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Everything posted by JJJJ

  1. No, they dont, and stop your obvious lying, please. They say: They dont say that pursuing free trade policies is what helps you, but that "if you truly want to help other countries", pursuing free trade policies is good. They dont talk about a standard for men to deal with one another, they explicitly state that this is what a man should do, if he wants to help other countries. If your purpose is "helping other countries", then it is altruistic. Other countries do get richer by free trade, and it does help you, but they dont talk about that. They talk about helping other countries as such. True, but the LP does not adress the fact that free trade is better for you. The fact that it is good for others as well is a corollary of the principle of individual rights, but they state it as the primary concern. Nowhere, and you can read the article as many times as you want, do they adress that free trade is beneficial to you. They dont both claim the same thing, at least not in the paragraph you quoted. There is no mention in that paragraph that the "evil" is that it doesnt help the poor. Yes, handouts makes the problem worse and should stop, but even though they are talking about the same conclusion, they are not talking about the same "problem".
  2. That is bs, so let's go through every paragraph of the article, with higlights added by me: And in their "Welfare" section, they base their whole argument on why it doesnt actually help the poor, and how charity is so much better, and how people who give to charity should get tax breaks. By "disastrous effects", they dont mean theft from individuals, but to the non-help of the poor. It does not say: The idea of foreign aid is based on the notion that it is our duty to help people in poor countries. We Libertarians oppose to that view, as foreign aid through taxation is theft, like any other form of taxation, and it completely violates a mans right to his own life. It can also be noted, that in addition to foreign aid being theft, it does not even help the people it is "intended" to help. Notice the word "but". It clearly shows that their opposition to foreign aid is not because it is theft, but because it does not actually help the people in the poor countries. If they had switched that "but", to an "also", after first explaining what is actually wrong with foreign aid, then i'd have no problem with it. Once again, only talking about the effect it has on the poor countries.... ....and again..... Implying that "economic growth" in poor countries is something that the US government should be conserned about. Here are the "many reasons" they name: In other words, it is wasteful because it built tennis courts in poor countries, sewing machines where they were inoperable, and hospitals where they weren't needed, implying that if they just had built nice schools in poor areas, power plants before bringing the sewing machines and hospitals in areas with none, they would have nothing against it. It is fraudlent and abusive, because the aid is stolen by corrupt foreign leaders, once again implying, that if the leaders were benevolent honest "men of the people", then they would have nothing against it. Once again, implying that if only the long term feeding programs didnt cause disincentives for food production, there would be nothing wrong with using tax money, and if just the poor became self sufficient in America after getting welfare, theres nothing wrong with using tax money. ....more of the same. This is the last paragraph. As you can see, nowhere in the article do they adress the fundamental problem, just insignifigant details. This just leaves these people philosophically disarmed, because in the cases where little Ndukwe from Kenya, whose elementary school was built by american tax money, becomes a succesful doctor and wins the Nobel Prize. What can the libertarians say then? Just like in the case of Thomas Sowell, who i otherwise respect a whole lot, was totally disarmed in his opposition to affirmative action, when Charlie Rose told him that Judge Clarence Thomas got into Yale due to affirmative action in an interview. If you base your opposition on something other than the actual principles, your opposition is worthless, when your detractors finds counter examples. They will never find a single counter example to a real principle, because it is impossible. This is actually one of the major problem with libertarians. They spend their time trying to convince everyone that everyone will be better off in a libertarian world, with no regard on philosophy. A poor is poor today because of welfare, they say, a drug addict is miserable because he's persecuted by the government, Africans are poor because of foreign aid etc. The libertarians have a knack of creating principles out of insignifigant corollaries of actual principles.... So, how do you get the impresison that the article "states that the altruistic stance of US foreign policy is self defeating because the only way to wealth is to produce it.". Nowhere in the article do they even border on the subject of the payer, or the looted, so its absurd for you to claim that it opposes altruism. And about the fact that they dont say that it is your moral duty to help others: Well guess what, neither do the democrats. Your not going to find a single democrat who says that it is your moral duty to help others. But it is implicit in what they say, just like in this case. They spend the whole article on one argument, the fact that the aid doesnt actually work. Not one word, about he one who is being taxed, not one. I mean, this reminds me of the debate about Obama's anti-americanism, where a couple of posters claimed that Obama opposes wealth distribution even when the evidence is right in front of them..... ------------------------------------ On their site, under the title "Issues", that is the only article that comes up when you click "Foreign Policy". It's clearly not just some random article on page 596, against why foreign aid doesnt help the poor, its the article they want people to see when quickly browsing through the LP positions.
  3. I just had a quick browse around the LP website, and on every issue they take the same kind of perverse stance that statism is bad because the statists measures are counter-productive. That welfare is bad because it doesnt actually help the poor, that foreign aid is bad because it doesnt actually help the africans, that enviromental restrictions are bad because the government itself pollutes etc. etc. It is clear from reading their stance on issues, that if they have any underlying morality, it is altruism, just with different kinds of policies as other altruists. I mean, see for yourself: http://www.lp.org/issues/foreign-policy Nowhere in this article, that the Party has chosen as the one to introduce their stance on Foreign Policy??, do they even remotely touch the actual reason why foreign aid is wrong: Theft. They harp on about foreign aid not helping the poor in foreign countries, never questioning whether that is even a valid topic, and they just focus on the inefficiencies of the program. On the topic of Poverty and Welfare: http://www.lp.org/issues/poverty-and-welfare Nowhere in the article do they talk about the immorality of stealing other peoples production, and they just go on about how the welfare programs dont actually help the poor. But the absolute worst part is this: After this, no one can say that the LP isnt by definition altruists. Their opposition to current welfare programs is clearly just about their perceived wrongs of the poor actually getting the help, but they cling on to the fact that helping the poor should be encouraged. I mean, what they are proposing there, is a "selfishness tax", which you can avoid by donating your money away. What about taxes then: http://www.lp.org/issues/taxes The LP talks only about "cutting" taxes, and never about repealing forced taxation altogether. Even if you may say that the difference is small, philosophically it is huge. It is like a person in the early 19th century, not supporting ending slavery, and instead supporting a "Be nicer to your slave"-act. The difference between just a little theft and no theft is 100000000x bigger than the difference between just a little theft, and a lot of theft. The argument that government programs dont actually help the poor should be made, if at all, as a footnote on page 96 of your political program, not as the main argument! I really dont see why i should be interested in promoting the Libertarian Party because they share the same conclusions as me on many things. Im not supporting the KKK because they share the opposition of affirmative action with me either. The discussion can be had whether libertarianism as such is altruistic, but it is evident to everyone that the Libertarian Party is.
  4. The European Parliament elections are coming up, and im struggling who to vote , and more importantly, whether to vote or not in the first place. Ideally, I would like to vote for a person staunchly opposed to the EU itself, wanting to get Finland out of the EU, but there are two problems. First of all, the European Parliament isnt the place where this thing is decided, and secondly, all of the candidates opposed to the EU and wanting Finland to get out of it, are nationalists, or some kind of fringe socialist nuts. I just filled a questionnaire online that all the candidates have also filled, and the top 8 matches were all some kind of nationalists or even borderline national socialists. None of the "established" parties oppose the EU, and there are no, and i mean no, conservative opposition to the EU here, and the so called "capitalists" in this country are the most vocal supporters of the EU and the future federalisation of Europe, so a vote for them is like a vote for Stalin. So, if i vote for a nationalist/nazi, who does not have any say in domestic finnish politics, but who wants to get Finland out of the EU as i do, is that good or bad? Or should i just refrain from voting altogether?
  5. In yet another thread, you mistake altruism for "not being a hermit" or "having a connection with people". Also, every selfish job extends beyond the paycheck. It is in no means selfish for a person interested in graphic design to become a stock broker, and if he chooses the career of a graphic designer, never sacrificing his values, and he makes just 30K/year, he still is selfish, which he would not be if he went against his values, and made a fortune as a stock broker, hating every second of it. A billionaire can be an altruist/unselfish, a "struggling artist" can be selfish. You really dont understand Rands point, even a bit. But the weirdest thing about your comments is that being a fiction writer is altruistic. It's probably one of the only professions where it is almost impossible to be an altruist. Writing fiction is a declaration of ones own values, a kind of flaunting of ones own ideas, and i dont see how you can think fiction writers are altruist by nature. You seem to make the point that the fact that other people buys the books, that that would make it selfish. Selfishness is not "lets just hoard as much stuff to yourself as fast as possible without ever socializing with others" and altruism is not "having a connection with people and pursuing a career where you have to socialize with others" Even though the definition of altruism you quoted doesnt perfectly identify all the finer points of the concept altruism, your writings still dont apply to that definition.
  6. The paradox lies in the fact that you equate "caring for others" with altruism. You are offering a false alternative, where either you are a primadonna trying to "pacify" your ego by slick dishonest sales pitches, or then you are an altruist. Thats not the case, and you would know that had you read a word Ayn Rand wrote, which i dont believe for a second you have, as your post is so ridiculous. Caring about people and altruism are opposites, not corollaries. Altruism teaches to help others when there is no value to you. Helping a person you care about has value to you, and is a selfish act. Once again, what you are describing is not altruism. Caring about people has nothing to do with altruism. This is one of the most absurd statements ive read regarding Rand. Rand most certainly does not ignore love. Also, Ayn Rand does not talk about love or caring for other peoples welfare on the basis of greed. Your making it seems like it is somehow beneficial for a person to abandon his children and family and live a life of social seclusion, and that one should refrain from doing this by sacrificing your own self interest. Rand did not oppose altruism because she thought that love is irrelevant or that caring for people is stupid. She opposed altruism because it tells you to put other peoples values in front of your own values, sacrificing your values for the values of someone else. When i buy a birthday present or loan money to my friend i do it because I care for him and share values with him, not because i put his values in front of my own. But please, read some Rand before critizing Rand, and in your case even a short browsing of wikipedia would be a plus, because you have no idea what you are talking about.
  7. Also James, could you stop being so facetious. You said: then Plasmatic answers to that exact statement directly by: And you answer with: Its like me saying: If Ayn Rand had her way, philosophy would not exist. She and here cultists thought that philosophy is irrelevant, and that it has no value, and she said that everyone should burn libraries that have books about philosphy. Then someone answers: Thats wrong. Rand clearly did not think philosophy was irrelevant, she thought the exact opposite. She wrote a book called:"Philosophy, Who Needs It?" and clearly stated that everyone needs philosophy. Your statement about burning libraries absurd, she said no such thing. And you answer: Oh good, thanks Rand! Im now allowed to read philosophy again. Oh boy. Give me a break. What is it that you are trying to accomplish with these ridiculous statements, and not acknowledging when your statements are being shown to be false. Could you please try to just concentrate on the topic at hand, and not go on your sarcasm-ridden tirades without any evidence about "pope Peikoff" and how he thinks everyone should be hermits and noone should talk without first asking him permission.
  8. In the exact way you just said. It has been shown here multiple times already how the separation of ideas from actions is contra-objectivism. You really have gotten this whole debate wrong. Noone says that you cant be friends with libertarians, christians, collectivists etc., not even anyone at ARI and especially not Peikoff, which would be abundantly clear if actually read and listened to what the man actually says. There are probably loads of people on this board who are married with non-objectivists, and probably at ARI too, so its not about befriending or socializing with libertarians thats the issue. Peikoff isnt promoting becoming a hermit, which you seem to suggest. However, as you brought up the friendship thing: If you are friends with a democrat, and you both share a love of baseball or science fiction, it's totally in your interests to go to ball games and sci-fi conventions with him/her. Your not sanctioning anything at this point. However, and this is a huge however, your friend tells you that "man, rich people should be taxed more, they are ripping off the working man" or "man, i can't believe what a selfish bastard that guy was who stole my wallet at the Mets game", and you do not clearly state that you do not agree, and instead leave the impression that you agree with him, then you are sacrificing your values. You dont have to argue with him if he's not interested in your opinions, but if your friendship starts revolving around your differences in philosophy, there probably isnt much value in the friendship. If you simply keep your friendship about the Mets or Star Trek, then go for it. Its not you duty to convert as many people as possible to Objectivism, and seclude yourself from society when people dont agree with you 100%. If you find "common ground" with a person in sports, movies, beer, sense of life, trainspotting, architecture etc. that has a different philosophy than you, then great, you have found a new friend. What Kelley is proposing is not this, but instead to find "common ground" IN philosophy with people who disagree with Objectivism. Brandens pre-split work is valuable, because he was an objectivist->then openly and clearly changed his views. Kelley on the other hand doesnt seem like he changed his mind at any point, he seems to have always been a non-objectivist. And please tell us, which of Kelley's pre-Truth and Toleration work is valuable to Objectivism? How much of Kelley's work have you read, beacuse it should be pretty clear when reading his op-eds and articles that he has nothing to add to objectivism, no matter what you think of Peikoff.
  9. No, he mentions "groping teenagers" as people who can be considered honest, in contrast to an academic marxist. It has nothing to do with talking. It's not that ARI is against debates are philosophical discussions. They take part in them themselves. Also, even if the schism started with the Kelley talking to libertarians thing, it is vastly overplayed here. It was his response, "A Question of Sanction", where he explicitly gave views that are totally non-compatible with Objectivism. It was not the talking with libertarians that broke the camels back, it was his views on moral evaluation of ideas that did it. What kind of argument is this? Examples please...Also, note once again that Kelley did not "add" to Objectivism, he went against it. You just answered your own question..... How many times do we have to go over this. Peikoff does agree that there are degrees of evil. But those degrees are irrelevant in the question of "toleration". Just like everyone admits that a mass murderer is more evil than a guy who slaps his wife around every now and then. That doesnt mean that we tolerate spousal abuse because it is not as bad as mass murder. It doesnt mean that we refrain from judging spousal abuse, because mass murder is worse. The degree of evil in the case of mass murder and spousal abuse is irrelevant in the question of who to tolerate. Neither should be tolerated. This is what you have to understand. It is not that there arent degrees of evil, it is that they dont matter in terms of toleration. What do you mean with "who our reporters are". Is TOC's website a bad source. Your making it seem like ARI sends weekly newsletters summarizing what Kelley writes, and then giving out orders what to think of them..... What value is there in what Kelley has done? And to your other point. Would you like it if ARI promoted Alan Greenspan. You dont think that would be confusing considering hes not an Objectivist? One question as you admit to being quite new to Objectivism. Have you ever read/heard Peikoff or Schwartz say that one shouldnt read Newton, Orwell etc. Have you ever read anything by Peikoff where he says that you should only hang around ARI approved Objectivists and that you should not socialize with other people. Have you ever even read anything by Peikoff? I suggest you go to http://peikoff.com/podcasts.html and download every podcast of his, because you are giving a COMPLETE misrepresentation of his views and his character, as if he was some grumpy old man who just yells and commands everyone. Really, listen to those podcasts and come back after that.
  10. What does assasination have to do with anything. I'd shoot a schitzofrenic hallucinating crack junkie on site if he tried to kill me, that doesnt mean i think he is more evil than Barack Obama. Do you actually think that there is an Objectivist principle "the more evil someone is, the more he deserves to be assasinated"?. No, i would most definitely not assasinate an academic marxist if he doesnt initiate force, or Kant for that matter if he lived today. You dont use force unless force is used against you, thats why the Kant's and the marxists should be battled with the mind. This just means that Rand thought anarchists are more dangerous than marxists. She doesnt say that you should deal with marxists to reach an understanding per se, she says that an understanding would be easier to reach with marxists than anarchists. Just like i think that there is a greater chance of reaching an understanding with a christian than a nihilist, doesnt mean that i should go to a "God is great"-rally to speak to reach an understanding with them, especially without openly stating that i think they are evil. Well, he later says that ideas should be judged as "true and false", and actions as "good and evil". True and false is not a moral judgement. What does using force have to do with anything in this thread? Who says that you should use force against a marxist professsor? Could you explain how going to a party inappropriately dressed has anything to do with this discussion. No, it was because he spoke to libertarians without explaining why Objectivism is incompatible with libertarianism, and without explaining what libertarianism leads to. If he had gone to a "Philosophy Debate", explained in his statements clearly why libertarianism is evil, nothing would have happened. What he did was go to a libertarian event, to promote Objectivism as just one way of being a libertarian. Highlights mine. As you can see from Kelleys speech to that muslim group, he did not promote objectivism, he appeased the muslims to find "common ground", thus not having any integrity. If the KKK and David Duke hosted an "Against Affirmative Action" symposium, and asked you to speak, would you go? And if you would go, would you present Objectivism as just one way of opposing Affirmative Action. You do not think that you would be viewed as a supporter of the event, if you spoke there? In the case of an academic marxist, none. If you are not a subjectivist, which i hope you are not, you have to understand that it is impossible for anyone with a working non-retard human mind to honestly agree with marxism, especially after studying it in addition to history, economics, philosophy etc. without serious and completely intentional evasion. I can bet everything i have, that you will not "convert" a single academic marxist to an Objectivist or even something close to that, even if you spend your whole life trying. A person with little life experience and little expertise may call themselves marxists, and if they seem honest you can explain Objectivism to them. But the "cut off" point is waay waay before an academic marxist. So first you say that someone isnt fair to Kelleys argument, but then give a total misrepresentation of Peikoff's? Peikoff has stated many times that there are many good people who arent Objectivists, and that to be good, you dont have to understand Objectivism per se. But it is absurd to not judge a f-ing academic marxist on the spot, and to somehow think there still is a chance he is honest and not evading?!! I mean, tell me how a person can become an academic marxist without evading? What kind of freak circumstances need to happen that his every experience of life is so out of the realm of normal, that marxism makes sense without him shrugging off his mind? For a person to become an academic marxist honestly, would require a Truman Show type manipulation of his surroundings for his whole life.
  11. Just after a 2 minute browsing of "A Question of Sanction":
  12. No, they have a problem with the fact that we should tolerate these "lesser" evils, and suspend judgement. You really seem to be making a strawman here. No one is saying you shouldnt talk to people of all ages no matter what their philosophy. Yes, sometimes people do that, but i haven't seen ARI or Peikoff do this all that much. It really seems you have some psychological problem of accepting perfection. Yes, she was human, she did mistakes, she did say things that aren't true, but her philosophy is perfect. And if it's not, show me where it's not. I don't understand youre "nobodys perfect" comment, if you dont offer any examples. As a blanket statement it's pretty similar to "the truth lies somewhere in between". Yes, there are people who are interested in Objectivism because they have a wrong kind of hero worship, and they just like absolutes in general. This board has some, but you will not find those people at ARI. First of all, Peikoff hasn't added anything to the philosophy, nor went against any of its core principles. Second of all, Ayn Rand herself accepted the Ominous Parallel's as Objectivist. But OPAR is just a clear introduction to what Objectivism is, and thus it is Objectivist. And as Peikoff has stated, if he ever gets that "DIM" book out, that it will not be part of Objectivist philosophy, just an application of it to explain history. What Kelley does, is not only add to the philosophy, but go against one of its major principles, and that is very different from writing an introduction of Objectivism. Then the word Objectivist means nothing, if it means contradictory things. Because you cant even call Kelleys books "applications" of Objectivist philosophy, because it doesnt even apply it, it goes against its basic principles. You really have not understood where the schism between ARI and the "open system" lies. It is not in talking to irrational people, and talking to them is not toleration. Talking to them without clearly stating that you think they are wrong/evil. This is an example of Kelley, and i dont understand how you can respect him: http://www.objectivistcenter.org/ct-1540-T..._Terrorism.aspx Some quotes from Kelleys speech to a muslim organization: You understand that this is not just "talking" to religious people. This is utter sanction of islam and religion. Nowhere in his speech, does Kelley adress the evils of religion itself, the evils of mysticism. And his last quote which i wanted to separate: This i unadulterated libertarianism. Its not just kind of libertarian, it is 100% what libertarianism is about. It doesnt matter why you support human life, happiness and freedom, and you can be of "any creed or philosophy", just as long as you support "freedom". Really, have you been really aware of what kind of person Kelley is, and what he thinks is applicable with Objectivism, or do you really respect him after reading this....
  13. No, because you do not promote these ideas.
  14. Thats a bit out of context. I dont think there is anyone here who judges their neighbor who introduces himself "Hi, my name is Todd. I just moved next door, and i'm a libertarian" as equally evil as a dictator. Noone here is objecting to the fact that there are degrees of evil, what we are objecting to the fact that Kelley thinks that only actions should be judged, not the ideas that led to those actions. If your libertarian neighbor turns out to be intelligent, but still a subjectivist an a pacifist who thinks the US should not defend themselves, he most definitely is evil, and not just a little. Well, kind of, if he is somewhat young, disinterested in ideas and hasnt just thought of things all that much. If he is a 40-year old social worker with a college degree, then he most definitely is not innocent. This must be the most absurd statement ever. Obviously we can debate him if we want to convice the listeners, but that doesnt mean that we shouldnt condemn him. Actually, that is the first thing you should do, and make it damn sure that you are there not to "learn his point of view", but to show others that it is evil. You have a cartoon/comic book version of evil, that doesnt exist in the world. Evil people are not the ones who sit in their lairs rubbing their hands actively thinking "i am so evil, all i want is destruction, i want to kill as much as possible". Sure, there are sociopaths, but in general that is just a caricatyre of something that doesnt exist. It is their intentional evasion of reality that makes them evil, not the fact that they "openly" admit to themselves that all they want is concentration camps and gulags. Your theory of evil, would actually make Jim Jones less evil than the people who killed themselves and their babies at Jonestown. Yes there are degrees of evil, and it would most definitely be lazy to say that everyone who doesnt support ARI is evil, but when there actually are no people who claim that, your statement is absurd. No one disagrees with the degrees of evil part, but with the indefinite suspension of judgement and only judging actions, not ideas. We can have the gay debate somewhere else, but whatever stance you have, that statement about gays was an application(either wrong or false) by Ayn Rand of her philosophy, not a principle of her philosophy. The fact whether Ayn Rand had or did not have wrong information about the nature of homosexuality, does not make Objectivism an open system. Whether Rand was wrong about gays, women, evolution etc. does not change her philosophy, whether ideas should be separated from action morally, does. It's like saying that we can make Aristotle's philosophy "open", and include the Theory of Forms into Aristotle's philosophy, because Aristotle thought the world was flat. And somewhere you asked whether i was evil, before i was an objectivist, and the answer in my case is yes. I did some serious evasion back in the day, where i ran into problems with my thinking and just shrugged them off. Some others here may have done the same, some others may have not. But i have no problem in admitting that i was evil.
  15. This is the thing that every socialist, past or present, communist or liberal, gets wrong. They forget that there are two parties involved. If the worker didnt have the capitalist, there would be no production. If the capitalist didnt have the worker, there would be no production. If the capitalist makes a deal with the worker that the capitalist provides the equipment and infrastructure for the production, and the worker does the manual labour for a certain agreed upon compensation, then why should the capitalist get nothing from this? Also, they dont understand that both the capitalist and the worker makes a "profit", even though the workers profit is called "wage". The worker exchanged his labour for the wage, and the "sum left over" in this case, is the profit the worker made. The "sum left over" for the capitalist, is the thing that Marx called profit. But both are essentially the same thing, even if one is called profit, and the other wage. If we applied Marx in reality: The person who presses the recording button and the person who reads the novel, while making an audiobook, should get all the revenue from the sales of the audiobook, while the author who wrote the novel thats being read, and the publisher/distributor that provided the studio, the audio recorder + the marketing and sales of the audionovel should get nothing. Because recording studios, novels, audio recorders and marketing/sales strategies just exist naturally in nature independent of human action, and thus it is exploitative that the novelist and distributor get anything....
  16. I don't think anyone is saying that your average democratic neighbor is as evil as Stalin. That democratic neighbor could just be a "habitual" democrat, a very a-political person who just strolls through life, voting democrat out of habit, not too interested in principles and ideas. But if this democrat is actually interested in ideas, and principles, and actually understands them, and is openly promoting these falsehoods, then he is just as evil as the person who makes the logical leap of putting these ideas into action. Because "democrat" dont actually have a homogenous "ideology" its difficult to say who is and who isnt as evil as Stalin, but the marxist professor that Kelley gives as an example most definitely is. And about Kant. An intelligent person whose lifes work is the destruction of the human mind, is responsible for the people who take his ideas into action, no matter whether Kant himself was nice to kittens and always greeted his neighbors. Just like David Duke is as or even more evil as the racists lynching and killing non-white people, even though he himself may be a civilized person. Also: Yes, that is true, if you show us the 1% where Ayn Rand and Peikoff are wrong. Usually this argument is just thrown out there because people expect by default that no single person could have been correct about everything. They never require proof, they just state it as if it were true by default that even the best ones are just 99% correct.
  17. I think courage is shown especially in situations where you find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between two or more alternatives that all are "painful" to varying degrees, and you have the courage to "accept" reality and choose the right one. An example of this would be the hiker who cut his own arm off after he had a boulder fall on his arm and would have died otherwise. It took a lot of courage to actually face reality and understand that there is no way he can live with his arm. It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing in situations where your circumstances change, and you have to make decisions based on the current circumstance and not think about the circumstance that does not exist anymore. The hiker example is a very extreme example, and other more "every-day" examples would be the courage to understand that you cant spend like before after you lose your well paid job/livelihood, or the courage to be objective when a person you love does something immoral.
  18. You can create hypotheticals about dancers with self esteem and integrity who value their sexuality, and customers who arent watching them for arousal, but for artistic appreciation of her body, but this is just a rationalisation, an after the fact explanation to why one did something. It's like explaining that dogfighting fans are watching dogs kill each other to appreciate the beaty and instinctual behavior of canines, while getting a bigger appreciation of evolutionary processes that have eventually led to human beings. The reason people watch dogfighting, is because they seek thrills from mindless killing and suffering, and that is how dogfighting should be viewed. And to EC: the fact that she makes money has nothing to do with whether stripping is moral, and i remember other threads as well where you offer the fact that a person getting money from consentual services is relevant to whether the act is moral or not. Just like me running a dogfighting ring or writing astrology books may "make" me money, it has nothing to do with morality.
  19. Theres nothing special. The main idea was offering scholarships to people who show moral character and willingness to improve their lives, but whose situation of no fault of their own is such that it is nearly impossible to do that. I bolded the key parts, so that you dont reply to something i never said.
  20. I never argue these days with my friends. When someone says something idiotic, and expects an answer from me, i usually ask: "i disagree, so do you really want to talk about this topic, or were you just making a random observation" or something along those lines. Most people can utter political or moral statements just for the sake of idle conversation, and therefore its just better to move on to other subjects. A good example is if youre at a bar with your friends watching a football game, and he casually says: "athletes these days are overpaid, they are ripping off the fans", then a simple "i disagree" will suffice. If he stays on the subject, then you can ask whether he really wants to discuss the topic, but otherwise its pointless to ruin a night out with your friends watching football over a casual remark one of the makes. Obviously you shouldnt leave him the impression that you agree with him, however, but i've had enough experience of turning mindless casual comments from my friends into heated arguments, and there is absolutely no value in it if you otherwise like hanging out with your friends.
  21. Im getting a bit confused, whether there are two meanings of the word "right". In VoS, Rand writes: The first sentence makes no distinction between whether these rights are good or bad, it simply states that it defines and sanctions a man's freedom of action. This is how i define rights as well. The second sentence explains what that right should morally be. Rand also says: If she thought that all men "have" rights, she would have said "...the man whose right to the product of his effort wasnt protected, has no means....." but she uses the phrase "the man who has no right". Yet, she also says: Here she uses the word right, in the sense A.B used it. That men "have" rights on the basis of their identity. In "Textbook of Americanism" she says: Here again, she uses two different meanings. She says that a man has no right to his own life, if the government can violate it. She doesnt say "If you exist only because society permits you to exist—youre right to your own life is being violated." She says, "you have no right to your own life" If someone, who actually knows what they are talking about and not just "guessing", could clarify this to me, id be pleased.
  22. ummm....read what i wrote. I said i would offer moral africans scolarships to get into universities in the west, and that it would be valuable to you that these people were living in THE WEST, instead of the hellholes in africa. I wasnt talking about making africa free, but of bringing moral africans to live in the west.
  23. Well, it is true that QB's are sometimes given too much importance, but there's no dispute over the fact that it is clearly the most important position in football. Obviously you can win with a mediocre offense and a monster defense(the 2000 Ravens), but you cant really have a good offense without a good QB. I mean, QB is the only position where you can with almost full certainty before the season say which QB will not ever win a single super bowl(as a starter). There has been pretty much 1 such QB to win the SB, and that was Trent Dilfer with the 2000 Ravens, who probably had the best defense in NFL history. That cant be said about any other position. Id actually argue that running back is the most overhyped position. I dont mean the running game, consisting of good run blocking and good runners, but instead the importance that teams (used to) put on having that marquee back. The Vikings are a good example. No quarterback, no success. If they had a Tom Brady, or even an Eli Manning, they would be a real superbowl contender every year. With no such QB, they barely make .500, even with an Adrian Peterson.
  24. Also, what is funny is that there are fewer white americans than before playing in the majors also. When the obvious observation a rational person would have made is "there are fewer americans in the majors than before, due to the fact that talented central-american and asian players have entered the league in greater numbers than before", Sabathia only notices that there are fewer black americans, and calls this a "problem".
  25. I also really liked the Eagles draft. Maybe they should have taken one of the more less-risky TE's as Ingram has had some issues, but all in all i cant remember getting this many guys with that much potential. The funniest thing about the people who complain about the Maclin pick, is that he is too similar to Desean Jackson, as if that was a bad thing. I mean, defenses would be scared shitless if two quick small receivers who can run miles after the catch line up against them, and considering that McNabb always gets his yardage by these short dink und dunk passes it doesnt really sound too bad to have Maclin run miles after the catch just like Westbrook and Jackson. Also, Maclin just like Jackson doesnt seem to have that annoying wide receiver disorder, where they think they are the greatest before they have ever accomplished anything. I've never discussed sports with Objectivists before, so im interested in what you think about this question: Who is the best NFC East quarterback? I personally would choose McNabb as no.1, and not just because im an Eagles fan. The reason being, despite him never winning the "big one", McNabb is the only one who doesnt consistantly lose games for his team. McNabb may not be clutch, but if my teams QB was Tony Romo i would go crazy. It is actually impossible to win with Romo, no matter how good he may look from time to time. Obviously you could make a case for Eli Manning, as he has a superbowl, but last year wasnt good for him, and he really benefits from having a great o-line. This being said, i think 2009 is the year to put up or shut up for McNabb. He now has his o-line, with the Peters and Stacey Andrews acquisitions, and he has new weapons in Maclin, McCoy and even possibly Ingram.
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