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Everything posted by JJJJ

  1. Kind of both. Officially swedish, but im more fluent in finnish. The word boil, occured to me about 2 hours after i wrote that post, but i didnt bother to come back and edit it. In swedish, and i guess in norwegian too, it can be confusing as "koka" means both boiling and cooking. In finnish, "to cook" is "keittää" and "boil" is "kiehua", but because swedish and english are both germanic languages, i often may use swedish expressions and translate them directly into english, because they seem to fit, even if they really dont....
  2. I found one example of a christian that is probably 10000x times more likely to "convert" to O'ism, than your average relativist atheist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWDRBAMwyZ8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPyd5wopAO4...;watch_response http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3qmya9iR9o and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obD-A2v0rw0 In the last video he commits a couple of the logical fallacies he is trying to argue against in the first three, but this person clearly has some interest in objective reality, even though that may seem quite odd, considering what he is proposing. I sent him a lengthy PM on youtube explaining how the axiom of god does not exist, and how it tries to defy the axiom of existence, and the law of identity while trying to take them for granted at the same time. At least i understand his axiom of god, as "there exists an entity that created existence, the very thing, the concepts "entity" and "create" rely on in the first place". There is obviously a danger that he just uses "fancy talk" in order to sound coherent, and that he actually hasnt done much thinking. Still, its interesting to see what he answers..... Also, this guy is a great example of why it isnt enough to simply "not believe in a god" to be an atheist, and if all religious people were like this guy, they could easily refute Dawkins idiotic theory of "probabilities" and "level 6" atheism........
  3. too bad there's not much of that america left.......
  4. Ray Gold is clearly an operative of the governement faction that supports bailouts for big banks and insurance companies, and i have proof!!! There are several links to the CIA and the British government as well! Yes, you heard me, the CIA!!! The truth must come out!!! In his profile, he has mentioned he is from the country of Albania. The mainstream media hasnt picked up on this, but this is no accident!!!!!! http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showuser=5177 Now look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_activities_in_Albania Now who is Frank Wisner? According to wikipedia, he was head of Office of Strategic Services operations in southeastern Europe at the end of World War II, and the head of the Directorate of Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency during the 1950s. So he clearly was a high ranking man inside the US government. Well, what does this have to do with bailouts, you ask? THIS!!!! Frank has a son, Frank G. Wisner, and look at what he currently does!!! Also, in the same article it says, that he has a background at the State Department, and he had links to Enron as well. Now what does this have to do with british intelligence? Well, what is the most popular activity in Britain? Soccer! What is the most popular soccer team? Manchester United. Who is Manchester United's main sponsor: AIG Manchester United is also owned by an american businessman, with links to the Bush family: Malcolm Glazer The facts: x troll names Albania as his home country in his profile, in the midst of the financial "crisis" x The son of a CIA man that operated in Albania alongside British Intelligence, is currently the Vice Chairman of AIG, a company that just happened to be bailed out by the government. x This same son, has previously worked for the State Department, so he must have made several connections in Washington. x AIG is the main sponsor of britains most popular soccer team, that is owned by an american businessman with links to the Bush family Open your eyes people!! "Ray Gold" is clearly just an alias, and he was directly sent by Frank G. Wisner to infiltrate this forum, in order to disrupt our efforts to expose the government, so he can live a "fat cat" life with taxpayers dollars. PROOF!!!!!
  5. Okay, I hope this isnt going to be too much of an incoherent stream of conciousness, but here goes. I just watched a documentary about Oliver the Chimp, and even if he turned out not to be a chimp-human hybrid, it got me thinking...... When comparing chimpanzees and some simple organisms it is easy to see that chimpanzees are the best the non-human animal world has to offer in terms of being close to having the capacity to reason, volition and self-awareness. It is difficult to outright dismiss that chimpanzees have none of these capacities, but still they clearly dont. There is obviously a trap a human can fall into, and simply think that chimps are smart because they look so much like us, and therefore our brains make them appear human-like, when they are not. I hope im not falling into this trap. So, the question is. Is acquiring self-awareness, reason and volition comparable to cooking water, as in, everything under 100 degrees Celsius is not cooking, and once it reaches that "threshold" of 100 degrees, it is. I mean, water cant be partially cooking, and is the same true with being self-aware and having the capacity of reason and volition. That there is one single "singularity" that an entity needs to reach, and once that singularity is reached, he has the capacity of reason and volition. Or is it, that someone can have the capacity to have partial reason, or partial volition, and that there really is no defining singular point where following ones instincts completely automatically changes into using ones capacity of reason, and being aware of this fact while doing it. When looking at videos of chimps on YouTube, it is almost like looking at retarded humans. It is like you can see the chimp somehow trying to "think", but not quite being able to. For all of you who have experienced lucid dreams(when you are aware of the fact you are dreaming), you can compare it with trying to stay in this aware state. I have had several lucid dreams, and most of them are such where i am somewhat aware, but yet not fully, and i keep slipping between this non-aware and semi-aware state. I know this is a stretch, but could chimpanzees, and our common pre-human ancestors, be permanently in such semi-aware states, where they are almost able to "put 2 and 2 together" and connect the dots, but not quite being able to. Because it is very very hard, for anyone who has ever seen real chimpanzees, and seen videos of them, to say that they are just following their instincts 100%. And i dont mean because i've seen videos of someone dressing up a chimp in human clothes, and made him do human things for some circus acts.
  6. This is pretty much how i see it, and i remember uttering something similar in the topic whether running a gambling establishment is moral. Consider these examples: 1) I become a tele-evangelist, and start preaching lies as truth to vulnerable, irrational people. I start writing books, going on tours around the world, and making a lot of money by lying to people. This is clearly immoral, as im basing my livelyhood on other people being irrational 2) I am an expert in kitchen knives, and start up a store selling them. My customers mainly consist of people who want to slice their bread or filé their fish more efficiently, but the occasional nutjob will buy my knives to stab his children. There is really no way of me distinguishing between who is who, so i sell to everyone who wants to buy one. Moral, because i have no knowledge of who will stab their children and who will just slice their bread. 3) I am a pharmacist, and my customers mainly consist of people who want cures to their diseases and ailments. There will also be people who want to get high on these drugs. If i see a person that acts suspicious, and behaves erratically, i will not sell a strong drug to him without a prescription, and not only for the reasons that i want to uphold my stores reputation, or that i fear that he may hurt someone i love after getting high on that drug. The reason i will not sell, is because i do not want to knowingly do business with irrational people, and i do not want to get monetary "benefits" from such a transaction. However, there is no need to start doing background checks, and refuse respectable looking clients to buy whatever they want even without a prescription, but i think i would tell my employees not to do business knowingly with junkies. 4) Whatever profession that has no irrational customers So, example 1 is a business where i base my whole business on the irrationality of others. There are more or less no rational customers of my books, and the only exception is maybe the ones buying my books to refute my nonsense. Example 2 is a business where i will have some irrational customers, but there is no way of distinguishing between them and the majority of my customers that are rational. Example 3 is a business where i will have rational and irrational customers, but i do have some way of diagnosing the two. Example 4 is a theoretical business where all my customers are rational. I think that the moral way is to not take any efforts that cause more harm to you than good, by refusing to sell to people who will use my products for irrational uses. By this i mean things like requiring prescriptions if you are a pharmacist, or requiring mental health statements from knife buyers. But if you can distinguish between the irrationals and the rationals then you should refuse to do business with the ones who will use your product for irrational uses. Obviously this doesnt mean that you shouldnt do business with irrational people, and it just means that you shouldnt do business with people who do business with you for irrational reasons. Renting an apartment to a person who pays for it with welfare is not immoral, but selling your legal services to a person who wants advice on how to get welfare is.
  7. Well, people don't generally talk about what would happen if every human being was an altruist. In the lifeboat with two altruists, Peter and Michael, it would go like this: Peter would first kill himself so that Michael could be rescued. Michael would keep himself alive, until the moment he would see a ship in the horizon. Once the ship came closer, and tried to pick him out of the water, he would try to inform the ship either by shouting or by hand signals, that Peter is dead, and that there are no other survivors, so that the boats crew doesn't have to waste their lives searching for survivors. Right after this, Michael would kill himself, so the boat's crew wouldn't have to spend their resources to pick him out of the water.
  8. Yeah, i have grown out of watching racing as well, but I do understand if car enthusiasts and people interested in mechanics likes to watch that. I used to watch Formula 1 mainly for "patriotic" reasons, as im from Finland, and there are and historically have been some succesful drivers from Finland in F1. Once i grew out of rooting for idiots simply because they shared a passport with me, there was no longer any point in watching. I do watch the Monte Carlo race though, because its so different from the other races, due to it's setting in the middle of such a beatiful city by the sea.
  9. As i said, i dont think that everything that is banned today should be banned. However, the fact that someone gets an edge athletically out of it, should not be the basis of whether a person should take that drug or not. If a person understands the risks vs. the benefits, and still values the benefit of being really good at an athletic activity, more than he values his quality of life, then i wouldn't call that person rational. It's not just about "it's every athletes choice", even though legally that should be the case. We are now discussing what drugs governing bodies of different sports and leagues should allow their participants to take, rationally. Also, the admiration of the athlete would become an admiration of the physician, and the reason for watching sports would disappear, at least for me. Because what are the rational reasons for 1) participating in sports, and 2) watching people participate in sports? The answer to question 1 is not to "win in the event at all costs", but to achieve your rational values. I wouldn't call becoming impotent and psychologically unstable for the sake of being competitive all that rational. Question 2, about why a rational man watches other people participate in sporting events, is the admiration of the achievements of the athletes. It's a bit like "loving the good, for being the good". It's not about watching some animal competitive drive, but watching the achievements, and the admiration of the achievements, of rational men. There is no, or little value watching person A be faster than person B in itself. If person A runs the 100m in 9,55 and dies two years later of a heart-attack instead of running the 100, instead of running the 100m in 9,83 and achieving his rational values, i choose admiring the latter. Now you may say that i am oversimplyfying the topic, and that to make the connection between all currently banned substrances and dying of a heart attack two years later, is creating a straw man. But it is not a straw man, as you clearly said: Now, if you meant something else with the word "edge", than "becoming better at his athletic activity", then i would like to hear it, but if not, then my point applies. If we take your statement as the guiding principle of how an athlete should act, then that principle includes taking drugs that have serious adverse effects, for the sake of becoming better at your sport for a few years. I don't think that is really a principle based on rationality, because first we have to deal with why a rational person would want to become an athlete in the first place. Just like the guiding principle of college tests shouldnt be "anything that makes the student turn in a test with the more correct answers should be encouraged not banned", as that disregards the reason why a rational person attends college, and what the rational values are a person can achieve by attending a college. It is not for getting the correct letter on your tests and papers in itself that matters, so if i plagiarize someone elses essay and switch the words around a bit, there is no value in getting the possible A from that paper, no matter if i get caught or not. In the same vein, there is no value in simply being as fast as possible in running the 100m, and it depends heavily on why and how you achieved it. If you think that a rational person should sacrifice his future quality of life for the sake of being better at running against other similar people, then im surprised.
  10. It has nothing to do with "if everyone violated everyones rights then......" or "on average it is good for me to respect other peoples rights" or "if i scratch your back you scratch mine" type of explanations. The reason for respecting other peoples rights is based on your purpose in life, your happiness. Being a "second-hander" has grave psychological effects on a persons mind, and even if i could "survive" by stealing and living off others, it would not be living as a human being, and it would be detrimental to a rational mans purpose, happiness. In other words, by being a "second-hander", you deny yourself the possibility of being happy. The evidence is quite clear for this as well. All you need to do is look at people living on welfare as their sole basis of income or children of wealthy parents that do nothing productive with their own lives. I can guarantee you, you will not find one single happy person in the world among these groups, because they have made themselves second-handers and denied the possibility of being happy. Even if being rational doesnt guarantee happiness, being a second-hander guarantees misery(in the sense of the state of mind, not necessarily material wealth).
  11. The question that needs to be asked, is what do the governing bodies want to promote. Do they want to promote an industry that teaches the values of human achievement through rational means, that are consistant with living a happy prosperous life on this planet, or do they want to promote an industry that teaches the anti-values of disregarding reality and risk dying at age 40, so you can mindlessly beat the living sh*t out of your opponent for a couple of years while getting hooked on drugs in the process. Im not saying that everything that is banned today, belongs in the latter category, but when you make a claim like "everything should be encouraged", it is not really consistant with Objectivism. To encourage people to take the risk of dying at 40 and becoming a junkie for the sake of "getting an edge" for the sake of competition, is undermining the rational basis for participating in sports in the first place. There is no value in simply being better at a physical activity than someone else, and to risk your life and your health for this is in no way rational. It's comparable to using speed to study for school. Sure, you may get better grades, but that is undermining the reason why a rational person wants good grades in the first place. Not simply for the sake of getting good grades, but for what it means in "the long run" for achieving ones values. But if you want to advocate that people should value a few good years of athletic "achievement" for the cost of becoming an impotent, suicidal drug-addict who is lucky to reach the age of 50, then so be it, but i don't know what the value in that is.....
  12. JJJJ

    God exists

    Even as it is true that the one making the claim has to provide the proof for his claim, the "existence" of a god(in the theist sense) is fundamentally a different question, and it doesnt require us coming this far in the argument. Russell's Teapot, while a good example of arbitrary statements that "can't" and don't need to be disproven, is still something that is in the realm of possibility and is not a good comparison to the statement of "god exists". We know teapots exists, we know that the physical space exists between Mars and the Earth, and the arbitrary part comes in only at this moment, where no proof is provided that a teapot is in that space. However, as far as i understand it, there is nothing that makes it 100% physically impossible for a teapot to orbit the sun for some period of time. In essence, the example of the Celestial Teapot is just an arbitrary statement with no basis in reality. The onus of proof lies with the one claiming this argument to be true, and even if there are no telescopes or other instruments available for us to use to verify this statement, we can say: The space between Mars and the Earth exists. China teapots exist. Whatever our instruments are, the question "Does an object with certain characteristics, that we call a teapot, physically vacate the space between the 3rd and 4th closest planets orbiting the star we call the Sun?" has no inner contradictions, and as a question, it is completely valid. This is not the case with the existence of a God, of an "ultimate creator". As we know, concepts are hierarchical, and some concepts rely on other concepts, and without the correct identification of this, gramatically correct "questions" can be made, without them making any logical sense. And this is the way the "existence" of a God should be fought. Not by the means of making arbitrary examples of our own, that are enormously different fundamentally, but by showing the grand theft of concepts that occurs when asking such a question in the first place. Absolutely every concept we have, is reliant on Existence exists and A=A, and the question "Is there a God", is logically contradictory, as it uses concepts to prove the existence of something that would make the whole concept of proof and existence redundant. The word proof has no meaning to an "entity" that doesnt "adhere" to A=A and existence exists, and even the use of the words entity and adhere in this sentence is difficult, as I myself have to commit logical fallacies to even put my statement into words. No matter how you try to formulate it, it is impossible to make a non-contradictory statement of non-existant entities existing, as the whole concept of a "non-contradictory statement" relies on the A=A and existence exists. Therefore it is unnecessary, but more importantly, impossible, to even arrive at the stage where the question "Is there a God?" becomes relevant. It is not a case of "your statement is arbitrary. Prove it" or "we dont have the technology to answer that question". It is an idea that contradicts itself on a very fundamental level, and it can't be even called a "question". Obviously this is obvious to all Objectivists, but sadly not to all atheists. I can't put into words the disappointment and even anger I experienced, as I read Richard Dawkins "God Delusion", and saw his pathetic explanation of probabilities. I was honestly fuming with anger, after hearing rave reviews of the book, when I saw him call himself a "level 6" atheist, where "level 7" is the "kind of atheist" that is 100% sure that there is no God. Obviously, the "level 7 kind of atheist", is not a "kind" of atheist, but simply an atheist. What Dawkins is, is an agnostic, no matter if he isn't at the 50-50 mark. Even if he is at the 99,999999999999999999^50000M % mark, he is still not an atheist. Now, if you claim that you believe in some superhuman, but not supernatural, "God", that is a physical being, living in the universe, that just created humans, then it is comparable to the Celestial Teapot. However, apart from the ancient Greek(and Roman) religions where the gods were just some mighty beings living on mountains, this is not what God refers to, in traditional language. Obviously those types of entities don't exist either, but the question at least is valid, and in this case the idea of "onus of proof" and "there is no evidence" applies. The existance of those entities, have to be proven for them to become existants, but more importantly they are a question that can be proven, and the only thing needed is to provide the physical evidence. In the absence of said evidence, an honest person has to conclude, that those entities do not exist. This is the exact reason i dont feel all that optimistic about the spread of "atheism". Obviously it is preferable to be a Dawkins type agnostic compared to a muslim fundamentalist, but this is such a fundamental disagreement between the true atheist stance, and the "level 6" stance, that it has to be resolved before we can be said to both belong in the same group.....
  13. I was a libertarian for many years, and always just thought of O'ists as "one of the gang", but had never made any effort to read what was so distinctive about it. Then, one of my former libertarian friends became an Objectivist at some point, and after a long time of him questoning the basis of my libertarian ideas, it finally clicked. I still hadn't really read anything about Objectivism, at that point, but I kind of "discovered" Objectivism myself from the very basic questions he posed me. Only after that, did i read VOS, and after that I have been "hooked". I have to mention, that in Finland, there really are very few really weird libertarians, so the ones calling themselves libertarian in Finland, will most likely have had to make some sort of philosophical thinking before becoming a libertarian. In the US, where the de facto difference between the small government republicans and libertarians is so small, it is possible for someone to become a libertarian with absolutely no philosophical thinking, and just as a result of "exposure". In Finland however, there are no major political parties or movements even close to libertarian politics, and freedom is not a word often used in politics, so for someone to reach the conclusion that non-agression is a good principle in government and politics, means that that person most likely has had to make some philosophical thinking before reaching that assumption. There is also the fact that the term "classical liberal" is also in use in Finland, which encompasses most of the ones called "utilitarian libertarians" in the US, so most of the minarchistic libertarians in Finland are of the more rational side of the wide libertarian spectrum. Most of the people i knew were egoists, and even though philosophy wasn't a topic of discussion that often, most of them had to be semi-rational. Most had quite rational views on proper government foreign policy, multiculturalism, religion etc. and there are no "nazi white power libertarians" or "god-given rights libertarians" over here....
  14. One reason, that I forgot to mention earlier, is that I think that many people reject Objectivism, is because they misunderstand its "absolutism". When you tell to someones face that their immoral because they are mindlessly gambling away their money, they will reject it, because they only have 2 ways they know, how to deal with such a statement: 1) The religious one: If gambling is immoral, then I will surely burn in hell, but I dont want to do all that crap that comes with religion, or 2) The altruist one: How can i be immoral, i am not hurting anyone with my gambling. Its all my own money. How can he say that im harming someone else. People need to be explained the relation between being moral and being happy, between being moral and seeing the positive effects it has on ones own existence if one hopes that the other person will understand why he is accused of immorality. Morality, as a concept, is so gravely misused by people, that they need to first understand what it refers to, before they are accused of being immoral. Also, I like to tell people I "accuse" of immorality, that being immoral is not the "end of the world". All you need to do, is to become moral. There are no burning flames of hell that awaits you after you die, for that affair you had or the money you squandered away. All you need to do, is be honest with who you are, and where you are, and change your ways and live a lifestyle that is consistant with being a prosperous, happy human being. You dont need to go to church and worship any imaginary entities, or feel guilt over not donating your money to Africa or adopting a chinese baby. And more importantly, you shouldn't. People in general are not all that familiar with the exact meanings of philosophical consepts, and immorality is either seen a religious term, or just as some subjective preference that vary from people to people, and that doesnt really mean anything. So these terms need to be made clear, before starting to use "big words" like morality......
  15. I know that the US and "european" sports systems are a bit different, but at least in Finland it's really common to have good players moved up to play against older players. At least in soccer and hockey, that is the case, and when i played hockey as a kid, i remember our team having two guys who were 2 years younger than the rest of us(one of them plays in the finnish pro-league today).
  16. It sounds so foreign to me that telling your parents of your atheism is such a big deal. Being raised by atheists in a country where religion(except the religion of social democracy ) isnt that big of a deal probably does that to you. In Finland a comparable taboo I can think of is if a man decides not to do military service and instead chooses the option of "civil service". I went to the military, due to it being a shorter option, but there are loads of people who choose military service instead of civil service due to the pressure they get from their father and grandfather. The choice of civil service is the equivalent of saying, "im a gay hippie who loves communism and wants Finland to be a part of Russia" according to many "traditional" finnish men........
  17. I recently read a book by Brooks Brown called "No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine High School". Brown was a friend of the killers, and was a suspected by the police in the beginning, but he did not have anything to do with the shootings. The interesting part when reading it, was that he referenced Rand several times in the book, and even though he never used the O-word, he stated that he "liked the message" of AS, or something along the lines. There was even a mention of an english teacher taking away his copy of AS after a test, even as he had been given permission to read a book. The teacher said something along the lines of "i don't want her books read in my class". Now, obviously this is not that nice to hear, but after reading the book it became quite apparent that Mr. Brown is no Objectivist, and did not understand much of what he read. He just seemed like your typical libertarian slacker, without any sense of life, and he probably just liked Rand because it was "against the norm". Obviously the book wasnt about philosophy, but it was clear that his philosophy wasn't Objectivist, not even close. I remember one part where he discussed how the school was run by christians, and how they didn't like dissenting views. He then told about a christian girl(who was killed in the shootings), who he said wasn't like the other christians, because she was nice and she listened. All well and nice, but then this Brown guy says how they agreed on that "i live by my truths, and you live by yours", and how this was so great and that if all people in the world thought this way the world would be so much better. Now, I don't know what could be more of an antithesis to "liking the message of AS" I think there are loads of kids who "like" Rand, because her books are "non-mainstream" and they get misguided fuel for their "fight the establishment" ideas because they think Rand would have supported some nihilist goths who waste their lives smoking pot in some basements. Especially as a teenager i guess you can find whatever hidden meaning you want in about everything. I mean, most of the school shooters that end up going on random shooting sprees think that they are somehow promoting "natural selection". The finnish guy that shot up his high school last year said that he was going to speed up natural selection, or something..... Talk about understanding what natural selection is. It's like me saying that im going to "speed up" gravity by throwing someone down from the top of the Empire State Building. And especially as most school shooters dont even target the bullies but just shoot randomly, i can't see how anyone could even misunderstand Rand so much as to think it is the right thing to do.
  18. I've been watching a lot of documentaries about the universe, and in a lot of them I find an annoying reoccurring theme. The vastness of the universe is explained, and then the narrator/scientist says something like: "It really makes you feel insignificant when faced with the size of the universe" or "Our Earth is an insignificant little speck in the vast ocean of the universe". Also, in many debates about atheism vs. theism, there is an abundance of unprincipled "atheists" who oppose theism not because there is no evidence supporting theism, but because it puts human beings and the earth at the center of everything. Comments like "it is really arrogant to think that the earth is at the center of everything" are very common. As if some implied arrogance is the reason for not thinking the sun revolves around the earth, and not the fact that in reality, it isn't. The more cloud-headed wonderers of the world, simply state, "ahhh.....how small it makes me feel", and the hidden nihilists state "It really makes my existence and my daily life so irrelevant when thinking about the vastness of space....." Now, obviously I and the Earth are really small in size when compared with the size of the Universe, but why does it 99% of the time, produce some sort of feeling of insignificance in people? I have the theory that this outlook is directly related to the vicious error in philosophy that is so rampant today, altruism. As if significance somehow relates to what is signifigant to the universe, and as if the universe, or everything that exists, is somehow the ultimate everyone should value. That the more vast the universe is in size, and the more galaxies we see in the Hubble DeepField images, the more insignifigant our own existence somehow becomes? That my life becomes less and less signifigant, the more galaxies astronomers become aware of? It's the denial of the fact that it is your own life that to you, makes the word "signifigance" relevant in the first place. There is probably a logical fallacy that accurately describes this line of thinking, but if stated "my life is insignificant to me", i could see it as a stolen concept. There is no grand reason for this thread, and I just wanted to vent about this subject somewhere where i know people will understand me. But to give some "significance" to this thread, i could ask you, is my theory of linking this with altruism correct?
  19. i dont know if glynelewis is still out there, but i'd be very interested in knowing why it is "obvious" that slavery is wrong if it increases GDP, if GDP is the primary value? Is it just because you don't particularly like slavery, or is there some "objective" reason for why slavery shouldnt be used to achieve the primary value, GDP?
  20. Im fairly new to Objectivism myself, and "refuse" to call myself one yet, because I haven't yet fully integrated it in my own life. I am still in the process of reading other philosophers works, and only after I have a full understanding of what the philosophies O'ism "attacks" are about, can I honestly call myself a "true" Objectivist. I don't like when people talk about Rand's work on the basis of what they have heard from others, so therefore im going to read Kant, Hume, Plato etc. myself, to get the full view. However, after this brief introduction, I have became enough of an O'ist to accept the basic axioms, and the basic principles of Objectivism. Therefore I have found "succesful" ways of making people recognize the contradictions and "grey areas" their philosophies hold, and usually that is far more important, than to "teach" them what O'ism says about every topic imaginable. Usually when I debate someone, and we hit a "rough spot", I try to vigorously challenge my opponent to explain why he holds that view, and on what it is based. Quite often the opponent will struggle to find any sort of non-contradictory explanation, and after that it is extremely easy to pick apart his/her points and show where the contradictions lie. Actually....this was the way i was originally "converted" buy one of my friends...... Even though there has been some debate here about the value of "dumbing down", I find it quite useful. Not only because I myself am not that familiar with all the definitions, but moreso of the reason that simplifications and examples are quite good to show a person where his contradictions lie. In the case of people spouting stolen concepts like it was going out of style, I usually show their error by giving easy examples. In Finland we have this semi-famous paralyzed athlete(from the waist down) called Leo-Pekka Tähti, who has won some paralympic medals in the sport where they sprint with wheelchairs(i dont know the official name of the sport), and a few years ago he was somewhat of a household name. When someone doesn't understand why i oppose their stolen concepts, i tell them something like: "I heard Leo Tähti is a really fast runner" or "I heard Leo Tähti shoots an amazing free kick(soccer)". In other words "A person who can't move his legs, is very good at moving his legs to propel a ball forward or carry his body with high speeds". Then i show him how the concepts "run" and "free kick" depend on the concept of "use of legs", and that if there is no use of legs, there can't be "run" and "free kick". This is actually fairly succesful in making the person at least question his premises and notice his contradictions, and in my opinion there is nothing more important than that, in order to become an Objectivist. It's impossible to convert someone in a day, and for me it took months to notice all my contradictions, after some of them had been shown to me. The positive part is, that there is no need to rush anyone into anything, because the facts wont suddenly dissappear. As the quote says, that sometimes appears at the top of the page(roughly): "Reality is the thing that doesn't go away, when you stop believing in it". Of course it requires an honest effort by a person to rigorously challenge his own premises, and many will just give up. But the first and possibly only step required is to fight the contradictions and fuzzyness in other peoples philosophies. However, this part is important when debating someone: Dont let your opponent jump from one topic to another unrelated one over and over again. When you discuss a topic, stay on it until you have come to some sort of conclusion. If your opponent tells you "America is rich because of slavery", and you answer "Well, slavery has existed pretty much everywhere and everytime, and still exists in some parts of the world, and there is no correlation between wealth and use of slavery", then don't let him jump to something like "America just bombs everyone and steals their natural resources". Demand him to either accept that slavery is not the reason for the wealth of the US, or demand him to refute your claim. This is extremely important, because if you don't do this, no debate has taken place. If someone makes a claim that is countered, he has to either accept he was wrong, make a counterargument of his own, or explain that he isn't currently able to give you an answer, but that he will look into it and get back to you. So, stick with the topic, and force your opponent to do the same. Even if becoming an O'ist requires time and work, it isn't all that hard to make people at least somewhat rational.....
  21. Thanks for the answers.... Another thing about the english language I like, is that you have no word of your own for schadenfreude, being happy of someone elses misfortunes. In finnish the term "vahingonilo" and in swedish the term "skadeglädje" are used, and they mean the same thing as schadenfreude. Envy, hating the good for being the good, and the resulting schadenfreude when voting to steal their money, are the three major cornerstones of the finnish politics and culture, so it's not surprising that finnish is one of the languages that has a word for schadenfreude.
  22. Hi. Im fluent in finnish, swedish and fairly fluent in english, and have been thinking about this topic for a while. I've always liked the english phrase of "making" money, when discussing your salary/income, as it implies clearly that the money(the value) you make when working is actually "made" or created by you, and that you are not just some passive recipient of some already existing cake. In finnish, "making money" is not used, and usually when someone is talking casually about his salary, they use the term "i get x amount of euros in salary". It is an absolutely horrible term, and there is really no distinction between it and the terms used when discussing welfare benefits etc. A person on welfare will use the same term "i get....." as a person who actually produces..... In swedish, the term "earned" is used, and it's obviously better than the term "get", but still doesn't really convey the whole message. Im interested in if there are any other languages where the term "making money" is used? Im also interested in whether the term "making money" is used in the UK&Ireland, Australia etc. Im interested in seeing if there is any correlation between the economic systems and phrases used for income in different countries. I know there are people from around the world here, so a quick introduction of the situation in your language would be appreciated
  23. JJJJ

    Uh Oh Guys!

    damn.... I was so waiting for the "banana - you know what" connection.... btw.. it seems like ID'ers and 9/11 conspiracy theorists use the same line of reasoning: 1) Make assumption out of your ass 2) Decide to find "evidence" for your assumption 3) Find irrelevant snippets of facts from the first topic(shape of fruits, random quote from some arbitrary person) 4) Find a way to make a connection between no.3 and the thing you are trying to prove(intelligent design, 9/11 was an inside job) NOTE! The connection does NOT have to be in any way relevant! 5) Disregard absolutely everything that proves that your assumption is wrong 6) Repeat no.5 7) Confirm your assumption as true
  24. That proves that God has something to do with it! To be serious, i usually have at least 5 dreams / week i can recall when i wake up, and i remember a time a few years ago, when i had this odd streak of having really detailed and visual dreams for a couple of weeks straight. If i were a filmmaker or author, i would have had material for a couple of 2h films or 300 page novels. It was really odd, because many were of the sort, where i could wake up in the middle of the night, go to the bathroom and remember what i've dreamt, and once i got back to sleep i would just continue with the dream. I've had a few recurring dreams, the last few years, where i get a letter from my university telling me i have to return to high school for a year to complete some classes i apparently missed. Then, instantly im back at my high school.... I didnt really have any problems in high school, so i dont know where these dreams are coming from, but i see it quite often. Still, i asked this question from a couple of my friends, and noone had any similar experiences, so i thought id ask you: When i see dreams that are particularly bad, where something bad happens to me, i can consciously stop the dream, and wake up. Its a bit difficult to explain, but its like i decide that "no, this isnt real", and in that excact same instant, im already awake. I dont know if this is the same thing that happens with the deja vu effect, where your brain messes up the order of the event happening and the recollection, so it could just be that my brain thinks that i came up with the idea of "this isnt real" after i noticed i was awake, and that my mind just plays tricks on me....
  25. But that is exactly what i have given you. Not the decisions alone, but also the motivations behind them. As in, "i want to become an engineer, but due to the lack of self-esteem, courage and my nack for "rush-seeking" i squander my college years drinking and never graduate" versus "i want to become a ballet dancer, but my parents have instilled a sense of duty to the family heritage, and therefore i will apply to MIT and become an engineer like my father was even though engineering is not my passion" Both are irrational and immoral, but still different, and in reality these both types exist. Ideas and actions cant be differentiated, but i still would like to have some sort of good definition to what to call people in category 2. No. 3 and 4 are clearly altruists, but no.2 cant be called altruistic, as there is noone this person is sacrificing himself to.
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