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Everything posted by ian

  1. Oh, of course. Wouldn't want to show respect for the dead or anything, that would be just silly.
  2. It's probably more of a response to modern culture than Islamists. At the start of the trailer she says "It's a sick old world." Modern society doesn't have much to offer in the way of values, and people need values. In one sense it is a response to Islam, in that they see their Christian culture being destroyed by wave after wave of immigration. But it is not leaving a vacuum when it is destroyed, it is being replaced by worse: Islam.
  3. I think we are taking two slightly different perspectives on the same fact. I am talking reality vs. unreality, so words such as "Titanian" (an inhabitant of Saturn's moon Titan) is an example of unreality. Whereas you are talking existence vs non-existence, so pure 0 is the only thing you will consider. But I would say that the Titanian, until you picture him, is in fact both unreality and non-existence. If you think he is not non-existence, because he can potentially be imagined, I would say that is confusing the potential with the actual.
  4. But if you just *refer* to something without picturing it, then it remains non-existent, non-real. In this way we can differentiate reality from nothingness. Language gives us that ability, which is why rationalism is so dangerous.
  5. You're right, there are no nothings to differentiate from, if there were, they would be somethings. But using language we can *refer* to things that are non-reality, we can speak of unicorns, gnomes, pure nothingness etc. And that gives us something to differentiate from. I guess the only way to see axiomatic concepts (which are omnipresent) is to imagine an alternative.
  6. Yup, ok. I understand your definition, but the Objectivist definition does not include experience as part of consciousness, it is only the fact that you know about the experience. Ok. I would just say that consciousness (as defined in the Objectivist way above) is still part of existence. It may be invisible (or inaudible, whatever) but the fact that you are aware is still a fact.
  7. Some beliefs are not wants though... for example someone may believe they are dying of cancer, even though they don't want to.
  8. It still wouldn't be consciousness conscious of itself, it would be consciousness conscious of "activity of brain." Not only are the signals in the brain part of existence (as you say), but so are any images (or whatever) that result from them. Dreams are not consciousness, random patterns from electrical signals are not consciousness, all are existence. What is consciousness then? You never see it. You ignore whatever you're aware of, and merely isolate that *fact* that you're aware of it. In *that* moment you have consciousness aware of itself, but it is awareness of "awareness of existence." So there has to be existence first. Couldn't the existence in "awareness of existence" be consciousness? Only if you step back and say "Hey, I'm aware of myself, being aware of myself, being aware." But at the lowest level, existence must come first. Because what is implied at the end of the sentence is "I'm aware of myself, being aware of myself, being aware (of something)." And the last "something" in such a chain can never be consciousness, which can be at best second-to-last.
  9. Maybe they are doing it that way so it can be executed by computer.
  10. Hmmm... don't let your wife see that :-)
  11. He’s not a hostage, he had a vote earlier on. Maybe it was not a vote about breaking in to the bank, but it was a vote to drive there with a car load of guns. Because sex is not just "some pleasurable thing" that your body can do, like eating cake. It is the reproductive act foiled at the last minute by technology. If we look past the words "sex" and "reproduction" and at the similarity of the concretes of each, we see that whatever we call it, we are in fact driving to the bank. So we can't claim total innocence when she decides to break in.
  12. That's like saying there are 5 people deciding to rob a bank. 2 vote yes and 2 vote no. The tiebreaker votes yes, so they take the full blame because it wouldn't have happened without them, and the other 4 are morally innocent. The fact that the woman chooses second is just a biological fact (you can't choose whether to gestate life until there is some), it doesn't change the fact that before that the man got her pregnant.
  13. I would say life is created at conception, but it's not yet human life. It is the man's choice whether to create life or not and the women's choice whether to gestate it. If she so decides, then it gradually becomes human life, and both parents have an obligation to raise it. Though if the man truly objects, the women should take this in to account, because it wouldn't be much fun for a kid to have their dad resent them, but even so it is her choice.
  14. I disagree. Man's means of survival is reason, but an infant can't reason. Therefore it's right to life (which it gets from being part of society with rest of us) imposes an obligation on the parent to look after it until it can. In the case of an adult, right to life implies only right to be left alone to reason. But in the case of infant, right to life implies right to be left alone to reason, implies right to live long enough to develop reason.
  15. So many things can happen in 1000 years. We may have Star Trek like universe by then. I don't think it's possible to take that estimate seriously.
  16. Here's a funny interview with him. You can get an idea of his personality...
  17. But surely everyone who commits a crime thinks that (with the exception of psychos)? And yet the prisons are full. So the principle must be "don't steal."
  18. It's not that imperfect knowledge makes stealing immoral (it doesn't), it's that it makes principles like MP2 impossible to reach. How would you arrive at "You should not steal, unless you can get away with it," when a human being can never know beforehand whether they will get away with it? You must derive principles from reality, and to derive MP2, you would need instances of omniscient human beings to derive it from.
  19. The answer is epistemological. On the perceptual level, we only see the present, we do not see the exact future presented concretely in front of us. The only way we know the future is through concepts, i.e. in principle. Since you have to act upon what you know, and not what you guess, you have to use MP1. MP2 is in fact impossible in reality because of the above. I know you're only trying to eliminate extranious factors in order to get to the heart of the issue, but you have eliminated too much. In your six conditions, you have eliminated the fact of our imperfect knowledge, which is where the answer comes from.
  20. I don't think there's any great risk from Germany or Japan. They are both part of the civilized world now, which means they have been brought in to the global monoculture of tolerance, multicultalism etc. This teaches them that values are all relative, and thus reduces their strength of feeling about things and makes them less likely to start wars.
  21. Thanks for the great post konerko14. Learning to face fears is probably one of the biggest things in life, and likely a major cause of a lot of unfufilled potential out there.
  22. The description you give of how DJs create their music (by taking bits of other tracks and mixing them) is I think analagous to the process of creativity in general. People take existing ideas and tweak them and hack around with them a bit until they come up with something new. This is where lawmakers have to be careful. They put IP laws in place to ensure a reward for the creator and thus encourage creativity. But if they make them too strict, the laws make it too hard to hack around with existing ideas, and thus discourage creativity. There needs to be a balance: one that identifies when someone has truly made something new. For example someone who makes something called the "ePod" which is just like an iPod except the wheel is on the top and the screen is on the bottom must be prosecuted. But a DJ who takes existing tracks and mixes them in such a way to make something sufficiently different from the starting product, needs to be able to do that. I think once in the context of scientific discovery, someone asked Ayn Rand whether we can truly claim individual acheivement, when all our inventions are built on the work of the past. She said (paraphasing) that we can, because just because we don't start from zero, doesn't mean that the advances we do make are not real. I think if your DJ track is enough of step beyond what the starting tracks were, you can legitimately claim it is your individual achievement and property, even though you started with copyrighted stuff.
  23. I was pretty bored with it, remember wondering afterwards what all the fuss was about. All that is left in my mind after all these months was that "V" was a pompous twit and Natalie Portman's acting was very average.
  24. It was founded by a Jewish person who told all her friends. Maybe it just hasn't had time to spread yet?
  25. I thought he was broke. Maybe it will be a very small mosque
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