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Everything posted by Nyronus

  1. Read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time. I also was a Big Bang "denier" until I had the actual content of the theory explained to me by a man who knows what he's talking about, and exactly why it was the closest thing to correct (which is all you can get from science). If you read some literature not he subject, you find the Big Bang model, or later versions of it at-least, have predicted several things to be true. You confusing several things here. To begin with, the Big Bang was long heralded as proof that the universe WAS finite and self contained. The multiple universe thing seems to be your willful misinterpretation of what I said. To begin, the cycling theory is new and not nearly was well worked out as the original big bang theory. These cycles are not "multiple universes" in the sense that physics talks of multiple universes. They are instances of the same essential universe fluctuating in and out of a mass singularity. Time ends in a singularity, so the cycles are self contained. So you are essentially right with the phrase "...so that with the Big Bang, distinct entities arose and they had relations to each other, which included time." The problem is at one point you scoff at the theory, and then support it. The concept of the multiple universes is something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT then the Big Bang model. They are predicted under two DIFFERENT branches of physics. The Big Bang comes in under Relativity, while the multiple universe interpretation comes in under quantum physics. The Big Bang HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MULTIPLE UNIVERSE. Attacking Big Bang theory will get you nowhere in a multiple universe argument. They are unrelated. In fact, I am at a loss on how we were arguing multiple universes as a mean of infinity in relation to the Big Bang in the first place...
  2. I'm not well versed in the details of physics, but the logic goes something like this: 1) The universe is an end result of an expanding singularity. (Big Bang) 2) The universe, due to the eventual total force of gravity, vs. the force of "dark energy" (the force which causes universal expansion) will loose expanding moment and gravity will take the lead, causing the universe to fall backward and collapse in upon itself again as another singularity. (Big Crunch) Now, when the Big Bang was first postulated, the idea was that it was the start of time (which it it still is, if you use the actual physicist definition of time). It was then calculated that gravity would eventually beat out the rate of expansion, and fall back into another singularity, the Big Crunch, ending time. Scientists have begun to propose that perhaps the universe regularly expands and contracts. Since time technically ends in a singularity, even if time travel turns out to be possible (There is debate on this), it would be impossible to travel outside of the current cycle of expansion. So each cycle of the universe is self contained. Its not that there was another universe before this one, its all the same mass and energy, its just that time does not exist until after the Big Bang and before the Big Crunch.
  3. So it seems that what your objecting to is a the semantic use of the word infinity, not the idea that the universe is boundless or such. Am I making a mistake in that assessment?
  4. And then Protestants have the nerve to blame all of the evil things Christians do on Catholicism.
  5. I am now done with high school. I have walked a glorious mile of a stage, my fist raised in triumph. I have thrown my hat, spinning among endless others like a flock of happy birds. I have laughed, and partied, and smiled at my friends in a night of celebration. As we left, my friend turned on the radio of his car, and, as if on cue, a song began to play. It was a song by Journey, Don't Stop Believing. This song, by some grace of taste, was elected the class song. I've heard this song countless times now. Countless. But now it speaks to me, and I now must speak in turn to you. This song has almost nothing to do with us, or our class, beyond the fact that we are all fans of Journey, of course. But now the song... now it matters. It is a song of loss, of hopelessness, and a romantic struggle through life and a desire to retain life and happiness. Now these things speak to me. For every person who clapped for me today is friend who I may never see again. For every girl I saw may be a lover I will never know... You see, moving on is not a matter of stepping through doors, but a matter of shutting all those parallel to them. You see, some friends I will never see again, never become as good of friends as I wanted. People I will never know. People I wish I could know. I shall never know these friends as I want. I shall never talk to those who I respect as I want. I shall never kiss the hand of the girl I have come to love... as I want. I can see all of these possibilities, dieing for me. Like some great wave function, its begun to collapse. The edges of a boundless universe have died by ever so much. My eyes feel heavy with tears that are too few to come, but too many to ignore. Now though, I must say goodbye to what may have been, but, I must also seize that which is before me now. New friends, new loves. No more regrets. No more sadness. The mountain is before me, and I shall march its length, and plumb its depts. I see the sun that balances upon the pinnacle of that spire. That sun is mine, and I shall have it yet! I cry and laugh then! To the dawn, to the sun, to the twilight and to the moon, I laugh and cry! Forward now, all must be as it must! The twilight is mine... The dawn... is ours. Let us seize it. ~Michael
  6. Nyronus


    From the Criticisms of Objectivism Wiki. "Nozick is sympathetic to Rand's political conclusions, but does not think her arguments justify them. In particular, his essay criticizes her foundational argument in ethics—laid out most explicitly in her book The Virtue of Selfishness—which claims that one's own life is, for each individual, the ultimate value because it makes all other values possible. Nozick says that to make this argument sound one needs to explain why someone could not rationally prefer dying and thus having no values. Thus, he argues, her attempt to defend the morality of selfishness is essentially an instance of begging the question." I have two problems with this statement. To begin with, I am not sure on this count, but I don't think Ayn Rand ever said you have to choose to live life, just that it was your choice, and here's how to do so, and that if it wasn't, leave the rest of us alone. Second, I don't think that he understands what she means when she says that it is the "ultimate value because it makes all other values possible." If I am correct, life is valuable, because it must come before all other things if you wish to exist. Why is this important, well, to use a layman's cliche "It's the only one you've got." Any comments?
  7. I sit here now My fingers strumming My pen is flying My mind is running Like a tempest it lashes downward again and again knowledge expanding one, two, three, four it strikes pi, i, infinity, more down upon the page For I see the numbers strewn across the page X, Y, to the power of, logarithms, roots, and radicals But I see the life the life behind the motion imbedded the colors unpainted I see the light I see the motion I see the power I see the glory For it is the number that is the ultimate language it is the number that speaks Language, Love, Desperation, Fear Image, and Movement, Time and Space. They lift now from my page rising in a holy maelstrom above my head Flying higher and higher whirling faster and faster An aurora of Truth A corona of Beauty For it is the number that is God The universe rising above my page I see it rise I see it expand I see it spin I see it whirl and whirl and whirl I see it whirl within I see it whirl without and I see it fall. I see it fall downward into microcosm Into a speck of nothing Into a mote of everything I see it fall down again and again For a second the darkness hovers before me And then it explodes And from the fire comes color and from the color comes life I put down my pen I close my book I lean back in my chair and I smile. “Ode to a Quantum” ~By Michael Lenahan
  8. And I'm sure Galileo, from his cheery spot in hell, appreciates and accepts the papal apology with gracious thanks. Meanwhile, generations of aliens in heaven appreciate the recognition.
  9. If your interested in medicine, I may recommend Richard Preston. His best works are The Hot Zone and The Cobra Event. The Hot Zone is a print equivalent of a docudrama about a real life outbreak of the Ebola virus at a monkey house in Reston, right next to D.C. The Cobra Event is a novel about a female CDC agent attempting to stop a sociopath and eco-terrorist from unleashing a virus he designed upon Manhattan in an attempt to cripple the human race and save it from self-destruction. The virus is a chimera of ebola, smallpox, and insect virus that literally turns its victims to mush. The virus attacks the brain and causes the victims to go insane and often murder those near them, and then self-destruct in a usually horrible manner. One man scalps himself and then dies of a Grand Mal seizure as he begins eating the top of his own head. Rather good books. Spiked my interests in virology.
  10. Actually, you would need a thousand years or so, a much larger, or radically different functioning brain (space for memory), and probably several new sensory organs (just to speed up the process), and hyper-fast space travel (you'll need this for immersion in Klingon culture). Even then, I think you would need much longer than a thousand years to intimately know "everything." Now, of course, if your talking just casual knowledge, saying know OF all things but not knowing all things, then, maybe. I'm sure its quiet possible for a highly evolved alien intellect or say some sort of massive uber-computer to amass all knowledge of the universe. Since knowledge can be stored in a smaller area than the mass of the objects of its contents, there is no reason why not. But for a human to do it... I don't think he'd be human afterward. Now, of course, if the many-worlds interpretation in true, and its also true that it is impossible to enter other worlds where the absolute laws of physics function different (or just any other world), then it would be impossible to know all knowledge of everything. Of course, according to the many world interpretation, you would have a boundless amount of worlds, so you would need a boundless computer, and since humans are finite and have bounds... Yeah, even "all-knowing" looks pretty impossible. As for this whole thing: It seems that most people use infinity where you all use the term "boundless," so, in reality, the problem is semantic and not metaphysical.
  11. I clicked on this thread via the main forum and did not realize that there was more posts than EC's. My apologies. So, basically your saying that because one property of existence is number, which by nature must be bound and finite. You can't have a infinite number because number is by definition finite, but you can have a finite number of movement and objects within in an unbound area of space and time, then? It seems that the problem seems to me that two people are using two different words to mean the same thing. One is just using his word conceptually wrong.
  12. Can you to explain to me, in explicit detail, what you mean when you say "infinity," and how exactly it conflicts with the Law of Identity, because what I mean when I say "infinity" sounds suspiciously like what your friend means when he says "unbounded." Be warned, I've yet to take Calculus, so I lack a background on "mathematical infinity," but from what I've logically deduced, it seems an icky mess. You may need to start there.
  13. There stand a boy before the seas of shifting wheat and running winds The sun blazes behind and sets the world all to the shine of a purest gold Besides the boy rests a scythe of a dark red oak and a silver pure The bright air the scythe rises in the sounds of a high laugh The boy laughs long he loves the wheat he loves the winds he to loves the sun He loves them all to beauty without mystery within he laughs proud dancing high and free he leaps with wind and swims with gold To the light of Sun and Man Always proud Always free "The Golden" ~ Nyronus
  14. I have heard both accounts of the idealist Lincoln and the realpolitik Lincoln. As far as I know, Lincoln and his relation with white supremacy was complex. While he is on record for breaking down into racism during a few debates; "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything." The thing is though, that whatever Lincoln said to get elected (He also claimed to be Christian, even though there is much evidence that he was a Deist if not a blatant atheist/agnostic), in the end he came out on the side of anti-slavery. From the accounts I have read, the question of Race and Slavery tore at Lincoln. Yes, as you said, Lincoln did start the war in the name of solidifying the Union, but by the end he had signed the Emancipation Proclamation and soldiers were singing hymns in the name of John Brown. Now, as to the question of wether or not the war was justified... I will say that if it had been almost ANY other topic, I would support the south's right to remove themselves from a free government that they joined with willingly. There is nothing in the constitution about having to stay. If the North had honestly been oppressing the South, I would have cheered them on as they pulled away. The problem is, they were NOT being oppressed. I doubt Lincoln had it in him to take military action against the South had it not been forced upon him. Had it not been for the South's pigheaded idiocy, Slavery would have weeded itself out peacefully, or it would have kept on going, as Lincoln had said that he wouldn't split the Union over slavery. No matter how you look at it though, the Southern states, acting as a foreign and sovereign power, shot first. If that is not an act of war, I don't know what is.
  15. How many bureaucrats does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Two. One to assure everyone that everything is being done to rectify the crisis situation, and the other to screw the lightbulb into the bathroom faucet. How many people have to die for Joseph Stalin to screw in a lightbulb? None, he just likes doing it that way.
  16. I think your thesis is flawed. To begin with, there was little chance, until the advent of the ICBM, that the Soviet Union could have caused serious harm to the U.S. in a military invasion. They would have either had to move troops via ship and invade via the California coast, or marched through the arctic and invade through Canada and Alaska. The first option would have put them at odds with what was at the time the most powerful Naval force on the planet, the U.S. Pacific fleet. The other would have involved Red Army troops marching through British territory, which would have sparked a global war, quicker than anything. So, until the Rosenburgs betrayed us, the Soviets were not a threat, unless we were dumb enough to fight them on their own terms (The Korean War). Second, the fear of Communism's spread, the domino theory, was flawed and made up by paranoid statists wishing to retain some of FDR's vast war-power via fear. If you notice, Communism made very little headway in Europe outside of states which were essentially under direct Soviet military control. Its because the resilient economies of central and West Europe, juxtapositioned against the impoverished and miserable Eastern European Bloc countries gave a very definite lie to the Communist claims of economic superiority. Communism only really made headway in the poor and backwaters of Asia, and that probably because those people had been under the yoke of mercantile imperialism that any alternative looked utopian. Essentially, Communism only appealed to the beaten and the ignorant. So it had little appeal here. Although, other similar ideologies have sprung up here on there own, but the fact is that the hatred of the U.S.S.R. was so great that any blatant Moscow backed philosophy withered and died here. So, in reality, for the most part, the Soviets were little real threat to the U.S., until the atomic age that is. Although, they may have been less of a problem if we didn't have a national policy of constantly trying to drive them to commit an act of Nuclear Holocaust, and then backing down before it was too late. (see: brinksmanship) Third and finally, you are ignorant of one vital fact: We DID attack the Soviet Union at birth. Look up Lies My Teacher Told Me. It is written by a sociologist and explicitly reveals that Wilson ordered military intervention and invasion of Russia on the side of the White Army. Hence why the Soviets were utterly convinced we were out to get them (we were). We did attack the Soviet Union at birth, but the fractured and self-destructive nature of the White Army versus the small, but dedicated Red Army lead to the eventual victory of the Bolsheviks. My copy of the book was stolen, so I am not sure of the eventual fate of our troops, but I believe they retreated after suffering severe causalities. While I agree that we gained nothing by joining the Allies and that WWI had no moral cause, asserting that we SHOULD have attacked the Soviet Union, for the sake of our future selves, is not the right answer either. In fact, going on that premise, we should have entered the War far earlier and defeated Germany before the Czar stepped down, opening the way for Lenin and the Bolsheviks. I recommend you do some more research into this topic.
  17. I'll have to. *Nods* *nods in agreement, again* This, I think, answers my question. Thank you. Unless anyone else has a dissenting viewpoint? I understand that, and argued that earlier (when I recapped the debate with my friend). The point of the experimental set-up is probably to test if it can make you act immoral and irrational. Hence all the empathetic heart-string tugging and loaded words. No, its not nice, and its rather stupid, but I kind of have those feelings about most of psychology.
  18. I was referring to monopoly laws -but my knowledge of them is not very good and I apologize for my ignorance. As Benpercent pointed out, the man would not have legal dominion over the chemical itself. I tried similar reasoning with my friend, but he claimed that the over charging man was ONLY way to get the medicine. I think 1000 is really meant to stand for an arbitrarily high number. Like I pointed out before, here in the real world, a thousand dollars is a drop in the bucket if your dealing with terminal illness. I would gladly pay it, but the problem being is that the question is set up to make it so you CAN'T do the right thing or the "happy" thing at the same time. I understand your point. My friend is not an Objectivist. What I was really curious about is if it was a selfish and moral act to do something for someone else, at the cost of something for yourself, if you value the result more than what you gave up. In other words, the happiness of his wife for his freedom, if he values his freedom less than the comfort and happiness of his wife. I understand and agree with you that regardless of how moronic or potentially mean the supplier is, or how needy the wife is, it is still morally wrong to steal, and as mentioned before, this is one of those situations where you can't be both moral and "happy." Its the way the thing is set up, if you haven't noticed the descriptions dripping with loaded words. The selfish third actor is really a rational scape goat placed there to test moral style. The whole set up, loaded words and all, is a test to try and see how rational and rooted your morality is. Hence all the traps and trick phrases. Its not a test of your morality, but how its set up. Its all part of Kolberg moral theory. If you answers somehow involved the word "love," you were put on he bottom tier, levels 1 and 2. This is the "selfish" child-like "mine!-mine!-mine!" moral style. If your answer involved the law, yours on the second tier, levels 3-4. These involve authority and law. My teacher put me in here because I mentioned jail, in passing. I disagree with his judgement, but it doesn't matter. Anything else is the third tier, levels 5-6, which involve an internalized and personal moral code. Yes or no doesn't matter, its your justification that labels your operating level. You want to know what's really sadistic about this experiment? It is revealed after you answer that the reason the medicine is so grossly over-priced is that the medical supplier has a daughter who is dieing of cancer and needs the money to save her life. My psycology teacher can be a dick sometimes .
  19. Thats supposed to be the point. There was nothing I could do. Physically impossible. When I suggested that I just go get a loan, my friend explained that I couldn't get the money or medicine any other way than via theft. Trust me, I tried that. Also, could anyone give a link to theses ethics of emergencies? I have heard them mentioned before. As to the comment about the medical supplier's economic ability; the price of the medicine is rather small (1000) compared to the total price of medical expenses. In all honesty, the 80/1000 numbers were probably picked arbitrarily, most likely as a way to trick someone into rationalizing that the medical supplier can be robbed because he's being a prig. I thought the test was a little silly myself. I had my results judged wrong, mostly because I used the word "jail" and that means that I obviously believe in the supremacy of the law as a end in itself. Edit: Very well, I actually went and looked up an interview of Ayn Rand on the issue of ethics, and she brought up the ethics of an emergency. So then, I have a new question, would my friend be morally right if he both stole the medicine selfishly, and then turned himself in and tried to work off his debt, either literally, or metaphorically in prison?
  20. My friend proposed a thought experiment. This is a scenario used by psychologists to rate one's progression on the Kohlberg moral developmental scale. It simply goes like this; Your spouse has an incredibly rare and painful disease. There is medicine that can cure it, but the only supplier of the medicine wants it for a price that it is physically impossible for you to pay. Your only options are to either to steal it or let your spouse die. What would you do and why? I argued that I could not morally take something that someone had made from them by use of force. My friend revealed to me that the man who is selling you the medicine is using its uniqueness to capitalize on a monopoly and sell it for much more than its worth (I believe it was an eighty dollar value being sold for one thousand dollars). I told him that the man being a generally unpleasant person gave me no right to steal from him, and that I could possibly take legal action against him. He then countered with the "need" card. I explained to him that "need" gave no right to ownership. He conceded the point, but then brought up an interesting point. He said that, for him, he valued his pride and immediate freedom was less than that of the life of his spouse. So he would go to jail so that she could live. (There are complications to this, I know). So, here is the question. Looking at it from that perspective, he is being selfish, but that does not change the fact that he is violating the rights of another human being. So then, all I have to ask, is the premise of giving up something he values less (some immediate freedom) for something more (the life and health of his spouse) morally valid, even if his act is not? I have my own answer to this question, but I am curious to see what you all think.
  21. Technically, you don't have to search every end of the universe to disprove God, just as you do not have to disprove the spider, you simply have to show that the universe reacts different than one in which a God would exist. The easiest way would be the blaspheme and not be harmed. You could also demonstrate historical inconsistencies in the behavior of God. Like way he thrashed a bunch of gays in Sodom, but then let the common cold take out Stalin after the worst of his damage had been done. While this does not prove God's nonexistence, it does: A) Disprove the presence of God, or Shows that God is an altogether different character than he's made out to be, which effectively disproves the presence of the God that they are looking for. How does this apply to the spider? Simply show that it is more than likely or impossible that a spider exists in the room with you, and you don't have to search.
  22. Some Recommendations of my own: Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time: An epic fantasy series of the highest quality. If you liked Goodkind, you'll probably like Jordan. They share similar styles and sometimes plot elements (both claim to have never read the other). As far as Objectivism goes, Jordan's books don't really have an explicit theme in relation to our world, beyond general liberty and humanism. He can also be sometimes fatalistic. Prophecy in his world can be so profound and deep reaching that it is usually completed without any real knowledge of its influence. Interestingly enough, sometimes prophecy just acts as a record of what will happen, other times it seems to behave as rules for what will happen. One of the main themes is one character's struggle to survive what he believes may be his own foretold demise. Jordan does write some amazing and complex characters, and has probably the best and most profoundly well built fantasy worlds I have ever seen. His world is incredibly deep and instantly believable. Sadly, Jordan died before he could finish the last book. He left extensive notes though, and another equally skilled author is going to finish it for him. Which brings me to my second author. Brandon Sanderson: I have only read one novel by Sanderson, Mistborn, but it was very good. His characters are engaging and funny. His magic system was very interesting as well. I can recommend it as a good book. R.A. Salvatore: If you care for DnD style fantasy, this is as good as it gets. Salvatore is an excellent writer, often noted for his detailed swordplay sequences. He and his flagship character, Drizzit Do'Urden are blatant altruists, but they also are large proponents of individualism and of personal achievement. All of the Drizzit novels have essays by Drizzit as markers for a section change, and these are usually well written introspections on philosophy and ethics (wether you agree with them or not). If you have any taste for DnD themed fantasy, this is probably the best author you can find. There are many others, but these are the three I'll recommend for now.
  23. While the "theory" is rather witty, I don't think it comes from Rand or anyone else. While the theory is charming, I think its a little false. The POLICEMEN, or the warrior caste, probably grew out of the hunter caste after the advent of agriculture removed the need for hunters, and the advent of tribal competition creating the niche for a group of professional human fighters. POLITICIANS probably came out of The Iron Law of Oligarchy. Charismatic, Smart, and generally useful people would probably amass power at the gratitude of the people. PREACHERS are a little harder to account for. I don't think they were meant to control people, at least at the start. Shamans probably started as medicine men. Over time they probably, through use of their influence managed to gain power, and then forced some of their stranger metaphysical theories on the masses. I imagine they only became fear mongers when they themselves felt challenged by a political or spiritual rival. This is probably where all those benign nature spirits became more solidified war gods. This, of course, would be the first instances of the "holy rollers"
  24. Nyronus


    I understand what you are saying, and I can see your point. It is true that one uses different tactics for different acts, but you (should) still be using the same rule book each time. My teacher understood exactly what I meant when I wrote that essay, she even gave me bonus points. Most people just wrote about how relationships are base on honesty and trust and the like. I think I might have been the only person to have approached the question from a philosophically ethical point. So the points might have just been for originality (although 90% of it was reworked from Ayn Rand). She was impressed with the essay though. She thought it was very profound. Your friend sounds interesting. Maybe I should. Edit: I completely forgot the second half of your post. How would one apply ethics to dating. Well, to begin with, you'd want to do something you both could enjoy. Being truthful from the start is probably key to keeping a relationship going. You should be respectful to your partner, but you should not be afraid to challenge or argue with them when they (or you) are wrong. While these things are important for most human interaction, they are probably more crucial to dating than anything else you can do. I'm sorry if that response was somewhat small and vague. While I can ramble about the epistemology of being in love, I have very little experience with the act of dating.
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