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StrictlyLogical

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  1. Warning: The following is to be taken as poetic rather than literal... Religio - re connect or re-linking back Identifying the self with the universe, or the planet... is in the direction of mythical or religious thinking... because although you are in and of these things, you are not identical with them... being unseparated from them and indeed embedded in them.. it is a natural direction in which mystical thinking points... we are star stuff... made from elements formed in supernovae... in a literal "tree of life" billions of years old... each a node on an unbroken branch of ancestry and direct physical, chemical, biological causality ... the eyes, ears and minds of the Earth, the solar system... this is religion and myth... and so perhaps such is going too far. So too perhaps, identifying the self, the "I" with the whole person, an undivided individual, is mythical thinking. Those far flung parts of our physical bodies not under voluntary control even indirectly: secreting, pumping, and processing, just as the stars whirl, the planet spins, and the continents drift. So too, identifying the "I" and "self" with the body is going too far into myth and religion. So too even with identifying "I" with the whole of the brain and its doing, in identifying with the whole of its processes... where so much occurs autonomously, in the background, subconsciously, or in the depths of sleep. So much is unbidden and out of our conscious control that we should treat them as foreign as all the rest... lest we be mythologizing ourselves... and such would be going too far. Perhaps finally then we might hold onto the "I" as only that tiny portion of all that which is the first-person view of willed conscious experience... whose range of will is a feeble and fleeting "focus or not"... perhaps a rejection of anything mythical or anything religious is to identify only with that one little spark and its feeble range of direct causative power... And yet there is room for something more akin to mythologizing the self... perhaps... for that tiny spark can be the root cause of whole civilizations, and one day, cause continents or even planets to move ... and perhaps there also is room for a re-linking to those things with which any "I" participates and is enmeshed: in a complex relationship as literally as old as time and as wide as the universe... identifying the "I" and the "self" with the Objective experience of the nigh infinite whirling whole through but one of many of its utterly unique center points about which it all goes round and round and round.
  2. This question rears its head once again... and perhaps its root cause lies in what we intuitively conceive knowledge as consisting of... but again there seems to be a desire by many laypersons and contemplative persons, to have "philosophy" refer to more than the study or science of enlightenment or Cartesian knowledge, but to refer something wider, including ... for lack of better wording... all "knowledges" and "awarenesses" of all things which touch upon human experience. This thing, is the thing they think "philosophy" is or should be directed at... I tend to think philosophy is narrower... and although I vacillate from time to time... are those other "knowledges" and "awarenesses" touching upon our experience, properly specialized pursuits, or is philosophy more than the science of knowledge? IS the study of the nature of man more specialized... i.e. ARE ethics, and politics, although historically "branches" of philosophy properly specialized studies based on Sophia but not as such included in the ambit of the study of Her? I vacillate yet again...
  3. Here are a couple of good resources from qualified professionals which you could discuss with your members: http://www.nathanielbranden.com/ https://drhurd.com/ https://www.drkenner.com/
  4. It is always the case that in general your rights to action have a scope which far exceeds the scope of moral action... i.e. there will be countless ways in which you may choose to behave, which are well within your rights, but which are inimical to life, or otherwise inconsistent with your flourishing. It is simple to act within your rights, but not necessarily simple to act in view of your self-interest long term. Let's cover the easy ones first, from both a rights view and the moral view: 2) Rights: You do not have the right to imprison any peaceful innocent person. Just because you own the bars of a cage does not mean you can keep an innocent person in it. By blocking her vehicle with your "life" you unjustly prevent egress... i.e. you imprison her against her will. Morally: This is a huge can of worms... the acts here ignore the principles of rationality, independence, justice, pride, honesty, and integrity... ignoring these are all inimical to life and flourishing long range. IF you are in a relationship which causes you to take such action, the relationship and certainly you need to change. 7) Close your store anytime you wish. Choosing to lose a potential customer is not initiation of force. They do not have a right to trade with you, as trade is voluntary. Morally, it is incredibly stupid to bar a patron solely on the basis of skin color. Foregoing a profitable trade on the basis of irrational fear is inimical to life. 8) Inasmuch as your asset can quit anytime for any reason, you can fire your employee for any reason. Like 7, choosing not to deal with someone is not initiation of force. The employee employer relationship is a voluntary one. Morally, firing an asset is rather stupid unless there is a good reason. The following are very much within the philosophy of law because they deal with property rights to something in common. The air, the water, the view, the soundscape... all are unavoidably shared by neighbors. All have rights to them, but no one has complete ownership over any of them. When the use of any of these sufficiently disturbs the use of any of these by others with whom they are shared, there is a defacto attempt to convert what is shared into something which is only enjoyed by one party, i.e. it is an attempt to take full ownership, which is unjust in the context. That is why moderate use, which allows all to enjoy, is absolutely within your rights, but use which sufficiently interferes with others, becomes a more specialized question for the philosophy of law. 1) Absolutely within your rights if it is invisible, and silent, and you never let them know. Otherwise it interferes with their ability to peacefully enjoy their private property, their view, their soundscape, their tranquility, and so yes that would fall within the philosophy of law. Morally, seeking to "snoop" reveals some serious flaws of virtue (baring a necessity raised by evidence that there is some danger or threat posed by the neighbors which requires investigation) including independence, pride, justice, just to name a few. Finding in oneself a desire to spy is the perfect sign one should seek therapy. 3) You absolutely have the right to say whatever you wish when those words are expression of honestly held ideas. Stating a falsehood purposefully to mislead a person towards personal damage, be it shouting fire in a crowded theater or leading a blindfolded child at a birthday party away from the piniata and toward a rushing river... that falls outside of the absolute scope of free speech into providing negligent false information... again legal philosophy. Morally, you need help... a lot of help. 4) You absolutely have the right to mow your own lawn, if that is ALL you do... i.e. if your lawn-mower is silent. If you are simultaneously mowing your lawn WHILE polluting the soundscape with load noises which makes it impossible for others to sleep peacefully in their homes... then you have attempted to coopt the shared physical space, the soundscape, to yourself at the exclusion of others. Morally, you should realize that living peacefully with neighbors who don't wake you up when you sleep, requires being attentive to not waking them up when they sleep... not being an asshole to others is usually a rational choice which leads to peaceful flourishing. 5) Nudity can be societally problematic, the psychology of nakedness and sexuality are charged especially around adolescents, and some cultures purposefully raise children avoiding any adult nudity. Being naked is not a problem, pushing nakedness on others is. The views of houses and their spaces have physical constraints which lead sharing of lines of sight views etc. In order to share this resource reasonably, one should endeavor to use judiciously placed screens, ideally after talking to neighbors about what they do and do not want to see. Morally, it makes sense to talk to your neighbor, find that balance for the shared airspace and views to enable you both to enjoy your homes peacefully. 6) Yes, it is well within your right to kiss as long as the kiss is an innocent and natural expression of affection as part of independently authentically lived peaceful lives. If the act of kissing is not an authentic publicly appropriate peaceful act, but a show, purposefully directed at the neighbor, then you are no longer "kissing" as such, but pretending to have a kiss, a lie of a kiss, by going through the motions of a kiss (the same way that a lie is the mouthing of words which mean the opposite of what you actually think) in order to interfere with your neighbor's ability to live peacefully in their home. Morally, you should talk to your neighbor, allow them to get to know who you are and be respectful to each other. Although acting within your rights in this context without a care for your neighbor is not punishable by law, since long term flourishing is the goal and if it poises a risk to peaceful coexistence, it is not good for your life to be wholly inconsiderate. The moral course is to get to know them, humanize yourself and your love, and the problem may go away (you'll never know if you never try).
  5. There is a lot to unpack here. First we have to acknowledge that an image is subject to interpretation. The meaning of something viewed in the form of a communication has context... in what it is affixed to, by whom it is presented, and to whom it is presented, all play a role in what it represents. The star of David is NOT a hate symbol when displayed proudly by a Jewish person, but it is when applied to a Jewish person's clothing by a Nazi. The image itself is not objectively anything other than simply what it looks like... what it represents is contextual. A stereotype, to be recognized AS SUCH, requires the viewer to understand at least on some level that the representation is more than merely the concrete. A logo of a black man committing a criminal act is NOT a stereo type... (unless you are a white supremacist) it is a depiction of an individual committing a crime. Now in a specific context, perhaps on a pamphlet by a white supremacist organization, such a logo represents a vile stereotype. Here it is not merely a depiction of a criminal who has what is in reality an irrelevant characteristic for judgment but it centrally depicts a characteristic which is intended to be the irrational and tribal basis upon which to judge the person... namely race. A TV show with a student who excels at school is NOT depicting a stereo type if that student happens to be Asian. IT's a fact some people excel at school, and a fact that some people are Asian, and sometimes these overlap. It would be racist, or thinking through the racist lens, to AVOID portraying an Asian kid who excels at school. Something about the context has to be more than mere depiction of a concrete, it has to indicate... somehow, usually contextually, "and this normal for a person such as X", or "and this is to be expected". There needs to be something about the context to illustrate that the message to be communicated involves a sense of characterizing "the other" and that this typifies "them". [slight aside In a rare spark of genius, the importance of context is demonstrated well here: ] A stereotype, good or bad, must involve more than the image AS SUCH presented. As for whether positive racial stereotypes are bad... I do not think it can be said to be true as a blanket pronouncement. Self-believed traditional Western European stereotypes of white persons being civilized, intelligent, virtuous, etc. was not inimical to the flourishing of a white person striving to be the best he or she could be. The lack of such a positive stereotype applying to persons of ALL races .. is bad of course. When it comes to historical stereotypes, it is clear that in history certain people felt or thought certain things about people based in erroneous generalizations. These erroneous generalizations were exploited in communications, and yes some advertising. But what we need to remember is that people's thoughts about others and their generalizations change. Images lose their original meanings when what was communicated is no longer operative in the present day communicator nor in its recipient. Mammy stereotypes were racial, and would be racial today if used as communication between persons who are consciously aware of it.. but a so called image of a "Mammy" is not always in and of itself a stereotype... an image of a overweight woman of color does not always imply a slave/servant/nanny of history. An overweight woman of color should not give up her dream of becoming a chef just because of some old stereotype, and she should have no bones about plastering her image, AS a cook on her products. Slavery being abolished, Mammy's are just are not a thing, and to the extent than anyone in the vast majority of the population is actually AWARE of what Mammies were, they would know that honest images of them would in no way be a negative reflection on who they were or how they lived their lives nor any negative reflection on the population of persons who happen to have the same skin color. OF course such depiction would bring up the specter of slavery if the context were a strong enough indicator. SEEING Aunt Jemima today, however, does not communicate "Mammy" to the vast majority of the population, nor is it intended to invoke any nostalgia surrounding historical slavery. Aunt Jemima may have started out as a Mammy, but the modern brand was not communicated as such nor received as such by the vast majority of the population, both the brand and the public had evolved. It had become a brand in its own right, a symbol unto itself, not an instance of another symbol. My position is that as a brand Aunt Jemima may have started out as a Mammy but it had evolved into a friendly domestic face, that stood on its own, that was actually GOOD for race relations in the vast majority of the population.
  6. I read the article. People will see what they want. To give the context this is what I said: She was a cook for advertising purposes, as I have said, not a black person. The conceptual and subconscious content of the brand which is effective, is not about race, unless you want to imagine the general modern population as literally being white supremacist (consciously, subconsciously, whether they know it or not) getting a kick out of the fantasy of having a black-slave cook. This simply is NOT true, and I would suggest you stay away from the leftist identity politics Kool-aid for a while. The brand IS effective, from a sales and marketing point of view because she is identifiable as a cook, with a recognizable face, which is friendly to boot. Her race is irrelevant to the brand as it functions with regard to sales in the general public. Race is not an OPERATIVE part of the brand, it's merely a part of who the mascot is, like the fact that she has a mouth and two eyes.. Her race does NOT function to ridicule, degrade, reduce, her character as regards to her "esteem" in the minds of the overwhelming majority of those who buy products with her on the label. Moreover, she does not operate as a force to ridicule, degrade, reduce, black people in the world. If my son sees that bottle of syrup, while our family is having brunch with one of our black friends, there is ZERO, I mean literally ZERO negativity being caused by that label towards our friend in my son's mind. Were my son to grow up with Aunt Jemima, (which now he wont) the only result caused by it in his mind in adulthood towards black people, overweight people, and women... would be positive, nostalgic... and maybe a little bit sweet. A bottle of syrup does not and cannot serve to DEFINE all of the overweight population, all people of color, nor all women, and insofar as it does instill any preconceived notions... they are positive and friendly. Of course there are some white supremacists and some people of color who see the historical context more keenly, to the point that how they see it (or how people may have seen it many decades ago) becomes a reality for them: and they cannot see that the brand simply IS not operative, as racist, in the vast majority of the population. It is operative only in terms of trust and recognition. But people will see what they want... and that is the root of all the crazy out there now. We would do well to try to attenuate rather than amplify the crazy. We disagree. Avoid the arrogance of assuming I have not informed myself just because I disagree with you. The measure of someone else's being informed, is not to be gauged simply by the level with which you agree with them.
  7. Indeed it does. What a seriously funny and alarming fake piece of news... it points out a complete implausibility... it is satire of the highest order. The last person who'd persuade me, consciously or unconsciously, to buy or eat a condiment is a lawyer...LOL. And really, I'd be drawn to rice because of an engineering graduate student endorsement? It would be patently ABSURD and using black people in this context would be INCREDIBLY racist. Absurd: There is a reason why we do not see a cook or a baker's picture on plumbing or cleaning products... or a cleaner or a plumber's picture on cooking or baking products... there is sufficient relevant connection consciously and subconsciously to "trust" an endorsement from someone who is in the field of the product. Racist: There is no relevant connection whatever between the foods sold and lawyering or engineering, no tie in between syrup or rice and the character or aspirations of these fictional characters. Where the people matter, the content of their character, what they do, who they are, has no relevance no relation to the product whatever. Aunt Jemima was primarily a cook, and Uncle Ben was primarily a farmer, neither were primarily (for advertising purposes) black... The ONLY tie between these new mascots and the old products is the fact that they are black. Who these people are is being swept aside in irrelevancy. For all the waxing poetic about who these mascots are... their use to replace the old ones would be wholly race focused and racist. Satire of the highest order...
  8. I'm being absolutely serious and honest. I get the same feeling when I look at a box of lucky charms. It's not overwhelming but its there. Ya know, people in advertising have done studies... and there are reasons why smiling faces are put on labels... and they've probably known about that for like... decades if not over a century. Just my humble opinion. And I thought we'd be on the same page on this one. LOL
  9. Social media, mainstream media, and the concentration of power in big data are creating a crazy left-wing suppression of anything ... well sane. "Aunt Jemima" is no more. The syrup itself will not change and will be just as delicious, but it will be sold under a new logo and name. (By the way, if sales TANK, this might turn out to be a perfect example of how brand name recognition actually... duh... IS important) Now buying Aunt Jemima in the past never meant I endorsed the so-called racial stereo type... if anything I liked the idea of a friendly smiling person providing me with trusted delicious syrup... and that was that. I certainly don't care about the color, religion or occupation of The Quaker guy on my oatmeal box, the cream of wheat fellow, or Uncle Ben (these also may change... with the exception of possibly the white guy in the funny hat)... they do NOT represent to me or any consumer ANYTHING about politics, religion, or socioeconomics... they stand for what they appear to be... a familiar friendly face identifying a product I know, trust, and love... beckoning me to purchase or consume. If anything these faces (with one exception) increased visibility of smiling benevolent people of color in the pantries and tables of the homes of mainstream suburban white families. And now, they will disappear... to be replaced by what? (white smiling faces? or better yet the mug of a strong white woman who wouldn't stoop to "serve" you your syrup but is nonetheless humble enough to agree to glare at you from the bottle?) In any case, the products will not change, the syrup, the oatmeal, the cream of wheat, and the rice, will all be just as yummy, and the quality (assuming the "progressives" have not infiltrated the processing plants) should be just as good, but the absence of the friendly face I knew will be all too apparent... as will the knowledge that the "producers" are pandering to imagined problems screeched about in the Twitverse of clown world. The wallet is a very powerful tool, you trade for what is a higher value, but you also support individual players or actions within a complex interrelated economy, and affect, as with each purchase being a vote, the way the world is shaped on transaction at a time. So is it in your interest to taste the same quality of foodstuff you know and once were comforted by... or do you give a different producer a try.. one who has not become part of the circus? I think there are good arguments for both, but in the end it has to take into account the long term... and having a meal that tastes 5% better tomorrow, might not be worth losing your chance to vote with your wallet to live in a better world long range...
  10. Imagine what presence Rand's entire collection of works would be enjoying today if Rand were just as passionate, just as logical, but a style which was wholly benevolent, positive, encouraging, uplifting, and having little to none, of it s emphasis of using the negative, the ugly, the flawed, as its foil. Imagine replacing all of the acerbic, almost hyperbolic alarm, with a style conveying the same important substance, with smiling optimism, and untouchable inner peace, resolute and passionate. Imagine a body of work devoted only to what IS and should BE, without skipping a beat over what isn't or shouldn't or should never be. Imagine the benevolence principle incarnate, in a philosopher who is as passionate as Rand, as charismatic as Francisco, and as undefeatable as Galt... and as playful and light as... well we need to look to other authors for that... (one character that comes to mind is Tom Bombadil of the Lord of the Rings... even though I tend to dislike the character.. a bit of the twinkle in his eye would be the kind of ingredient needed here) and imagine that in the philosopher and throughout the works where would, where could we be now?
  11. I did reply with honesty. I'm saying that due to the nature of the religions in question, the specific characteristics, they should NOT just be clumped in with each other. Just because you choose to see things differently from me, or better put, not see any significant difference between the religions, (this is taken from the totality of your comments which tend to homogenize rather than differentiate), does not mean I am replying dishonestly... to get personal and claim I am dishonest because I don't see it the way you do is very condescending and, frankly inappropriate. We simply had an honest disagreement... until you made it personal.
  12. I'm no expert on theology, but the religions are different in their militarism, markedly, and MOST markedly by the blatantly irrationally pacifist teachings of the Christian's claimed son of God, Jesus... which only appeared in the new testament... to literally turn the cheek, and to love thy enemy. Those teachings are central to Christianity and are inflected throughout the religion and its institutions. You can talk about periods in history when geopolitics and power altered conduct of the institutions and many followers, but the religion itself IS unique in its emphasis on this, especially among the three major religions of the middle east, which have similar origins. The religions are simply not the same in their accent, flavor, or inflection... Christianity LEANS heavily toward the altruistic and pacifist direction and certain other religions (ask a cleric of the real jihads of today) observably do not lean as far, if at all, in that direction. They simply are not the same.
  13. An evangelical's saving of a potential "target" soul with ranting, and shouting "Jesus", and throwing holy water at him, with the occasional book thumping and convulsing while speaking in tongues or flames or flaming tongues or whatever (note... not literal fire), is hardly the same as shooting or suicide bombing innocent restaurant patrons, or flying airplanes through buildings filled with thousands of innocents.
  14. Boydstun... did you mean to link to the same thread twice? Thank you, your words resonate. In the series Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell says (and I am paraphrasing) the myths don't teach how to "change the system" but how to live in it as a human being. In Joe's context and study, Myths are metaphors which are true in specific senses, not in their denotation, but in their connation, true of something about being human and of our potentialities. I think Rand's stories, in particular when she "shows" rather than "tells", are metaphorical of the hero potential within us all, but a hero who embraces the vitality of one's own life and flourishing. Joe also says that living the best to one's potential is one of the best ways to save the world... "a vital life vitalizes". [PS: @dream_weaver: thank you!]
  15. When it comes down to it, people in power are not wholly irrational, not wholly blind to causation and reality, when they consider and decide the manner in which they will impose tyranny...
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