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Everything posted by visaplace

  1. I loved the movie. Very styalized--great music-great direction
  2. My results are: 1. Ayn Rand (100%) Click here for info 2. Aristotle (92%) Click here for info 3. John Stuart Mill (81%) Click here for info 4. Aquinas (78%) Click here for info 5. Epicureans (75%) Click here for info 6. Plato (68%) Click here for info 7. Jeremy Bentham (67%) Click here for info 8. Spinoza (65%) Click here for info 9. Kant (61%) Click here for info 10. Stoics (60%) Click here for info 11. St. Augustine (57%) Click here for info 12. Jean-Paul Sartre (55%) Click here for info 13. Nietzsche (54%) Click here for info 14. Thomas Hobbes (54%) Click here for info 15. David Hume (43%) Click here for info 16. Prescriptivism (42%) Click here for info 17. Cynics (40%) Click here for info 18. Ockham (36%) Click here for info 19. Nel Noddings (9%) Click here for info Ash
  3. Interesting no one picked Canada. I am from Canada. Not a bad country relativley speaking---cold however and the taxes are out of control. I would of course pick USA for my country.
  4. ok now I am confused! Stephen do you think that the Big Bang is a creation event? If the universe is eternal, how can there be a "cretion event" when it comes to the universe? My view that if the Big Bang did occur, it was a cosmological event that too pleace within the universe perhaps changing stuff etc Michael
  5. Alex, This brings up an interesting point about axioms and the law of identity. Like existence (the Universe), consciousness also does not have attributes in the same way tables and chairs do. (Perhaps it doesn't have attributes at all) The existence of the universe and of consciousness is understood by us as axiomatic rather than through attributes. Consciousness can't be percieved via attributes but only indirectly through entities (with attributes) that are grasped by consciousness. In the case of consciousness, we identity it by asking what enables us to know the identity of these entities. The same can be said about the universe. It is grasped through regarding entities and their attributes and asking what is the existent makes up all these entities we know? The intellectual struggle to come up with attributes for the universe is futile. The universe is axiomatic. As such it is itself with without attributes. The best we can do then is to define but not describe the universe. We can say the universe is everything. The same applies to consciousness--consciousness is awareness. Michael
  6. Yes. I liked that movie as well. The book was even better!
  7. Alex thanks for the reply. It seems then that, epistemoligically speaking, the identity of the universe is known to us by deduction not induction--much the same way a "black hole" is known by deducing its existence from the motion of existents surrounding it. In the case of the universe we deduce its existence from the very existence of the multitude of entites with identities. So as the identity of a black hole is determined by the motion of entities casued by it, the identity of the universe is ascertained by the very existence of entities themselves--things which we can percieve and conceptualize. Metaphyscially, however, I am stilll confused about the relationship between entities (with attributes), natual laws AND the universe. I agree that the universe is not the container of all that exists. But is the identity of the universe itself "all that exists"? Is the Universe just a collection of entities and natual laws? If so the question to ask is: What is the metaphysicall status of a "collection"? I would hold that a collection is not an entity at all--it seems the same can be said of the universe. Epistemoligically, the concept "collection" helps us grasp the relationship of common entities like a collection of books. But a collection as such is nothing more than its entities. But the problem is that when talking about the universe, we tend to see it as metaphysical. Do collections exist? Yes. What charactistics do collections have? Their charactristics are determined by the identites of their entitiies. A collecton is large or small depending on the number of entities it sucumes. A collection can be valuable depending on the value of its entites etc. Now for the universe as a collection we can't seem to ascribe such characteristics to it in the same way as other collection. Since the universe is the collection of everything, then we can't say the universe is large or small unless there we other univserses we could compare it too which would be a contradition. All we can say therefore is that the universe IS everything and that is it. Michael
  8. Alex I want to say I really enjoyed your article. I understand the fallacy of composition as it applies to the universe. It has been made clear that the universe itself lacks characteristics of the entities within it. Now we know what the universe does not have, I want to explore what the universe DOES have i.e., what are its characteristics, attributes etc in the positive sense.? Is all we can say about the universe is that it is a collection of all entities but it does not share those entities characteristics other than the fact that it exists? This almost makes the concept of "universe" meaningless. The universe is subject to the Law of Identity. Then what is its identiy in POSITVE terms rather than stating what it is not Michael
  9. I have difficulty with the universe as just a collection of things. Isn't it more than that? Rather, it has to have some attribute that enables it to be the "container" of all things. To say the univerese is a collection presupposes that is has to be something specific apart and distinct from its identity as a collection of things I would think. Having trouble conceptualizing this. Michael
  10. RationalCop: This was a duplicate of post #1 when I merged two similar topics. For some reason, I was unable to delete this post or the first one.
  11. I read Silverman's essay, The Unbounded, Finite Universe. If the Universe is asizal and eternal, that is, without time and size, then what is it? If the Law of Identity applies then the universe as an existent, has to have an attribute i.e, something that makes it specific--to have identity. Can someone identify the attribute(s) of the universe which has no time, no bounds, and no size? I think this is an important metaphysical question. Michael
  12. I would be very sad and maybe terminally depressed because there are no values if life is immortal.
  13. Ok so you are married with kids. How do you celebrate the holidays? To you have a Christmas tree? Do you light the Mehnora (if your Jewish)? Do you exchange gifts? What do you tell the kids when they ask about the meaning of the holidays? Their friends are "real" Christians and Jews. How does one have an Athiest Chirstmas and/or Chunuka? What PRACTICAL tips can you all ofter those parents who want to celebrate something with their kids this holiday season but don't know how? And saying that Chirstmas was originally a pagan holiday just won't cut it and no I do not want to put a dollar sign at the top of my Christmas tree Michael
  14. The issue of the devaluation of the US dollar is serious. However the finanical media do not seem to care much nor do the economists etc. The twin deficits virtually gaurantee the continued decline in the US dollar. Is anyone listening? Does anyone care? The US standard of living will fall with the dollar.
  15. I think this thread is telling. I have said in earlier posts that the US dollar is on its way down as with other paper currencies to follow. Gold is primarily traded as a monetary instrument and has risen to 16 year highs. Until the US gets its deficits under control which I think will not be any time soon, paper money as such will continue to debase. Gold will rise. Gold is money and is slowly emerging once again a replacement for paper.
  16. I read that interesting article on the universe as asizal and eternal. The universe is not in size nor is it in time. Ok when what is it "in"? As Ayn Rand said "to be, is to be something specific". Well what specifically is the universe? We know what it is not--in time and in size? But to be an existent i.e., (to have identity) , the universe has to have an attribute or a characteristic . What it that characteristic(s)? Michael
  17. > Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix (fist one), Good Fellas, Rocky I and II, and BRAVEHEART (loved that one).
  18. This is what I have learned about time: Time is just a form of measurment--motion of entities in relation to each other. It does not exist in and of itself. Without entities in motion, there is no time. The universe or existence itself is eternal. But I need help with this one. Why is the universe or existence eternal? Is existence itself featureless--timeless, motionless, etc. Confused.
  19. The confusion lies in the fact that Judiasm can be seen as a both a religion and an ethnic background. If it is taken as the later, I do not have a problem saying that I am Jewish. However, I think the term connotes more than just ethnicity and is actually first and foremost a religion. As such an Objectivist cannot be a Jew or a member of any religion regardless of its ethinic overtones. Thus my answer to the question: "Are you Jewish", is I think the only way to answer i.e., No I am an atheist but I was raised Jewish.
  20. Well if I dont subscribe to that ideology then how can I say I am ethinically or religiously Jewish? Does Jewish mean that you come from a certain biological tribe AND you follow their ideology? Or is it enough that you just come from the tribe? This is an important question. One's self identity is at stake here. I always considered myself non-jewish despite the fact that I come from the tribe because I do not share the ideology. Also, IN REALITY, what defines that tribe? Is it being born from a Jewish mother? That defintion has no objective basis in reality--totally mystical--Or is there an actual, objective biological lineage that is distinct from other people that one can call Jewish--in the same way as negro or asian etc. So very confusing? To be sure, to be Asian does not require adherance to any ideology.
  21. When I am asked whether I am Jewish, I reply as follows: No. I was raised Jewish but I do not consider myself Jewish; I am an atheist. Some have argued that I could have answered "yes" to this question and qualify my answser by saying that I am "ethnically Jewish". I think this is a misleading charaterization and is concept-stealing. Judiasm, is a religion. As such, to be a member of that religion, one has to believe in the existence of god at minimum. Now a Jew would argue that you could still be Jewish and an atheist so long as your mother was Jewish--your Jewishness does not depend on your own philosophy. This view, however, relies on the premise accepted by Judiasm that to be a Jew you merely need to have a Jewish mother--a premise which has no objective metaphysical basis. If one rejects this premise, then what is the objective definition of a Jew? It is someone who belives in god and accepts the basic tenants of Judiasm including that to be Jewish is to have a Jewish mother. For Christianity, the same principle applies--to be Christian, you have to believe the basic tenants of the faith including the belief that Christ is your savior etc. Therefore, Judiasm and all religions, is in reality, just an ideology, like socialism. Just because I share some characteristics with Jews from my upbringing is not enough to say I am ethinically Jewish which would to imply that I am a non practising Jew but nevertheless accept Judiasm's basis tenants. If you are an atheist you can't be a member of any religion--ethnically or otherwise, from a rational viewpoint. Agree?
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