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Everything posted by Jake_Ellison

  1. Why would you accept the premise that scientology KILLS people without such an accusation being brought in a court of law, let alone proven beyond reasonable doubt.? Not to mention the fact that you are lumping many thousands(probably more) of people together, and accusing them all of murder. There are two people(including an "advanced member") who said this. I thought this is an objectivist forum. There is absolutely no difference between saying that scientology kills people, and saying that the Jews have caused the financial crisis by means of a world wide conspiracy. How are they intimidating judges and suppressing information? There are books and articles everywhere about Tom Cruise impregnating his wife with the frozen sperm of L. Ron Hubbard, and countless other baseless stories only limited by the “journalist’s” imagination. How exactly is the Church of Scientology in a position of power in American society, in your view, is beyond me. Dopy and stupid as they are, can you imagine the type of campaign that’s going on in the media against scientologists being brought against Jews or African-American Baptists, or any other dumb religion?
  2. I think you may be cofusing Ayn Rand with God, or some kind of Messiah. Again, objects do not have intrinsic value (not even if they had value to Ayn Rand personally, or Jesus, Al Gore, Aristotle, or some made up God for that matter), not to mention that even if you leave the problem up to personal preference, cities are very different: you might like New York or Vancouver, if you're the cosmopolitan type, but I doubt you'd care much for Jalalabad, Karachi or the charming Kinshasa, DRC.
  3. Start asking random people "what they think about people you know, econoic or political issues", and make a little statistic: how many of them will 1. actually answer the question, and how many will instead 2. tell you "How they feel about it".( And whether they like certain things or not, based not on objective criteria, but their feelings) I guarantee you that most answers will contain the word "love" or "hate" this person or that politician, and if you inquire further, they will have no rational answer as to vhy.
  4. Although I'm pretty happy with my original phrasing of a society's moral right, let me put it a little differently: By what code of ethics should government oficials conduct themselves when deciding if they are or not (a.) within their rights to intervene and (b.) morally obligated to intervene in a case like this. I think you would agree with me that "it ought to reserve the use of that power for serious crimes where guilt can be proven beyond reasonable doubt" is not really fit to be a code of ethics for any person (except maybe a pragmatist). I look at a relationship of this type(ifaithful, romantic) as a system formed by two (or more) people, in which having you partner( or partners) not cheat has a value to you in the context of your relationship. Why would a cheating boyfriend entitle you to anything other than the right to cheat yourself or the right to end the relationship? What value have you lost (that he took from you) from this supposed "trade" (I don't believe it is a trade at all) ? I believe it wasn't a contract at all: it was a temporary arrangement, in which two people were kind to each other, hoping to fall in love, or, if they did fall in love, hoping to stay in love. However being kind to someone, and choosing not to hurt them by cheating on them does not really hold you to some kind of contract.
  5. You have to be kidding me. In what way was the fact that "Scooter" Libby told her something that wasn't even a secret an "issue of great importance to national security”? By the way, she was only released after she gave up her source (Libby gave her permission to do so after 3 months). The whole thing was without question a fake investigation and a show put on for political purposes. There were no national security questions involved, and the only charges that ended up being file were for perjury. Any country in which something like this can happen, and once the whole thing is revealed, the people involved (the special prosecutor, the judge who sent Miller to jail, certain people in the White House) get to keep their jobs, should, by any standards, loose points in the freedom category. According to what principle should the government have the right to put someone in jail for not revealing her source, when in fact there is no reason to believe that source had broken the law? If Libby ended up convicted of treason, I would absolutely agree with forcing a journalist to give him up. But it was obvious from the start that no law had been broken. It was just a prosecutor trying to further his career. (and I'm sure the next democratic president will appoint him as a federal judge some place soon) Remember that time 34 years ago when the president resigned because he kept quiet about a little breaking and entering? That's when America's government was nr. 1. That government and that society were the most moral in the world. This one definitely isn't. It's a huge, messy bureaucracy in which nobody can keep track of the abuses of power and corruption. Here's another example: Two satellite radio companies, XM an Sirius Radio asked for permission to merge two years ago. Even though these two companies are relatively small, the FCC and the SEC both held back judgment until about a month ago, when both companies were on the verge of bankruptcy. In the months before the merger was approved, members of the FCC had made requests to the would-be CEO of the new company, Mel Karmazin, such as: a third of the new company's bandwidth would be allocated to minority broadcasts; the company would not raise its prices for 6 years; the new company would voluntarily submit to FCC obscenity rules-otherwise such a power (on satellite) could only be granted to the FCC by an act of Congress. Al this while the powerful National Broadcasters Association(the people XM and Sirius were competing against) was openly lobbying against the merger. On top of that, after the merger, Mel Karmazin said an influential member of the Senate had actually approached him with the same requests. Shouldn't it be obvious that these ridiculous requests by certain members of the FCC(always the same ones) were a delay tactic, hoping the companies would fail before the merger took place? It took a serious media campaign-by the end there were daily headlines on Drudge about what the FCC is waiting for- to finally push the merger through. If it is obvious to me(and I've heard charges along the same lines being made in the media), shouldn't that prompt an investigation into the conduct of these officials? Oh that's right, both of them were appointed by democrats, who are in control of the comities which should be doing the investigating.(and even if they weren't, who's gonna risk pissing off the wrong people) If there is no accountability, there is no freedom, especially from an ever growing government. There are countless examples of blatant abuse in just the few areas of business i'm familiar with, so I can only imagine what's going on overall in the media, the energy industry, in healthcare and all the other heavily regulated industries.
  6. I like The Cure. Any connection to objectivism I missed?
  7. Your sentences are not really grouped into paragraphs based on their subject. You have unrelated statements bunched together into a single paragraph. I took the liberty to number the different, unrelated ideas you had, and answer them one by one. Before that, I would like to point out though that you are making a series of statements, but you are not providing any type of arguments, or at least analogies, comparisons, something to support what you are declaring here. In fact I don't see the words "because, then, or than" appear even once in your post. What I do see are a lot of "is, can, can't should". If you look at some of the more substantive posts on this forum, you'll see that at least the words "should" and "can't" are almost always closely followed by a "because". That is telling of the way the authors' minds work. My advice is to make an effort and try to argument your statements more often. And now, for the really easy part. The anwers: 1. "national selfishness" would be I, suppose, a nation(represented by it's government) acting in it's own interest. How is that tantamount to "national socialism" (like the National Socialist German Workers or Nazi Party) 2. true 3. No it doesn't. Wanna know how I know? To support someone means to come out in their favor. Please point me to an article at ARI that states any type of support for anything Hitler wrote, said or did. I know there is no such article, therefore by definition there is no such support. 4. Sure you can. Plenty of Americans would flock to fund a war against Iran right now. Not that it would cost that much anyway. 5. Undue by what standards? I can only think of two: religion and pacifism. 5.1 If by "this logic" you mean ARI's viewpoints, that is ridiculous: ARI clearly states that we should only go to war against country's that threaten us directly, and they definitely are against statism. 6. The government is elected by the people. Even if ARI would support forceful taxation in case of war(I have no idea if they do, but since Ayn Rand said that form of taxation will have to go too eventually, I assume they aren't either), such a taxation would not mean endless war. There are plenty of countries that never went to war, let alone endlessly, even though they all tax. This statement is the most ridiculous yet. 7. What does "this" mean. For an Objectivist to support what? If you mean the things ARI stands for, I see answer 5.1. 8. Fuck you. Let me worry about what I should and shouldn't do. 9. Objectivism is not a person, or a group of people, it's a philosophy defined by Ayn Rand in her many works. As a result, "it" does not have a publicist, agent, spokes-person or PR specialist. The things that should give you any impression about objectivism are Ayn Rand's books.( I personally also don't see any "fault" in dr Peikoff's work -- in the sense that they reflect Rand's philosophy) 10.Sure it's not. Well, I don't think wars are for protecting civil liberties, but people's lives. But without people, there are no civil liberties, are there?
  8. Elaborate on "within his rights", please. Are you suggesting that: (1.)it would be immoral for him to cheat, or (2.) that a society has the moral right to punish him for doing so (but that's inpractical, so we shouldn't after all)
  9. I wasn't in the chatroom, so maybe you could provide an example of when they were intrinsicists, and we can discuss that. In the mean time I think we can all agree that whether cities or rural areas are better depends on the definition of "better" in this case. If by better you mean better for people to live in, then I would say it depends on the person, and on what that person's purpose or goal is while living there. For instance, if you want to be carrying a gun, hiking, fishing, hunting etc. a rural area is better for you. That is not a matter of personal opinion. Objectively, you don't want to be walking around with a gun in Chicago or New York, there also aren't any fish or game around, etc. So, in this case, the problem wasn't that they are intrinsicists, the problem is twofold: 1. you haven't defined the word "better" correctly for them to make a choice, so they should've refused to make a choice and asked for clarification, instead of saying it is a matter of personal taste (even though, depending on your definition of better, it could be a matter of taste). 2. You may be confusing being principled with being an intrinsicist. Objectivists believe that it is important to act on principle, but not that objects have intrinsic value, independent of men.(given to them by some kind of deity) Value is not a primary concept: for us to grasp that something is a value, we have to see it as a value to something, relative to some goal that thing is pursuing. For instance a city is a value to people ( the something), if they wanna be close together to do business, party, communicate (the goals) etc. In conlusion a city cannot be objectively better than a village, because "value" is not a primary concept. As far as the intrincisism in the chatroom, i'd love to discuss that if you give us an example.
  10. Don't bother. That chinese quote is way too vague to have any meaning. Obviously if you can't change something you shouldn't bother trying. What that has to do with being humble is anybodies guess. It's like saying "You have to be humble enough to stop banging your head against the wall" or running for president on "Change we can believe in". It's an empty slogan, so you won't find it in Ayn Rand's works.
  11. The lie is that Ayn Rand explicitly subscribed to the qoute you said she subscribed to: "Be brave enough to change what can be changed, humble enough to leave what can't be changed and wise enough to recognize the difference". She said no such thing. in fact she would obviously have a problem with that statement, vague as it is. If you want to have a rational argument, you need to rely on facts, you can't provoke a rational argument by making something like this up.
  12. Benefitting from "the subsidy of the tax break" makes them buy blue oranges that taste like aeroplane blue yellow cloudy fish, furthermore fuck the rich. I'm running for conress, so vote for change you can believe in. Did I say fuck the rich because the subsidy gready capitalist tax break financial abolish poverty colonialism thing? What the hell is a "subsidy of the tax break", professor (of economic-policy analysis at The New School for Social Research in New York) Theresa Ghilarducci?
  13. Did she now? At least if you hadn't said explicitly, you'd be a somewhat clever liar. This way you're just an idot. This is a 6 page thread, and even though I'm interested in the subject I decided to bail out at the third paragraph(quoted above). If any of you guys feel that you have made some valid points, please start a new thread (one that doesn't start with a blatant lie), because I, and probably many others would love to read your take on this without having to sift through garbage.
  14. If someone comes up with an independently reviewed study that proves The Global Warming Theory (CO2 and methane emmisions are causing global warming, this will have disastrous consequences to human civilization and we know that a slow, gradual reduction in human emissions will for sure stop this phnomenon), there is no reason to even discuss the idea that our governments should do something about it. By the way, the scientists who take part in both the study and the review should satisfy certain requirements: 1. None of their jobs or any part of their incomes shuld depend directly on any government(or the UN) investing in research to prevent GW. 2. None of them should have made any false claims (intentionally or by mistake) in the past, related to GW(for or against it). 3. None of them should have a history of belonging to organizations that advocate against individual freedom or technological advances(whether for religious or ideological reasons). 4. Both teams should contain scientists who in the past made significant contributions to human progress (in areas other than ecology and sociology/culture - otherwise you could argue that Al Gore or the rev Al Sharpton are such men:). Unless you can point to such a study, any links provided by those who argue in favor of GW can easily be debunked, and are therefore not worth the time it takes to read them. Note that I could prove any scientific fact you can think of by following the above standards in minutes(and probably more restrictive ones as well, I'm sure I left stuff out), they are in no way too demanding.
  15. As for the original title of the thread: 1. It is legal in free countries, and it should stay that way. 2. If you are in a boxing(football, martial arts, etc.) match, you are not initializing force. The other people agreed to the rules. Force would be punching someone once they are on the ground, and for that you could be arrested.(because it's against the rules they agreed to) It's the same with sex. If you agree to the rules beforehand, you shouldn't have legal problems. As for it being justifiable under objectivism, I would've just titled the thread "Is SM moral?". That's the question I'll try to answer. You have to ask yourself what is right for you and your life. Ayn Rand for instance is very far from agreeing with the idea that anything goes in sex. In fact she was against homosexuality, wich we know today was probably too definitive a thing to say (because the scientific perspective on homosexuality has changed in the past few decades). Ayn Rand wrtote: "there is a psychological immorality at the root of homosexuality" because "it involves psychological flaws, corruptions, errors, or unfortunate premises" (that's from a wiki page). Scientists today aren't 100% convinced that it in volves psychological flaws, it might be something you can be born with, or predisposed toward genetically. However, if you are a homosexual because of some "psychological flaws, corruptions, errors, or unfortunate premises", you should deal with those things instead of living a homosexual lifestyle. The same goes for SM. I know nothing about psychology, so the pseudo science in this this next part is probably a bad idea, but: Are you practicing SM to fulfill your natural sexual needs, does it make your sexlife more satisfying, without it messing with other aspects of your life, or is it an obsession that causes you to not have healthy sexual relationships, or makes you vulnerable to sexual predators, abusive boyfriend etc. If for instance someone was abused in their childhood, and is now looking to "fix" that experience in their minds, by being compelled to relive it(hoping for a better outcome), their moral course of action would be to seek treatment, not engage in SM. P.S. I speculate a lot about human psychology in the last paragraph, hopefully somone with a little actual knowledge of the subject will correct me.
  16. Force should only be used to enforce specific contracts, not vague promises or some implications of a wide arrangements. If a marriage or GF/BF arrangement, with all it's implications would be considered a contract, it would be an extremely binding one, with huge implications to every aspect of your life. It's bad enough that judges assume a marriage implies that half your property belongs to the other person once you want a divorce after a few years(even though that's not an option you can just cross out if you want on the "contract", before you "sign" it). Do we really want the government to start asking questions such as: Did you cheat? Did you satisfy your partner sexually? What drove him/her to cheating? Did you pay attention to his/her emotional needs? etc.etc. You commit to a lot of things when you enter a relationship, but there isn't a specific list that can be inferred from it. It's different every time, and when your partner feels that you're not holding up your end of the bargain, they can simply end the relationship, and that's that: end of marriage, eng of bf/gf arrangement. Why would someone be entitled to more than the right to leave the relationship (like some king of justice or retribution, or money in case of a marriage). Is that also implied in this imaginary contract?
  17. I remember reading the article when it was first published, and my impression a few lines in was that the author has no idea what the internet is, and I had a suspicion that him or his editor made up the headline and the first line, wich contains the part about replacing the internet. My suspicions were confirmed in this quote in the middle of the piece, when we firsrt hear from mr. Ian Bird: I guess no one told him we're replacing the Internet with his network, huh? That silly geek still thinks his grid is just a technology that can be used to speed up the internet we have. Thank God for Foxnews "journalists" to set him straight.
  18. The republicans are making too much of her, but the democrats are right to bring her up: she's a religious zealot, just like Bush, and she could become president, becaouse of McCain's age. She's very dangerous, because we have no idea how irrational she really is, and how much of her religion she really means(we do know it's a lot though), and that makes her the number one issue. Even though Obama is a socialist, he will likely weigh his decisions against public opinion, consider the geo-political consequences, listen to experts and technocrats, just like Clinton did. We have no clue what Palin's decisionmaking would be based on. What if she decides the iranian people or the saudis need our help, an do what Bush did in Iraq to a country twice the size, and with more fanatical suicide bombers than any others? We already know she means what she says on abortion, I assume she's just as serious about things in the Bible. Have you read the thing lately? Of course we need to talk about her.
  19. Couldn't the same thing be said about Obama, Clinton, Romney, Bush etc.? They all could have, in a pure physical sense, taken the same course of action you describe. No one would've shot them for it. What would make John McCain, or the republican party, as it is in 2008, more qualified to deny their nature and go against statism than Obama and the democrats to do the same thing, and even Hillary Clinton or Giuliani (if they could still come in as an independents, I don't know if there's a time limit). Why, out of these four for instance, would you pick the one with the longest record in american politics to be your potential savior? What is discouraging is the ease with wich mainstream republicans disposed of Ron Paul, the only person offering an alternative(for better or for worse), despite his early popularity, especially online. All they had to do was keep him off TV in key states, once the race started, and he was out. That is discouraging to anyone who is hoping for a better candidate down the line: the presidential elections are settled early, behind closed doors, and with most pressure groups dividing their contributions between the two parties lately, the few candidates made available to the public stand for exactly the same things, economically.
  20. Personally, I really like Sarah Silverman. For those of you who don't know, she's an american comedian. What do I like about her, and why I would love to meet her? She's funny and clever on stage, and she seems smart and honest. Of course, I don't know her personally, so I couldn't tell you the second part for sure. She's kinda hot, too. Why I would never vote for her? (if she ran for office-she isn't, I'm just making a point here) She's a die hard liberal, and I dissagree with most things she stands for, as a result. (in both practice and principle) Now, how about you check out my example above, and then tell us why you like Sarah Palin, and why you would like her to become president, by answering the same questions I did. Then we can have a conversation based on reality rather than appearance or your emotions.
  21. Don't you pay taxes? Don' you renew your driver's licence? Where do you live and work that you aren't required to compromise? I'm getting on a plane and moving there as soon as you tell me
  22. Sure, those people have a moral right to live in freedom, away from China’s rule. But it seems to me that it's a horrible idea for tibetans to be seeking independence from China. Any move toward independence is automatically met with force by Beijing, whether in Tibet or other parts of the country. (as we’ve seen when protests erupted in Tibet before the Olympics) Given the military power of the PRC, fighting them is assured suicide, for an ideal which is in the end collectivist in nature: the nation called Tibet, made up of a specific group of people, solely because of the nationality of these people. Even if we buy into the idea that Tibet would become a free society on its own: the only reason why a “tibetan” would want to live a free life in Tibet, instead of a free life elsewhere in the world ( or even in a future free China), when in fact obtaining the latter would be easier, is because of nationalistic or religious fervor. I am puzzled though: Why would an individual commit himself to such an ideal: an independent country (let’s say a free Tibet), rather than his or her happiness, at the end of a journey to the West (which might be dangerous, I don’t know, but not assured suicide, like fighting the Chinese army)? Maybe a clearer example would be this: In 1941 Britain was in danger of becoming a nazi colony, while the US remained free and neutral. Why would a moral man(say living in London) put himself in mortal danger by fighting for a cause that’s likely to be lost, rather than just go to America with his family (let’s pretend that trip is less dangerous) and start over? After all, his country did let him down by not stopping Hitler while it was easy to do so.
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