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Everything posted by andre_sanchez

  1. The problem being against taxes is that, so far, nothing else has worked. "Voluntary" contributions along the lines of "private defense agencies" or anything of the sort are clearly not able to stamp out organized crime in the form of organized "government" (like say, the government of Iran). Only other tax-gathering corporations are able to fight and defeat tax-gathering corporations, on a long term basis. You could colapse a particular tax-gathering corporation without being one yourself, but another -will- pop up again, it's like bankrupting a company in a thriving market, it won't make any difference in the end. As I see it, the best alternative would be a focus on a land-tax, as the value of land is directly related to its protection, along with the freedom granted to those using it, and aggressive imperalism by said corporation.
  2. If no matter how you behave, you die, then ethics is invalidated. The primary value is not "quality of life" but -existance- of life. It's not about lenght, but the fundamental matter of yes or no, of existance or non-existance. You don't look back at your life after death to judge how good it was, compare it's lenght to it's qualitye and get a prize if you get the most points. You either live, or you die.
  3. im·mor·tal 6. (of a laboratory-cultured cell line) capable of dividing indefinitely. The nature of life is to keep living. It can fail, but it does not have to fail. The fact that we all (well, almost all) can create offspring is a clear proof that there is nothing inherent in our nature as living beings to prevent us from living forever. I do not at all deny that there is a built-in system of death, and that this system is not easy to crack, but every person (couple anyway) can create multiple completely new and healthy bodies, which can create even more bodies, ad infinitum. There is even a sickness that results from our cell's ability to divide indefinitely, cancer. So our bodies are -capable- of extending life indefinitely.
  4. I think it's pretty safe to say that men can figure out a way to get out of the sun's way (or perhaps even something more ingenious) within five billion years.
  5. Exactly, it's the option. Any man that accepts that there is no actual option, that man must simply accept that he will die, has renounced the basic premise of objectivist ethics.
  6. Of course we -can- die. We are not invincible. That is not the same as accepting death as a metaphysical fact. The first living organism was in effect, immortal. That is why we exist, because it never stopped living. Every living being is simply the biological extension of a previous living being, so it is clear that immortality is within the real of nature. It seems they do not understand -why- rationality is good. They have fallen prey to intrinsicalism.
  7. That is not true. Yes, you can take islamic symbols and isolated facts to turn it into something respectable, absolutely. You can build a new objectivist civilization based on soviet symbols and a gross distortion of communist writings, if you wish. There are also certainly many communists who are "peaceful". Communism remains an inherently violent and despotic ideology. I have no idea why you are making such a reply. I was merely pointing out the irony of you using a former member of the iranian thought police as an example of a peaceful muslim. If you want to make such sily examples, I can play that game too. When christianity was 30 years old, it was a deeply peaceful religion, despite it's moral corruption. When Islam was 30 years old, it was already a deeply criminal ideology. My reasoning is neither childish nor simplistic. Your equating islam with christianity on the other hand, is. It's funny how you complain about me accepting the possibility of genocide, yet have no problem with "blowing cities off the face of the earth". Japan issued a surrender because of the bombs and ceased hostilities. Without occupation it would have used the peace as a means to prepare for a new war. You are right, it doesn't. The fundamentals of Islam do. The fundamentals of christianity do not. It is not the behaviour of any particular adherent to a faith that concerns me. There are fucked up objectivists even. I do not condemn Islam because there are a few islamic terrorists. I don't think it is the greatest threat. The religion under which western civilization rose has done far more damage to civilization than the one which still refuses to accept it? I have read many books on Islam, including but not limited to Spencer's. Before actualy studying the matter I had a fairly positive view of Islam. Why? What is the popular definition of genocide?
  8. Occupied. Occupied Occupied. Are you serious? They were defeated time after time, and they rebelled time after time, until the Romans lost all patience and engaged in what can only be described as genocide. Taking the carthagenian example into the scale of modern day states, you are proposing that we destroy every building in and banish the people from Iraq, to die through starvation or be assimilated into neighboring countries. Well, that would certainly take care of the insurgents. That is, if you are only concerned with Iraq, which I am sure you are not. The practical implementation of this would be giving everyone within dar al Islam (or whatever countries you believe are the "bad ones") a month or so to leave, then carpet bombing the whole region every few months for a decade or two. That would depent on the nature of occupation. The mere presence of soldiers is obviously not enough. I'm not sure I can agree with that, but it would change nothing. If both elements are essential, then occupation and nation-building remain necessary. His principles lead inevitably to genocide. That is what I was saying. Any nation that refuses to engage in nation-building, will inevitably have to engage in genocide or die. At best there is perpetual war. I suppose it may sometimes rely on others to spare them from this effort, in a parasitical manner and with the same safety as parasites. The same applies to individuals. No, you don't have a "duty" to spread good ideas and crush bad ones, but not doing so is suicide. You don't have a duty to fight criminals, specialy those not attacking you, but not doing so is suicide. Iraq needs to be pacified through ground troops for the exact same reason L.A. and New Orleans needed to be pacified with ground troops. This should be funded by Iraq, immediately through the oil wealth and so forth, and/or in time through national debt. I have no interest in disputing this and in fact agree with it. They still posed no danger to the north.
  9. As a quick comment, I would like to note the strange use of the Civil War to defend against "altruist" warfare. The south posed no danger to the north.
  10. A couple of fallacies in this article: (I'm dealing only with it's first part here. Nazism, rooted as it was on the person of Hitler, is perhaps an abolished threat. Communism is not. To say that without state support a movement ceases to be a threat is to ignore that before state support can be granted (or conquered), the movement by definition has no state support. It is to view the world as nothing but the playground of state leaders, a gross evasion of reality. All defeated nations after World War II were occupied and went, as necessary, through a process of nation-buidling. These ideologies were in fact, stopped not by the bombardment, but by the subsequent occupation. People were arrested in Japan for crimes such as flying the japanese flag or singing the national anthem. The south was occupied, and went through a similar process of "nation-building" after the Civil War.
  11. Because Islam is inherently aggressive and despotic. I know next to nothing about hinduism, but christianity through all it's flaws is compatible with the best of western civilization, or at the very least, poses no danger to it. Not knowing Ganji, I looked him up. "Growing up in a poor district of southern Tehran, Ganji was initially enthused by the 1979 Revolution. He became a member of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and worked at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. But after becoming disillusioned with the regime, he took to journalism, becoming increasingly critical of the regime's suppression of human rights." Classic! Next thing you know, you'll be telling me about peaceful communists and nazis who worked in concentration camps! The matter of Avicena is less clear, but I would like to remind you that if a great mind is born within the muslim world, he cannot help but be a peaceful muslim because leaving Islam is a crime punishable by death. Millions even today, and much more so before, carry the "muslim" label simply out of fear and social convention, without any clue or interest into what it means to be a muslim. Turkey, thanks to Ataturk's efforts to abolish islamic influence (by force, in effect, nation-building) in it is a fairly peaceful and free place, but a country sliping dangerously back into submission to Allah and all that entails. I have to admit I was fooled by Dubai too, before studying Islam and contemporary islamic politics more fuly. I have zero doubt that Dubai's wealth helps fund islamic jihad, one way or the other. Thanks for giving me the neo-cons favourite example. Perhaps you are not aware that the country was occupied? It is certainly possible to extract surrender from an enemy by a show of force. However, unless the enemy changes his mentality, this is nothing but a truce, a cease-fire, and often a meaningless one. Your strategy amounts to seeing a murder, pointing a gun to the murderer's head and shouting "Surrender!", then allowing him to leave once he promises to stop murdering. It is irrational. Wahabism is certainly a factor. It is -not- the problem. Perhaps you have heard of Hezbollah? The problem is that due to Islam's inherently violent and despotic nature, things such as "wahabism" are inevitable. Oil wealth (not to mention posession of the holy cities) have placed this particular ideology on the vanguard of islamic jihad, but it's hardly it's root. You are wrong. I'm a racist because I wish to destroy an ideology? Do you know the difference between the contents of one's mind and contents of one's genes? Because I do. I do not call for the genocide of dar al Islam, unless absolutely necessary. I believe in sparing the children and other innocent people from the slaughter, by nation-building. I am -not- happy with the current process of nation building.
  12. Try harder. "After the general pacification of 1815, the suppression of African piracy was universally felt to be a necessity. The insolence of Tunisian squadron which sacked Palma in the island of Sardinia and carried off 158 of its inhabitants, roused widespread indignation. Other influences were at work to bring about their extinction. The United Kingdom had acquired Malta and the Ionian Islands and now had many Mediterranean subjects. She was also engaged in pressing the other European powers to join with her in the suppression of the slave trade which the Barbary states practised on a large scale and at the expense of Europe. The suppression of the trade was one of the objects of the Congress of Vienna. The United Kingdom was called on to act for Europe, and in 1816 Lord Exmouth was sent to obtain treaties from Tunis and Algiers. His first visit produced diplomatic documents and promises and he sailed for England. While he was negotiating, a number of British subjects had been brutally ill-treated at Bona, without his knowledge. The British government sent him back to secure reparation, and on the 17th of August, in combination with a Dutch squadron under Admiral Van de Capellen, he administered a smashing bombardment to Algiers. The lesson terrified the pirates both of that city and of Tunis into giving up over 3,000 prisoners and making fresh promises. Within a short time, however, Algiers renewed its piracies and slave-taking, though on a smaller scale, and the measures to be taken with it were discussed at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. In 1824 another British fleet under Admiral Sir Harry Neal had again to bombard Algiers. The great pirate city was not in fact thoroughly tamed till its conquest by France in 1830."[4]
  13. What a pathetic excuse for an argument. 1. Why? 2. It is the only way to eliminate the threat of Islam through air power. If you wish to spare the lives of innocent people on the ground, you have to be within sight of them. There is no other kind of Islam. Therefore, I would recommend you stick to the short version. Can you give me one example in history of this happening? Oh goody! Please forgive my ignorance and lazyness. Enlighten me so that I may know the truth about the situation we face. It is not different at all. The scales change, the fundamentals do not. The childish imaginary line that separates nations and turns good into bad and bad into good is not something objectivists should embrace.
  14. Agents of western civilization have fought religious fanatics before, and "showing that we are serious" has never been an effective tool. Ever. If you can point me to a single example, I will eat my hat. Only genocide and hands-on policing work, policing not working on the long term unless a nation building effort is engaged in.
  15. I fail to see the relevance of people who volunteered to fight a war being killed fighting such a war. When criminals start killing police officers, nobody goes screaming around that we must withdraw. Quite the contrary, rational people would recommend an increase in policing in such areas.
  16. Then it's time to start the genocide of dar al Islam, because the ultimatum will not work now, or ever.
  17. Faye, The husband/conquistador/astronaut is an objectivist hero up until the point where he gives up. If not for his heroic defiance, I wouldn't have been able to stand through the whole movie. His refusal to go take a walk with her is a beautiful act of love and demonstration of the need to have perspective. Her behaviour throughout the movie can best be described as fear-induced evasion. After having done more thought on why I felt like that, I think I understand the matter pretty clearly now. If the movie had the last few scenes replaced, it would be ranked among the best I have seen. Even Izzy's death could have been used properly, as a demonstration that human being as not omnipotent, a reminder of the tragedy of death and the importance of the husband's devotion to his work. How would the "indestructible" robot analogy change, if instead of the robot being inevitably tied to life, the robot was inevitably tied to death? The answer is, it wouldn't change at all. Acceptance of death as a "metaphysical fact" is a denial of core objectivist principles and invalidates the whole of objectivist ethics. Objectivist ethics is grounded in the realization that in order to live, there is a way to act. If I tied your hands and feet, placed a gun to your head and said "You have 30 seconds, enjoy your life", how would you go about enjoying your life? What would your highest value be?
  18. If you believe Iraq cannot become a peaceful and (somewhat) rational nation, then genocide becomes a moral imperative, and withdrawal unnecessary as there won't be anybody there to bother the new soldier-settlers.
  19. The militias don't need to be "disarmed". Most of these "militias" need to be outlawed, under penalty of death, or at least a long enough prison sentence to give the country a chance to think about their situation. Al Sadr should have been hanged years ago and the longer he remains alive, the longer it will take to achieve peace in Iraq. If killing him and destroying his group means completely leveling holy islamic sites, well, that is a just a bonus. Civilizing barbarians is a vital aspect of defense. Is that a joke? How do you intend to enforce these rules without troops?
  20. Yes, I do disagree with that. The cult of death starts with accepting it's inevitability. There is nothing inevitable about death. Death is nothing more than the cessation of life, and the nature of life is not to cease. When life ceases, it has failed.
  21. The past is clearly her book. There is a close-up of the text and it describes the following scene "in the past". She is telling him that death is endangering her (idealized by the Inquisitor), and that he is a brave knight trying to save her, who would do anything for her, and goes far away on a quest so they can continue to live side by side. The Conquistador's quest is the idealization of her husband's quest. The Queen's non-resistance of the Inquisitor (and active steps to stop the Conquistador from killing him) is her acceptance of death. You could say the scene where he has the Gran Inquisitor in his sights and is pulled back by one of her servants is representative of the key "will you take a walk with me?" scene. The part where he has to fight the rebelling soldiers is representative of having to face the opposition of others to trying to save her. The future scenes are not quite as clearly imaginary, but it makes little to no difference if they are. I don't think this movie has "potential" which was wasted with cliches. I think the author knew exactly what he was doing.
  22. So that I don't get stuck in the socratic method, I'll go ahead and give my interpretation that answers all these questions. The movie is centered by the idea of "death as an act of creation". That means, you die in order to feed the life of others, as part of the "cycle of life". You are a sacrificial animal, pure and simple. The reason Izzy had to die and a cure had to be found, is because her death was her act of creation (it pushed her husband to find the medicine), her way to "feed" the life of others. The Conquistador has to die in order to feed the plants (it's the idealization of the concept), just like the father in the mayan myth and, as concretized by the planting of a tree at Izzy's burial place, just like Izzy. All this seems abundantly clear to me from watching the movie, and as such, I cannot regard it as anything other than completely at odds with objectivist values.
  23. If we assume such a thing, the question remains. Why did he imagine the Conquistador turning into a plant? Considering that in the final scenes he goes out, but is actualy alone and burries (plants?) a plant in the place she was supposedly burried, makes this interpretation impossible to fit into the actual movie. I'm all for finding the silver lining in things such as bad art, and I actualy recommended the movie to others purely due to it's style and subject (immortality/mortality), but I don't think this movie deserves any credit for it's philosophical theme. At best it's a rationalization of death.
  24. -------------------------- Spoilers --------------------------- Let's assume for a second that the movie is not about death worship. I have three quick questions then: - How do you integrate the death of the Conquistador? - How do you integrate the suicide of the mayan priest, so that his blood can "feed the plants"? Isn't the whole mayan myth that is peddled throughout the movie a (particularly disgusting) form of altruism? - What is the purpose of finding a cure for Izzy's ilness right after she dies?
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