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Everything posted by Jackethan

  1. I suppose in a state with no taxes there would be no way to illegally reside in the country, unless you didn't own where you lived. Point taken, no need for illegal immigration.
  2. If the constitution of the Free State limits government and protects individual rights, then a chimpanzee could run the country through a series of button presses illicited by lighted signals. In my opinion the function of a leader in an Objectivist society is to ensure on the case by case basis that individual rights are protected and the borders are kept safe from intrusion (Including illegal immigration -and- invasion) then the country will be fine on its own. Police and Army, that's all that's required. Perhaps another role of the leader may be to maintain diplomatic relations with other countries, but import and export could mostly be handled by corporations themselves. The only purpose of diplomacy would be to try and have like-minded allies in the case of a large scale invasion. Keep in mind I haven't had the ability to argue these points with anyone before so there may be flaws in my logic.
  3. Vast number of scientist paid by the UN to read a bunch of papers published by other scientists paid by the UN and come to a consensus (read a bunch of people agreeing on something which makes no sense ((religion))) that the Earth is getting a tad hotter, and it's definitely us. Let's listen to them, instead of the -larger- number of scientists, who actually studied this, as opposed to reading papers on it, and mostly agree that when you learned in Bio class that we all breathe out carbon dioxide, and it's really not that big of a deal. Also, the argument of global warming has existed for 40 years, but 40 years ago we blamed chlorofluorocarbons, which we recently found to be erroneous. These people aren't trying to do science, they're just looking for ways to try and prove that Global Warming is our fault, despite any evidence to the contrary.
  4. Jackethan

    Animal rights

    I'd like to post my opinion as a person who has considered animal rights and veganism. I will be trying to respond to many topics here and I do not know yet how to use quotes so I will attempt to make as much sense as possible. On the topic of soy protein. I am going to have to call you on using personal experience to dictate your reasoning behind the fallibility of anti-soy dieting. Simply because you are 22, you have mentioned that you were not born a vegan, and it would take many years for a specifically soy based diet to affect your body. I also would like to go into the scientific reasoning behind an anti-soy argument: In order to function our body needs particular amino acids. Amino acids come from proteins, yes, but proteins have only specific chains. Soy protein in particular does -not- contain the necessary protein to maintain the body in health. Essentially the required amino acids come from other animals. We need meat, just as we need vegetables, to maintain health. One of the theories on man's emergence from ape is that because early man discovered fire he was able to cook foods, releasing more nutrients in it. Cooked food requires less energy to digest thus because our bodies did not have to focus on the development of the digestive system we were able to develop larger brains. In effect, we need proteins from animals in order to have the reasoning brain we have. Now, onto the topic of animal rights and treatment. In effect my stance is that animals are not volitional, sentient beings, and humans are. Animals were quite capable of existence before we arrived on the scene, without sentience. Humans are not capable of existence without sentience and reason. In order for reason to exist one must obey simple laws of nature in regards to it. I cannot kill another creature which uses reason, and I will not allow another creature to kill me. In order for me to survive as a human, and an omnivore, I must consume plants and animals. Animals do not have rights, because their existence does not require them. None of this leads me to any logical conclusion involving creating mass extinctions. Would I eat an endangered species? No, not at all. It is not within the realm of rational self interest to make extinct any species of animal. We have multitudinous means of preventing animals from going completely extinct, and more than enough people willing to see that no animal does. Despite that there is no logical reason to hunt an animal to extinction, there are also reasons for us to wish to keep animals alive. Many medical breakthroughs come from the study of animals, their physiology, and their behaviors. We are not capable of predicting which animals will be of use to us in the future. That said, do I like fur coats? Yes. Killing is not a nice thing, no matter how it is done. Before I ate my Carl's Jr. hamburger, I realized that the cow was most likely held in a small pen being fed hormones and fillers until it was selected for butchering, at which point it was killed and then cut into many small pieces, its parts stripped of skin and fat and nearly every piece used to some productive end. This does not bother me at all, as a moral and rational human being, who loves the company of his dog named Atia, and cherishes every cat he's ever owned. Why not? Animals must be killed, animals must eat to survive, and I am quite certain that the spirit or soul of that cow is not angry at me for eating it, nor is every cow I meet going to think of me as a 'wretched beef eater'. They lack the ability to think, which is precisely what makes them incapable of having rights. I would not enjoy watching the cow get slaughtered, that is why I pay someone else to do it for me. In an emergency situation, if it was between dieing, or killing and butchering my own food, I would do so. Randy, by your example of the zebra population rising from lack of predators, I see that you understand what evolution and natural selection means. Yet you deny that we are part of that cycle. After years of dominating the food chain, in your opinion we should sink to the bottom of it, and become herbivores. We should use science to ensure that eventually all animals become herbivores. In effect, we should attempt to deny nature (read reality) because you perceive that animals have some sort of rights. I deny that claim, for the reasons listed by many other Objectivists in this thread. But the problem with your philosophy does not seem to lie within the topic you brought up, but your lack of understanding of objectivism at a whole. If you believe that everyone can only act according to his or her perspective, and you claim that his or her perspective is in effect his or her -reality-, then you have not yet truly understood Rand. The point of Objectivism you haven't got yet is that there -is- a reality, all humans are capable of perceiving that reality accurately, and morally should work to ensure that all conclusions drawn fit into this objective reality. You may believe certain things based on emotions you had when you watched disgusting videos, just like anyone would. The cause of those emotions was not empathy for the animals, as most probably watching them filled you with anger instead of pity or sympathy. The anger should not be directed at the butcher, just as you are not angry at the lion for eating the zebra inside out while it is still alive. These things are simply facts of reality. Your anger should be directed to the people that created these videos, the people who want to shock you into following their point of view by appealing to your emotions, for this is also an attempt at shutting down your power of reason. I am brought to a particular example: In the local marketplace here there are signs of a small child with a cleft deformity on his or her mouth. The point of the sign was to incite sympathy for the child and thus spur me to donate to charity X in the name of getting this child a cosmetic surgery. If you had asked me before I had seen this picture, I would have reasoned over it and then most likely said no. There is no reason for me to feel responsible for this child's deformity, and it is not my responsibility to support him or her. At seeing the picture I was first revulsed, then slightly saddened, and then angered. For that moment, the creator of the ad had succeeded in a form of control over my mind, he had shown me a shocking picture, with the intent of rousing my emotion to the point of action. After reasoning, one may feel sympathy for the child, in that situation I might feel saddened about my deformity. However, despite the emotional reaction, I am still philosophically against donating to that charity, now with further reason, as the ad creator has not yet tried to appeal to reason, but instead chose to try to control through emotion. He pulled the trigger before asking the question. I have heard stories of vans with pictures on the sides showing aborted fetuses, this too I deplore. Shock tactics are not a method of persuasion, but an attempt at control through emotion. When you realize what Rand said, that emotions are products of our value judgements, then you realize that it is not emotion > reason, but reason > emotion. To act on emotions is less than acting on instinct. To allow emotion to govern your reason is to be less intelligent than an animal. Again I apologize if I did not make sense at some points, I hope you understand the point of what I'm saying. Despite that you -feel- animals deserve rights, they do not -have- rights. A privilege is deserved, a right is inherent. That is what the Bill of Rights and attached documents tells us, that there are fundamental rights inherent in the property of existing as man. Unfortunately, by your logic, if tyrannosaurus rex was loosed on the earth once more, we should lay down and die, for who are we to contest his right to eat and survive?
  5. Will Earth survive humanity? Yep. I can honestly say I cannot see mankind doing -anything- that will destroy the earth. Even launching a barrage of nuclear missiles and blanketing the crust in radiation will not destroy the earth, and natural things such as plants and animals will survive. Not all of them, but hey, action -> reaction. Even if all life on Earth ceased immediately, it would begin again, as it did before. Earth is fine, it is not angry at us. Do I think it is a good idea to cause mass extinctions? No, probably not. We are getting tons of health improvements based on research into animals and plants, and while I agree that eating spinach or a mint leaf isn't going to cure your cancer, some herbs and plants do have components which may be used in such a process in the future. On the other hand, human progress should not be stymied in the interest of preserving 'the environment.' Human progress should -include- preserving ecosystems. Ecological preserves could make -tons- of money as resorts and vacation destinations, -especially- as people populate the planet. Contrary to what Wall-E is trying to tell you, it's going to take a -long- time before even the most reckless polluting tendencies turn the Earth into a wasteland. But the larger point is, we aren't even using such practices. Global markets in educated countries have proven that people will buy green happily. Even for selfish reasions, I feel better buying the shower cleaner that says 'made from plant stuff' over a harsh odorous chemical. The original poster did get something right in that it is in modern companies' best interest to work on polluting less. The reason I think some people are so resistant to that ideal is precisely because those practices are enforced by the government. In a lassiez-faire Capitalism, an educated buyer with an interest in ecology will buy 'greener' products. This will encourage companies to produce using 'greener' practices. There also seems to be some debate on power. Here is my stance on the energy problems (if you can call them problems). Is it in our interest to find renewable sources of energy? Yep, that'd be pretty nice. Is it in our interest to COMPLETELY HALT or even reduce usage of 'more polluting' sources of energy such as coal and oil BEFORE we have such a source of energy, that can be viably marketed to a large group of individuals? Nope. Makes no sense. I don't think we should use foreign oil, and I don't think setting up drilling platforms in alaska will kill as many polar bears as some environmentalists want you to believe. I think of an oil spill this way: You have a machine that dispenses gatorade for you, so that when you run every day, you can fill up your bottle with gatorade to get the most power (sugar and electrolytes) to be able to run without dehydrating and feel better. Now, left unchecked, this machine is so new that there is a chance that it may explode, or spill gatorade all over the place. Do you say 'F*ck it, I'll just dehydrate and die' or do you work on creating safety prevention systems, and perfect means of containing the damage should it occur? I choose the latter. I realize my metaphor has holes, but it successfully describes my stance as someone who is interested in ecological preservation -and- a capitalist. We need to use oil until we find something better, we currently have no evidence that we are actually -running out- of oil to use, so there is no reason to ration its usage at all. As for coal, I don't believe carbon dioxide is harmful to the natural environment, as it is a byproduct of every living animal on this planet. I think the 'ozone' and its depletion is a myth, and global warming is a symptom of a cyclical geologic change that has occured since Earth began and will continue to occur, and may be caused by cosmic forces, as the caps of Mars are also melting. (we are not mining coal on Mars.) Coal is however, smelly, and having a coal refinery near your house, probably won't be too good for your lungs. There is a free market solution to this and -any- problem a modern, educated, civilized society may face. Government does not need to be involved, to say so is to agree with Hobbes that man cannot govern himself.
  6. What parts of my personality enabled the integration of Oism into my philosophy? I have always been an environmentalist (don't worry, I'm not nuts, just listen) I love animals and nature, and when I love something I am driven to understand it. In my quest to understand nature, I learned about evolution, which led me directly into the Objectivist philosophy. One of the things that I always understood better than anyone I talk to about evolution is that Darwin didn't say 'the strongest survive' or 'the smartest survive.' Darwin said he who adapts survives, to make sense one must equivocate survival in the ecological world with success, because a Tiger cannot invent a skyscraper, thus elevating his own success, but he can eat a lot more than his competition, thus making him a successful tiger. In our human 'ecosystem' the person who adapts to a new world changing thing survives, the technology boom has revealed that in millions of ways. Those who poopoo'd technology and advancement literally were destroyed. Either bankrupted, or never got the chance to be successful. Evolution, or, the process of natural selection is a law of nature, and it permeates human society. I'd like to say I developed into Oism before I even read AS through evolution, but the truth is it was more like Ayn Rand enabled me to understand evolution, and reality, better. What event specifically put the book in my hands? My best friend in Middle School (who did not read AR, and is now highly unsuccessful in his life) gave me The Wizard's First Rule on loan. I hated reading at the time and that book is thicker than the bible so I laughingly loaned it to my sister. She read it, loved it, inducted it, and found AR through research, and introduced me to Oism. My goal is to become a movie, video game, and novel writer so that I, like Goodkind, can help bring the philosophy to more people.
  7. Jackethan

    God exists

    Speaking of equivocating, what about a new Objective definition of God? What if the universe is God? It is obviously not omnipotent, because the universe cannot make a rock into a spoon (man can though, neener neener) it's mostly a course of action which led to our creation thus we could say that Earth and the Universe are our creators in the same way that H2O is the creator of the grand canyon. I present this argument not in the hopes of creating a new sort of deity that I 'need' to blame uncontrollable things on, but more just an understanding, that whenever an Oist says 'thank god' or 'please god don't do that' we're sort of asking the universe for something, even if it is without expectation of any affirmative result. The preceeding is an example of devil's advocacy.
  8. I think we should identify certain words as 'hot words' such as selfishness, altruism, etc. If we can devise a group of statements that includes what these words -really- mean, without mentioning them, once people understand how we mean them, they can be stated. Honestly, altruism has so many meanings that it will be difficult, but you could also start by asking the person what altruism and selfishness mean to him or her. Some people think of altruism as giving a gift in general, some people see it as a gift without expectation of -material- gain, so it's okay to give your girlfriend flowers so you get to make out on the couch that night, but not expecting her to buy you something nice for your next birthday. Some see the sacrifice as the more important component, such as a priest, giving up worldly posessions, giving up pleasures, in exchange for being a conduit for 'god' to communicate with laymen. Once you have a grasp on what they define those words as, you can deduce how to proceed. If the person extols the virtues of complete self sacrifice as the only true good man can achieve on earth, then you're probably already done with the discussion and don't really need to go further. I have found, however, that the average American is not so 'idealistic' and may just let you in to have a cup of tea and steam clean their philosophy. A friend of mine says that he feels that in the Michael Crichton movie The 13th Warrior the Viking king Buliwyf (this story is parallel with beowulf) goes to help the Danish king in an act of altruism. In the future, I will ask him why he thinks that is a noble deed, and whether he thinks it would be any less noble if Buliwyf expected payment, or if he was counting on the glory he would receive, or possibly to increase and help maintain relations with a neighboring kingdom. He's a practical guy so I think I can convince him that helping someone isn't any less right if you expect something in return. Look for common movie or literature references to help solidify your stance with your non Objectivist friends, try to ask a lot of questions about his or her philosophy, and avoid becoming emotional. If you're going down a line of discussion you're not familiar with or that is heating the conversation up, try and end it, think about it, maybe ask here or read up, and broach the topic later.
  9. I'm Tom and I live in Tustin, right next to Irvine.
  10. I am glad there is an objective standard for when a country has gone too far, and AR makes very good points as far as what a dictatorship is. One thing I think she did not forsee in the creation of the first point (1) One-party rule) is that it is possible and historically precedented to use a one party system masquerading as a two party system, which is exactly what this country seems to be headed for, thus giving (forgive the matrix quote) "The illusion of choice." My question now is to what extent do these requirements have to be fulfilled, because as far as I can see they are already taking place, as you gave examples to show. On the topic of whether such a war could be won, I am the first to say probably not. The government has successfully disarmed citizens to the extent that it is now nearly impossible for a group of armed citizens to match the firepower of a small group of government enforcers. Essentially, unless we make friends with South American black market traders (also in the process compromising our ideals) we would likely lose an outright confrontation. On a side note, if anyone finds a suitable uncharted island with some sort of natural resource worth trading and seeks to start a new country there PLEASE send me an email. As far as Team America references go, yes, I do love you. It occurred to me that I may be coming across as some sort of violent anarcho-maniac, I really am not -looking forward to- any sort of civil war, I just never shy away from a hard question, and I believe this is one we must all bear in mind. It is important to know what is the rational person's breaking point, and what should be done post-break.
  11. I think this is close to a conclusion that I have come to, that by voluntarily giving up thought and philosophy the general public have allowed themselves to be hypnotized, in effect, by each other. Once an idea is polarized beyond reasonable recognition the two sides of the 'spectrum' are told where they fit into the scheme of things, or their political party, until finally all that is left is the uninterested, the idealistic, and the pragmatic.
  12. Every time I hear something new in the news, listen to a new opinion from a collectivist, or a nihilist, I feel more trapped in a country that really isn't mine after all. The role of a just and free government is to protect the borders (military) and prevent people from inhibiting other people's pursuit of happiness (police). This is not where I live. I live in California. I can't walk across a street with no crosswalk without becoming a criminal. There is a law that I can't talk on my cell phone while driving, enforced in the form of a non-moving violation. The government just decided that it's okay for me to get married to a man if I wanted to now, as though it has some sort of say in the matter. To get internet I have to call Time Warner, I have no other choice, save to buy a phone line and get ATT. If I go out and get a job my paycheck is involuntarily split between me and the government for use on programs with no oversight that I will never need and do not agree with. I am controlled, for my own good, and for the good of my neighbors. So here's my question, when is it a reasonable conclusion that the only way to fix the problem is a revolution or secession? Is this country capable of being saved? If so, when? How many of our principles will we have to give up along the way? How many compromises will there be? If not, what is the solution?
  13. All my favorites have been named. I also kinda dug Mass Effect's music.
  14. This is a topic I had thought about as well, and I have come to the conclusion that if I became a soldier it would be to protect my freedom and the freedom of those I care about. In other words, if I became a soldier it would be for an army controlled by an objectivist state. The USA government is very far from an objectivist state. I cannot in good conscience sign that I will give my life for someone's right to my money, my time, or my thoughts. Now, say I did join a military, and it was forcing me to do things which violate my moral code, it would be my moral obligation to defy those orders and serve whatever punishment, even death. I would rather live free or die, than be a slave. People who, say in a fascist regime, cite the soldier's oath as their excuse for murdering, raping, or committing acts of immorality, are abdicating personal responsibility. Becoming a soldier does not make you a robot. Remember that -you- are the one that has to live with the things -you- have done after you retire.
  15. It is in your self interest to surround yourself with a network of friends, as has been said, to trade knowledge and benefit from others' intellectual pursuits. As far as people who have not been awakened to objectivism and thus do not offer you very much in that area, think of it this way: We could round up all the retards in the world and decide that since they can offer nearly nothing to society, they will either be forced to do manual labor or be sterilized. This is an example of irrational selfishness, because #1 you cannot make the blanket claim that all retards will not offer you any kind of lesson in life, #2 you are essentially living your life waiting for the next prodigal genius to come along and deem you a retard, thus you are in that boat. If you have respect for the idea that you as a -human being- deserve to pursue your own happiness, then you cannot but contend that all other human beings deserve that right as well, else you are moving down a road of species and self destruction. That's why Objectivism isn't the latest Nazi movement.
  16. I also tend to think well having a relaxing coffee, smoking a pipe, or anything which to me places me in a calm aesthetic. I find myself happily sitting outside a coffee shop having a smoke and a latte thinking 'more than half of America doesn't know how to relax like this.' That aside, I also have the restless legs problem, though not actual RLS, I tend to keep in motion. Many people think I'm nervous or impatient, but it's not the case at all. I think well while moving my legs or tapping my fingers in a musical beat. Still with all of this, and barring the walking on a treadmill with a notebook technique (no room ) I can't successfully write a paragraph of one of the many stories I wish to publish.
  17. There are many ways in which the common American has the wrong idea. I think one of them is sexuality. To me, sexuality is the easiest way to find proof that objectivism knows the truth about humanity. For example, society, history, religion, and their established 'moralities' have labeled many private acts as 'deviant'. Though society has become slightly more accepting, I think the underlying belief in 'virtue vs. perversion' is still prevalent in most people's views on sex. These views commonly cover acts which don't really hurt anyone, or affect other individual's lives. For example, Bondage, roleplaying, SM, Sub-dom, and many other fetishes, each one is labeled as a specific form of perversion. Consequently, each new label causes more people to become secretly (or overtly) interested in the fetish. As more societal 'laws' are created against something, more people are fundamentally driven to break those laws. I pose that the answer to the question, "Why do people have sex in all the 'wrong' ways?" is that it is in the nature of a human to be free, and each time a freedom is taken away, it is again in our nature to attempt to push past the bars and enjoy that freedom, as inconsequential as it may be to success or happiness. I think that in a perfect objectivist country, while people would be free to feel and think and judge a certain way on the actions of other people, it would be far more acceptable to, say, watch pornography, engage in fetish play, and explore many aspects of sexuality. At the same time, because people would be free to do so, there would likely be far less instances of extreme fetishism, including actions which inhibit the freedom of other human beings, as in rape, kidnapping, pedophilia etc. Does this sound objective? Does this make psychological sense to you? Are there many objectivists who agree that fetishes are 'deviance' or 'perversion'?
  18. I too bought the comic after seeing the trailer. It is definitely an example of an author taking 'extreme' sides of various issues and saying 'see, if we let the extremists have it they'll screw the world up!', much like V for Vendetta was a commentary on Fascism vs. Anarchism, where the author meant for you to simultaneously identify and be disgusted by both sides thus taking you on the train ride down the 'middle path' where compromise of 'moral rigidity' and 'amoral collectivity' makes you think that balance makes a perfect world possible. Fortunately for anybody with a brain, Moore failed to successfully identify the character Rorschach as having as many monumental flaws as his opposite. Indeed, by fluke the author managed to show that objectivism, and indeed reason, will always win in the end. Watchmen is most definitely worth reading for the hardcore and the new objectivist alike. Depending on the political slant of the film-maker, which by the production of 300 seems to be rather on the right side in most senses, Watchmen may prove to be even better than the novel. Unfortunately the mainstream collectivist 'sacrifice everything for the sake of your fellow man' comic book fans will most likely gripe about Watchmen not being faithful enough. (This may be a SPOILER to you, depending on your view on SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.) As a final note, I should say that in the youtube trailer comments I found one individual who posted 'the bad guy turns out to be the good guy, and the guy you thought was good, wasn't' which, although completely based on my assumption, seems to suggest that non-objectivists also view Rorschach as 'the good guy'.
  19. When I'm in a car, everyone is quiet, music is playing, and speed is constant, I can develop huge creative fantasy worlds with interesting and unique characters, all of which die when I sit in front of a computer with Word open. When I am on the phone with someone and I wish to really engage in the conversation, I have to walk around my house. The only way I can really get to writing is when I have visual activity i.e.: a roleplaying game on the computer, when I am physically with people listening to me, or when I am very interested in a topic. The only other time I get a good imagination going is when I am bored and waiting somewhere, like a bus stop. Lack of physical or visual activity, but also a lack of access to such, brings the need for anti-boredom techniques and thus the use of them.
  20. I think that it'll be found the final numbers of the poll match the statistics of population in the US and various other countries belonging to specific religions. That is to say, I don't think any religion lends itself very closely to Objectivism, and I think all organized religions equally attempt to thwart the faithful from attempting to gain personal philosophy other than that prescribed by the religion. I think of Objectivism very much like the matrix, it does not matter where you came from, at any one point the premises you thought you had can be washed away over time revealing reality and its beauty. The experience of awakening to Reason is not prejudicial and is, as most things, dependant on the individual.
  21. Well howdy, I also happen to be a gay person and an objectivist. I personally see no conflict between homosexuality and objectivism, and I'd like to say that while I don't think over-population will ever be a problem for the reasonable man, I do think that homosexuality is an unsung factor in many predictions of future dystopias. When humans reach the point where previous societal training on sexual behavior, (ie.: Sex is bad, wrong, gross, shouldn't be done in certain ways, mostly a dirty secret, very similar to expelling waste) then the world will be a much better place. As far as labeling. Homosexual is what I am. I find my opinion of a particular person's view on homosexuality is based more on body language and tone than the actual word used. My other homosexual friends and I all call eachother 'fags' on occasion for instance, thus turning a symbol of hatred and polarization used to categorize a group of people into an affectionate term proving to the Nazis and any other oppressors of individual human rights that I refuse to take offense to words which unintelligent people wish to use as insults. If someone uncomfortably, with a pause, and a shift of stance says 'homosexual', it is far more telling of that person's personal opinions than if one had just continued with saying 'homosexual' as part of a sentence with no emphasis on the word at all. I am proud of who I am, homosexual happens to be a label by which pieces of my personality and individuality may be translated to other people. Thus I believe the right answer to the question, "What is your sexual orientation?", or any question attempting to group or categorize me is "I am me." Ranting aside, this is my first post and I should introduce myself. I am Tom Jones (Yes, real name) and I live in Tustin, People's Republic of California, I have read Atlas Shrugged and Anthem. I enjoy playing videogames, and my goal is to write stories for videogames and movies. I am very pleased to find another community of objectivists, as each one restores a tiny bit of hope that I am not alone in the dark.
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