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  1. Scientist

    Abortion

    I hesitate to post in this topic because of its divisive nature, but I need to post more and I am interested in the discussion so I thought I would give it a try. For me, it is really irrelevant if an embryo is a human being or not (though in my opinion it is not.) Even if it is a human being, it has no right to stay in the mother's body, and so she has every right to remove it, even if this causes death (as it will in any realistic case.) I am a human being, and I certainly have no right to any part of someone else's body, so I can't see that any unborn baby would have this right. The only thing I am uncertain about would be a case where a woman wanted an abortion so late in her pregnancy that the fetus could survive on its own (except in the case of medical necessity, where it is obvious to me that she has the right to an abortion.) However, such a situation would be incredibly rare so it is not really relevant to the broader discussion (though if anyone has an opinion on this case I would be interested to hear it, as I have not come to a conclusion yet.)
  2. This thread seems to have died down so I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted! I have a lot of thinking to do, but regardless I am keeping my options open and looking for someone new. Thanks again!
  3. J. Hall: Sure, I don't mind giving more detail, I just didn't want to say too much in my first post for fear of boring everyone to death. If I go into too much detail you have no one to blame but yourself . Here are some things I don't like about her She is a little too obsessed with her research... I like the fact that she is ambitious and works hard, but she sometimes pursues it to what I consider a destructive level. One time she worked for like 50 hours straight, not because the research required it but because she just has to do research. It usually doesn’t bother me so much, but sometimes I can tell she is getting close to the edge because of it and that can be disturbing. This is a little strange to describe, but she has problems at the beginning of any kind of physical intimacy. She just doesn’t like to be touched when she isn't ... well, excited. After a little while she will get into it and there is no problem, but at the beginning it is not so fun for me. And she will [almost] never initiate anything, which I personally find annoying. Sometimes I think she can be inconsiderate of my feelings... it is pretty rare to get a compliment from her, even the usual "you look nice tonight" ones that you expect in a relationship. She says she doesn’t do things like that because she thinks that when you say them all the time they lose meaning, but it is still strange and annoying. She did send me flowers on Valentine's day, though, so I guess I can't be too annoyed. Does that paint more of a picture? As for why I don't just wait for her... first, she won't graduate for like 5 more years and I am frankly tired of waiting. Second, I don't have any guarantee that she will want me to be with her then. Or it may be that I don't want to be with her then. So, I am not really a big fan of waiting. FaSheezy: Yes, I know you are right, and one problem I have is that I sometimes really hate myself for my weakness of continuing to do things like that. I am just really at an age where I can still fool around without medical help and I want to take advantage of it (I am exaggerating because I am only 25, but I feel old.) I haven't been with anyone but her in the time we have been broken up, so it is really hard to resist. And I think she is really good looking (she is 6 feet tall which I personally find very attractive.) I just need to force myself to stop. I have considered just not meeting her anymore... perhaps that I what I should do. I think part of it is that I want someone to want me... weakness on my part. Bryan: I think you are completely correct, and that is why I would really like to meet someone new. I know that no matter what we will still be friends, it is just very hard for me right now... I need to let go of that part of our relationship, but there is nothing else for me to fill that part with so it is difficult. Is it normal to feel this way? This is another area where I feel I am weak and that I am not acting like a correct person should... I should be just as happy by myself but I am not.
  4. I hope this is the right forum... I have a relationship I would like to post about, not so much to get advice (though any advice would be appreciated) but just because I never get to talk to anyone about it! I respect most of the people here so it seems like the right place. Anyway... this concerns my ex-girlfriend. Even though we broke up (or to be more specific she broke up with me) we are still friends and we talk a lot. She broke up with me because she feels it is impossible for her to have a relationship and pursue her studies at the same time. I greatly value her friendship, but it is a surprisingly difficult situation for me because of feelings I still have for her. There are many things I like about her... I like her personality, she is very smart, she is ambitious, etc. and she is also very physically attractive to me. There are things I don't like too, of course (and some things I find very annoying) but none of those things are enough to make me not like her. Fortunately for me she moved to another city, but we still write e-mails and call all the time. And we see each other now and then, when she comes to visit her family (and that usually leads to us fooling around which is even more confusing for me!) I guess I would say that I am not over her yet and am not sure how to do so (and we broke up about 2 and a half years ago so the situation is getting old.) I think I just need to meet someone new, but that is not so easy and I haven't had much luck yet. It is hard being a grad student and meeting someone, at least on this campus! Everyone is ~6 years younger than me, which wouldn’t be so bad but it seems like everyone is also über-liberal. Anyway, I have thought about not being friends with her anymore, but I really do like her as a friend so I don't really want that to happen. But the way things are sucks too, so I am very confused and unhappy about it. I would say that she is my best friend so I talk to her about many problems I have and feelings and things like that, but it always makes me feel ashamed of myself... like the only person I can talk to is the woman who broke up with me. I don't think that is a correct way to feel, but it is hard to change. So, that is about what I wanted to say, I hope it is not too annoying to post this but like I said I never get to talk to anyone about this (except with her, which is obviously not so helpful .) Feel free to post any comments or advice or anything!
  5. Iam sure Stephen will come here and give you a much better explanation than I will, but I never post so I thought I would give it a try . First, there is another force involved other than the electromagnetic force called the strong nuclear force. This is the force that holds atoms together, and it is much stronger than the electromagnetic force (but it only works up to a certain distance... past that distance it essentially "turns off.") For fusion to occur, the charged particle must get into the region where the strong nuclear force dominates over the electromagnetic force. The particle can do this by having a great deal of kinetic energy (from its temperature) but there is also a quantum effect called "tunneling" that can allow particles with less than this kinetic energy to reach the region where the strong force dominates. This happens in the Sun. If there were no quantum effects, then the temperature required in the center of the Sun for the fusion we see would be 1,000 times greater than the temperature we actually know is there. The "tunneling" effect explains why the temperature can be cooler than we would otherwise expect. Does this explain at all what you were asking? I wanted to show a picture of the potential of a nucleus as a function of distance so you could see where the strong force starts to dominate, but I can't find one online right now! I noticed that punk posted while I was writing this. He is right in that a totally correct analysis of fusion would require the most advanced theories, but the explanation I gave you is what is usually used when we talk about it, and the calculations you get using it are pretty accurate at the level we are looking at. So, now I just have to wait for Stephen to come and tell me all the things that are wrong with what I said
  6. Thanks everyone! I actually have a Palm Vx and have gotten a lot of use out of it, but it is getting old now and sometimes it has problems. All I really want a PDA for is for scheduling and phone numbers and things like that, so I haven't decided if I really want to spend so much money on a new one. But, I am glad people here have had positive experiences with the Palms... it makes me feel more confident about them. By the way, that Dell Axim looks awesome! It looks like a good price for what you get, but it is totally out of my range! I was looking around their website... does Dell make anything that is closer to my budget? Thanks again for all your help!
  7. I am sure several people here use PDA's, so I was just wondering if anyone had some advice on which one to buy. I have about $200 or so to spend, so I was looking at the Zire 31 and a refurbished Zire 71, and also the Tungsten E. There is also a PocketPC I was looking at, but it is $270 so that is a little too steep for me. I think the Tungsten E looks pretty good and it has the professional version of Documents to Go which I really want, but I am concerned about the reliability of the hardware. There are Clie's too, but none of them in my price range can play Mp3's which is also something I want. Anyway, I would appreciate any help!
  8. Just wanted to say thanks for discussing my question! I would comment, but I think it is better if I read the relevant texts more carefully before saying anything. Thanks again!
  9. I have a basic question I would like to ask; I am pretty sure this must be covered in either OPAR or IOE, so if you give me any sections to look at I will check there. My question is about ideas that we hold to be absolutely true. For example, there is what is usually called the Law of Causality (though I think that Objectivists may normally phrase it in a different way:) Every effect has a sufficient cause. Objectivists (and myself) do not believe in a priori knowledge, so this law must come from observation of reality. However, it is unlike other "laws" I could produce from observation of reality in that I can't think of any way it could be disproved. No matter what evidence you gave me for an event that had no cause, I would always believe that there was indeed a cause that existed, though it may be unknown at that time. This is different, for example, from the statement "The Sun is powered by nuclear fusion," which I strongly believe but could possibly abandon if there were sufficiently strong evidence discovered in the future that would disprove it. The only way I can think of to explain this difference is to say that the definition of effect includes the idea of a cause (i.e. an effect is that which has a cause.) However, if this is true then the Law of Causality doesn’t really tell us much new. This is like if I made a definition Definition: Objectivists are people who agree with the Objectivist philosophy. and then made a law Law of Objectivism: All Objectivists agree with the Objectivist philosophy. By definition the law would be true, but would contain no new information. Is this making since? I hope I am making my question clear; please let me know if there is any way I can be more specific. Thanks! P.S. This is different than the kind of absolute belief that I have about statements like "I exist;" the statement that I exist is obviously true and could never be disproved because I couldn’t even make the statement if I didn't exist.
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