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Everything posted by themadkat

  1. That makes sense. I totally get that then. In contrast to you, I tend to be sort of an in-your-face type that attracts a lot of attention without even trying. I get a lot of, "Oh, of course I've heard of you." LOL And random people tend to just come my way (not that this is a bad thing, I have my lovely mate and two fantastic friends because of this). For better or for worse, I have a weird brand of charisma, a sort of anti-popular notoriety. I see what you're saying now. I admit I wasn't thinking about that, but I certainly do know enough women who've had that sort of thing happ
  2. I think it matters, at least if being more certain is important to you. I guess as a scientist it's sort of ingrained in me not to jump to conclusions about the facts and apply that attitude to people too. For example, I frequently discard my first impression of someone and tend to rely far more on continued interaction with them. But I know that I am anomalous in this regard. I admit that I am not always good at picking up on someone's intentions. Being deliberately deceived is one thing - that's not hard to catch. It's the people who don't know what they want themselves and tell me o
  3. One thing that continues to amaze me, and was borne out recently in some books I was reading for research, is how many contradictions the average person holds without giving it a second thought and how their replies to a question can be changed just by asking it differently. Most people just don't have a cohesive philosophy of any kind, period. I for one am not sure what to do about that. What good is it to point out to people that they're holding a contradiction if they just don't care?
  4. I'm going to second this. I definitely couldn't after a couple of dates. Maybe some of you folks are capable of knowing a person enough during that time, but I'm not. Of course it also matters if you knew someone before the aforementioned "dates" - if it's someone you've been acquainted with for awhile and are starting to get to know much better, then I can see it. But a total stranger? For me at least, it's way too easy for someone to hide behind a facade for a period of something like three dates. On the other hand, I do agree that one can tell after a short time if there is going to
  5. The President is only your defender against murderers insofar as he acts in that capacity. I think the previous administration turned enough guns not only on innocent folks in other countries but back on us as well that your assertion is not on as stable of footing as you might like. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Obama is bad but he's not worse than Bush/Cheney, although he still has plenty of time to prove me wrong.
  6. Would you prefer your would-be murderer to be strong, fit, and competent, or a sluggish cripple? Strength is only good when it is not in the service of evil.
  7. Not really, no. In the absence of evasion, irrationality is always a temporary and fleeting state. Evasion prevents the correction of irrationality.
  8. If pride is the mother of all sins in religion, I'd say evasion is the mother of all sins in Oism.
  9. I like this game a lot. I seem to be doing better at the multiplayer than I was doing on the first Modern Warfare LOL (PS3 handle themadkat). I admit I'm not too good at it. As for the scene with the Russians, I mean, it's horrible but it's not. It's just a damn game. It's an excellent point that you do way worse in a game like GTA. And you do have the option to opt out of the mission, like 3 times (I had to select the option "never ask me again" to get it to leave me alone). Yes, you're mowing down civilians, and then guess what? You get executed by your own scumbag leader. It's ve
  10. One of my fellow graduate students in anthropology was scheduled to be on the base that day (she studies the military), and she always hangs out in the general area of the shootings. Fortunately she didn't happen to be there because something changed her scheduling. But I'm certain she knows some of the people affected by this tragedy. Muslim or no, it does sound like this guy was just unhinged. But it's worth a thorough investigation.
  11. I think so. Rand Paul has some of the more desirable positions of his father but is not pro-life, I believe. And seriously, what non-crap candidates have we seen from the Repugs in awhile? If someone like Rand Paul can win as a Republican the party may not be completely worthless after all.
  12. I think you missed his point. It sounded like he was saying neither lying nor killing in self defense is wrong.
  13. Clearly, we don't all know what is meant by objective reality or we wouldn't be using it differently as we seem to be here. I am still not clear on where you are getting this totality business from. Is totality equivalent to identity or different? I and I think most of the other posters are explicitly rejecting your claim that you have to know everything about an entity to know anything about it. You are the one making that claim so you have to defend it, you have to give us some reason to accept it. I CAN be sure parts of a table are not soft, because I've observed them to be hard. Now
  14. I was not aware that health insurance contracts have a definite term. I guess that is why you have to renew benefits with your employer every year. God the employer-based system is a mess. You have no actual dealings with the insurance company itself, only your employer's benefits administrator and who knows whose interests they're actually working for. I think if people had the choice not to agree to unilateral contracts they wouldn't. Some company with guts could make a lot of money offering people regular contracts. Credit card companies are a good example too. I just had my APR ja
  15. Why must it exist in totality? What is a totality? Here is, I think, where you are running into problems. What does this MEAN? Is this some kind of holistic argument? Things in reality are separate from each other. They have identities and act according to their nature. You can know, for certain, parts of that nature without having to know ALL of it. I can know, for certain, that a wood table is hard, without knowing the grain composition of wood and how the molecules cohere and all that good stuff. I can be 100% sure that this table is hard. If I choose to ignore that the table is h
  16. All right, I think I see where you're going with this, but I do have this question - what is a totality? How did you arrive at this concept? What work does it do? Most importantly, how did you decide that having knowledge about a thing requires having ALL knowledge about that thing?
  17. If that is the case though, why would an insurance company ever have to pay for anything? They can just change the terms of the contract in order not to have to. I do think that if someone is paying for a certain kind of coverage there is some reasonable expectation on their part that the terms will continue as agreed, because you're necessarily paying to defray the risks of potential future, not current events. Perhaps the solution is for health insurance plans to run for a set time where the terms are agreed not to change, and then every time that period ends the terms get reevaluated,
  18. This is just an assertion. Where are you getting this? Why do you think not being able to know everything is equivalent to not being able to know anything?
  19. It may not be as much of a misunderstanding as you think. I've had college philosophy courses (enough for a minor actually) and I'm quite familiar with the way that the analytical philosophical tradition deals with the idea of free will and determinism. But there is a reason why Objectivists do not discuss this and many other traditional philosophical problems the same way the analytical philosophers do. Many of the questions in philosophy have been debated for so long (thousands of years in fact) because in their typical formulation they are NOT SOLVABLE, even on their own terms. Why in t
  20. Don't be so certain of that. Most people seem to walk around living by values that are not their own, and are actively hostile to their existence.
  21. You're missing the point. Yes, sacrificing yourself for someone else's life, literally living for another, is contradictory to it. Dying to save a loved one or defend a deeply held value is NOT A SACRIFICE. Let's take the spouse example again. If you value your spouse so much that you cannot possibly go on living (keep in mind again what exactly we mean by living) without them, risking your life to save them is entirely rational. I'm not sure exactly what love is other than a passionate, reverent valuation of that regard. Assuming your love is deep and genuine why would you even hesitate
  22. I think you are misunderstanding what is meant by holding life as the standard of value or as your ultimate value. This is understandable because Objectivism does not use these terms in the way they are commonly understood. To live, to exist, implies to live or exist AS something, to have an identity. Objectivism is talking about a certain KIND of life, not just survival. So before you continue along this line of argument you should understand that in Objectivism life =/= survival. This is why it can be rational to commit suicide in certain instances. For example, I would commit suicide
  23. I think this is a very important point. To me, the whole discussion about whether choosing to be some stripe of queer (here defined as anything other than straight) is really ancillary and misses the point. I don't really care whether someone is gay because they are "wired" that way, because they chose to be with someone of the same sex out of love, or something in between. All I care about is whether there is anything wrong with doing so, and it seems to me the answer is clearly no unless it goes against one of your other values - in other words, if you are someone who absolutely must have
  24. Clearly sexuality is tied to reproduction. Humans are biological organisms and just like every other sexually-reproducing organism if we do not have sex there won't be any more of us. So selective pressure to have not only sex, but sex capable of yielding offspring, is going to be very strong. And indeed many of the things that men and women find attractive in each other, cross-culturally, are tied to indications of health and fitness. BUT, and this is a very big but, humans have sex for many reasons that are not reproductive, and it has probably been so ever since humans arose. Sex ser
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