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Everything posted by tito

  1. Scotland is significantly to the left of the South of England. Without Scotland, we would not have had a socialist British government for a very, very long time. With the powers they do have, they tend to be more redistributive (making all university education 100% state funded), and more restrictive (banning the display of tobacco in shops, etc.).
  2. Morality is a difficult science. It isn't always immediately obvious what the right thing to do is. Furthermore, it creates a magic distinction between action and inaction. Consider the following two questions: 1) Is it moral to intervene in a suicide attempt 2) Is it moral to refrain from intervening in a suicide attempt The answer to both of these, by your formula, is no. Note that if this attitude was helpful, Dr. Peikoff would never answer "Yes" to any question that comes in the form: "Is it moral to…?"
  3. I assume the questioner refers to the CPL. Burgess Laughlin has a summary: http://aristotleadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2008/05/what-is-central-purpose-in-life.html
  4. If the time sheets are used to bill your clients, you're defrauding them. If it's your signature on the sheet, you might be responsible. If this badly affects the way they bill their clients, that sucks, but they'll just have to renegotiate that. If they are just some internal bureaucracy though, it doesn't matter. Although you still could be considered to be defrauding your boss if you can't verify the verbal OK they gave you. Sit down with whoever is in charge, explain your discomfort at the situation, and then ask for a written confirmation.
  5. Given the existence of the prostate as a biological source of sexual stimulation, can we therefore deduce that it is immoral not only to forgo gay sex, but to forgo being the receptive partner?
  6. They are hugely different. Houses and cities should be 100% privatised, the rules come from whoever owns the land. Ideally, the "City of New york" would be owned by some private entity (let's call it the "Corporation of New York") - this entity gets to set the rules. If you want to buy the city and change the rules, you are free to do so. The corporation can do anything it likes with the city, because it *owns* the city, or at least it has contractual authority over it. Nothing can happen without the consent of the person that owns the property. When the government passes a law, it is passing the law over property that it absolutely does not own. You have no opportunity to "buy the country" and change the way it is run, because the state doesn't actually own any of the land you are talking about. That's not to say you can do anything you want with your private property. A city couldn't, for example, decide to amputate the arms of its residents. The state's role is to ensure that private entities are dealing with each other properly, which means in a manner consistent with individual rights.
  7. I find it utterly inconceivable that a company such as Exxon wouldn't want to contribute generously to a properly limited government in the absence of taxation. Presumably, it wants the police and army to defend its assets.
  8. Hang on, so you think it's alright to hang socialists?
  9. Violating the rights of others is an example of self sacrifice, and that is why it is wrong.
  10. This isn't really true on any count. First: Marrying into wealth, or finding wealth by chance, or whatever is a fairy-tale both in the UK and the USA. This is why people play the lottery, both cultures have people that want to get rich quick without putting in the hard work. However, just like in the USA many others aspire to entrepreneurialism. Second: The appeal of the royals is celebrity, that is about it. It's American Idol plus flags. It doesn't stem from a culture of servitude and class, it's just an anachronism. Third: The UK is a much more secular society than the USA. Before I went to university I had never met a religious person, now I am at university I know 4 or 5. Although I was christened, my parents christened me while they were both atheists. It isn't really socially acceptable to believe in a God that created the universe and demands adherence to biblical law. People here tend to find religious people something between amusing and repulsive. To support abortion bans, restrictions on gay marriage, creationism in education or abstinence-only education (none of these things exist here) is political and social suicide. The reason we have the pomp and ceremony around weddings and churches is the same reason we have it for the royals: silly traditions. In summary: The UK is less religious than the USA, and nobody here believes in social class, divine right of kings, servitude of the plebs or anything like that. However, we do cling to institutions that surround these things, such as the churches and the monarch - but only because of a love of tradition and quaintness. It is more Disney World than Charles First. This is a valid criticism of the UK, but the ones you suggested are not. -Roberto Sarrionandia
  11. Facebook is my favourite way of finding articles, I have lots of friends who post good ones when they find them all the time. It's also probably the biggest single way people get in touch with me: most of my friends, and even professional contacts, don't know my email address. It's also the biggest way I publicise my own writing, whenever I write an article the vast majority of the hits come from Facebook. Isn't the telephone guilty of the same thing? Or even writing itself? Actually, you can organise your contacts into different lists and specify exactly who can see each piece of content. I don't do this though, because there's nothing about my personal life I'd be ashamed to admit to my most formal acquaintances. If they don't like me, I don't want them.
  12. The example of Jesus is a little misleading. It is one thing to say "I saw a man walk into the shop" - we know this is possible, indeed that it is likely given the nature of shops. However, when someone says "I saw Jesus was resurrected" it creates an internal conflict. This goes against our premise that resurrection is not something yet scientifically possible, and that magic does not exist, and we are forced to re-examine those premises. Our premise that magic does not exist is a complex one, and is deeply entwined with our metaphysics and our conceptual understanding of reality and observation. To take the example to its absurdity, what if a witness gave testimony "There is no such thing a sa witness testimony". Or, "Truth cannot be conferred by communication".
  13. That doesn't seem to be true, given that they are identified as a "people" from the time of Moses, unless the context of that word has changed. The jews as a race/ethnicity/religion debate has its root in a more fundamental one: what is ethnicity and race? It isn't clear cut, even between caucasians and Africans. Alexandria is in Africa, and leaders of racially motivated organisations are always getting embarrassed when an investigative journalist discovers their mixed ethnic heritage. Wherever we draw the line we are being arbitrary, there are infinite mixes of ethnicities which are, of course, derived from more infinite mixes. This is a concept like colour, it's not possible to draw the line between red and pink on a spectrum so we just accept some overlap between the two. A particular shade can identify itself as red, pink or reddish-pink and nobody would object, since identifying colour by name is a fuzzy, imprecise concept (that is, nonetheless, useful). Similarly, you should feel free to use the word "Jewish" if you want to describe your cultural background, or your genetic lineage, or your religion - but this doesn't exclude also describing yourself as Asian, African or Sikh. That said, it's important to avoid package dealing the concepts (since race has no bearing on religion or cultural background) - so just say exactly what you mean, and don't worry too much about the overlap of the concepts. So: "I am an atheist of Jewish heritage" seems to be perfectly acceptable.
  14. I can confirm that these laws do exist, much to the annoyance of property owners. It seems to be consensus opinion amongst intellectuals here (of course, I disagree) that squatters rights are an important part of property rights. The argument goes that all land in its past has been acquired illegitimately. For example, you may have bought land fair and square, from somebody who had it for generations, but somewhere down the line it was expropriated by a king or something - in fact, most land here would have been marked out under the feudal system. Given this, it is said that it is important to have certain release mechanisms which decrease the friction of land ownership. There are lots of books on it.
  15. No, it isn't a crime here. The UK has less censorship than the USA and less regulation of political speech. The only thing we do have that eats into freedom of speech is our insane libel system, where businesses can (and do) silence and sue people for discrediting their products - (the chiropractors vs Simon Singh thing shows how bad this is). Assange was arrested by UK police as part of an EU arrest warrant, on the charge of sexual molestation, not for releasing information. The court now has to decide whether there are any grounds to the claim, if there are he can be sent to Sweden to face their courts.
  16. I know a Subway "Sandwich Artist", and the problem is this. The things advertised aren't actual sandwiches, just fillings (one part of the sandwich). Each filling can come on one of 5 different breads. Some fillings, such as meatball, also have optional extras (such as parmesan and oregano). All sandwiches then have the option of cheese, and being toasted. Once toasted (or not) there is a choice of salad, and there is a huge choice. You can then choose the sauce you want on it, no matter how weird the combination is, and then salt and pepper. So the thing advertised is only 1/7th of the sandwich. But it makes very little difference, because most of their food tastes the same.
  17. The only place I've come across too much choice is Subway. You have to go through a damn interrogation to get a sandwich.
  18. It works like this: Person A is unsure of a personal decision Person A decides to ask for the advice of Person B, who he believes will be able to give him a good second opinion, or help him in his decision Person A receives the advice, learns a little and is happier than he would if he came to a bad decision without help Does helping you understand the process count as giving you an answer to a concrete?
  19. The context of the sort of society you live in is important too, since in the western world it really isn't difficult to make yourself look presentable. You can dress well on a budget with minimal effort.
  20. Inconsiderate, exploitative -- there are quite a few good words.
  21. This summary of her work is so woefully inaccurate that it makes me wonder if you have studied the text at all. In her book, Lierre Keith does a wonderful job of debunking vegan / vegetarian diets. The unfortunate part is that she does so on altruistic, nature-loving, gushy terms. She shows how veganism is irreconcilable with the desire to preserve nature, etc. Despite this, (and I'm halfway through the book) it is useful for showing the contradictions in those espousing an ethical stance on veganism.
  22. I have ordered books from Lulu before - with no problems. If that's any use.
  23. I do not agree with the premise (that advertisements set cultural norms). If an advertisement showed, for example, somebody going on a rampage with a knife - then drinking a can of coke, it wouldn't make coke *or* murder seem cool by association. The advertisement has to resonate with an audience to get its attention, and then present the product. It does not dictate, it follows. Advertisements are like Gail Wynand - seemingly incredibly powerful, until they try to disagree with the crowd. Furthermore, I'm not entirely sure women are degraded by adverts. I've never seen it. Axe (or Lynx, as its called here in the UK) has the theme that by smelling like their product, women will be magnetically drawn to you. Obviously this is a (comical) exaggeration, it's meant to be a little bit funny - while at the same time saying "This makes you more attractive" Obviously it would be stupid for the advertisement to depict a scenario where the man wears Axe/Lynx, meets a woman and they value each other immensely, and her perception of him is slightly improved by his scent, so they have sex. That would be ridiculous, it wouldn't sell the product at all. It might make a good novel or movie, or a aspirational real life scenario, but in these cases the scent would be irrelevant! We all know that smelling of the latest fragrance to come from the Axe/Lynx factory isn't the primary motivation when it comes to choosing a partner, and we all know that women aren't going to run to us like animals, throwing their clothes off, because we spray this stuff. The point is that the advertisement takes what is good about the product, and what may well be someone's motivation for buying it (a nicer scent to make yourself more attractive when finding a partner) and exaggerates it.
  24. Most children were educated by the government. Most journeys took place on government roads. These aren't justifications.
  25. "Civic life in Britain is predicated on the idea that everyone just about conceals his loathing of everyone else" Hahaha, this is so true.
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