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  1. Yes, but you made the point about the ocean naturally cleaning up the spill in connection with the political question, presumably to say that there is no problem in need of being solved. The material you just posted does describe a mechanism for the gradual disappearance of the oil, but it doesn't specify the time frame. How many months or years of fishing will have to be destroyed before the ocean takes care of this naturally? In any case, I agree that in a free society, there would be no collective government response to this problem. But you're still maintaining an unrealistic stance ab
  2. Do you have any scientific evidence to back up the claim that it will reabsorb the oil in a timely manner? In months, years, decades? OK, but this disaster is big enough that it will affect many of us, whether or not we directly benefit from the gulf. The price of seafood will increase. The price of oil may increase. If the economy of Louisiana tanks (further), this will hurt people in other states who trade with Louisiana, etc. This isn't a rationale for any special collective government action with respect to the Gulf, but the situation is not as easy to isolate oneself from as you
  3. That's just bananas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qff098NCNDE...feature=related
  4. I disagree. Many Christians are good people, or at least not evil. Sure. The same is true of many Muslims (though perhaps not as many). But the ideas of both Christianity and Islam are fundamentally the same: fundamentally mystical, anti-happiness, and anti-freedom. The extent to which many Christians fail to embrace these ideas is a consequence of the fact that they live in a culture that has been influenced by the Enlightenment and has caused the separation of religion from secular affairs. Muslims who have lived in a America for a generation or two are the same way. Had history been differe
  5. I don't want to undercut your question about finding the things that are still great about America. But as a sidebar, I just want to point out that there's something bizarre about saying that most of our problems are caused by "socialism and Islam." If you're looking for religions to blame, Christianity has wrought far more damage, including but not limited to motivating the moral argument for socialism, and underpinning pacifism in response to Islamic terrorists.
  6. See here: http://www.the-undercurrent.com/blog/campu...-campus-revival
  7. Ellen Kenner, who is an Objectivist therapist, recommends finding a certified cognitive therapist: http://www.drkenner.com/how2choose.htm Cognitive therapy is the very successful modern approach to therapy which approximates most closely the Objectivist approach to the emotions: the view that our emotions are products of our thinking, and that we can solve emotional problems by solving thinking problems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_therapy Kenner links to the Academy of Cognitive Therapy web site, which includes a searchable database of locally certified therapists:
  8. You have a lot of freedom, but it's freedom you properly should use sparingly. The department is not hiring you to teach your own ideas. They're hiring you to teach about a variety of views on a given subject. You often can't help but slant things, but if you're just using the course as a platform for your own views, you're not doing your job and not giving the students what they paid for.
  9. Be honest, but be careful. If you want to make reference to an idea that is Rand's, not yours, then you should acknowledge it, at the very least in a footnote. But be careful, because you don't want to make a paper *about* Rand when that's not the assignment (if it's not). That's important both because you don't want to drown the paper with irrelevancies, and also because you don't want to turn off your professor unnecessarily. I wrote too many philosophy papers as an undergraduate which featured Rand prominently, when this was not the assignment and not necessary for what I wanted to say. Usu
  10. It doesn't say "because." It says that Descartes theory involves a form of misintegration, *and* that concepts apply to percepts. You would read this better as involving a form of misintegration *even though* he thinks concepts apply to percepts. Notice the contrast with the M2, according to which "percepts are in conflict with concepts." The part about concepts actually applying to percepts is what makes M1 better than M2. But it's not a fully "integrated" theory, because concepts only apply to percepts--they don't also derive from them.
  11. Here's the way it's done. http://www.noumenalself.com/capitalism.jpeg http://www.noumenalself.com/capitalism-original.jpeg
  12. noumenalself


    Whatever you do, don't call them "rants." It's a cute combination, but a "rant" is generally pejorative.
  13. There's about a zillion sites run by amateur Objectivists, which make even more amateur errors and omissions. If you worry about this one, you'll have a zillion more worries.
  14. Though I think you're exaggerating the ARI position, it's noteworthy that it's not just ARI that disagrees with you. It's also Ayn Rand: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...lian_casualties And there are *philosophical reasons* for this position. You should think about them: http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=New...cle&id=6418
  15. Darren quotes Michael Huemer: Huemer is using a timeworn, standard method of philosophical argumentation here: reductio ad absurdum. This method involves noting that an idea has absurd consequences, and then rejecting the idea because of those consequences. We Objectivists use the same method all the time. We say, for example, that environmentalism logically implies that man should commit suicide for the "interest" of nature. Environmentalists will then always get offended and say, "But we don't think we should commit suicide!" And then we have to explain that we are talking about the e
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