to gain depth of knowledge in your chosen field but broad knowledge of anything and everything that interests you at the same time. The source of your self-esteem during college will be laying the groundwork for the rest of your life as well as having an amazing time.
  24. I had some friends who on a regular basis were, shall we say, clothing-impaired or clothing-intolerant...those were special days. I will say this. I am a great lover and appreciator of the male form. Men are beautiful to look at and I feel this way even if a guy does not have "perfect" form...more or less if a guy is not a twig, morbidly obese, or the victim of some really nasty skin problems I am good to go. Hair, no hair, cut, chub, tats, random markings, I don't mind. BUT...as far as daily life is concerned, I have to admit that no matter HOW attractive a dude is I cannot possibly ta
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