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slacker00 last won the day on October 5 2011

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  1. Does Objectivism advocate government coerced "education"? I don't advocate what you are suggesting either. I don't think anything magically happens at 18 (or any other age) which suddenly means one has an ability one didn't have one instant previous. Every individual is different, but there has to be a better measurement than age to identify a human's ability to make decisions. The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. Violence means abuse, abuse means a corrupt custom. Corrupt means to change from good to bad morals. In a previous passage above, I believe I have shown the morality of circumcision in Ayn Rand's own words. Also, your argument that state protections from circumcision is making a child a ward of the state is plain hyperbole. More hyperbole. Where are you getting a child to being raised by "the collective"? There's a lot of things people could do to kids which would still allow them to be "perfectly fine adults", by your definition. It doesn't justify these behaviors that one might imagine. Why are we willing to settle for low bar of "perfectly fine" anyway. Is Objectivism about exceptionalism or "good enough"? I want to repeat, I'm talking about protection. I'm not talking about social engineering or what's for the greater good crap. Quit spinning this raised by the collective spit. I have no idea how you get that from one's basic protection. ----Second post----- I said "since prehistory". History has been recorded since (after) prehistory, by definition. Show me the people with missing earlobes, etc that are dysfunctional. Again, throw the burden of proof on me while rejecting it yourself. You're such a hypocrite, not this one time, but over and over. Fix yourself before you try to fix me. But, I guess you win. I'm tired of talking to you. Have fun debating yourself.
  2. 1. I wouldn't sue my parents for a variety of reasons which has nothing to do with anything worth mentioning in this thread. 2. I think I would get the medical treatment. Obviously, I'd have to do my homework and be convinced that there weren't risks I wouldn't be willing to take. The cost might be an issue. I'd definitely consider it. But it probably simply isn't a reality for me. I mean, all they would be doing is stretching skin. I guess I have done some research, I wasn't impressed with what I had found. Nothing can bring back that lost skin. It would be purely cosmetic and that was never the issue for me. 3. Absolutely. Obviously, how would I really know? Maybe the horror stories about smegma dick cancer are true and I'd already be dead. But, maybe they took too much off mine or something, I'll spare you guys the details.
  3. Kurt, you should probably go back a couple pages where I started this argument. To clarify, this is actually a thread hijack by me. I should have known better. I'm arguing concepts of method, which has nothing to do with the thread up to that point. But I think you're on the right track. I am arguing an imaginary God, by definition, is the basis for religion. But, I should clarify that we must differentiate between the imaginary Christian God, the imaginary Jewish God, the imaginary Muslim God. Even futher we might need to allow for the imaginary Catholic God versus the imaginary Lutheran God versus the imaginary Mormon God, etc. Just the word "God" can be fairly abstract, which might be tripping some people up. The proper understanding will certainly vary on context, but still functions as a hierarchy. There are some concepts about God which transcend all monotheistic religions, or at least the Judeo-Christian tradition. This whole topic is fairly involved and isn't simple. But neither is complex analysis mathematics! haha
  4. I'm talking about the victim. But I guess it's ok for parents of an infant to snip off any little bits of skin here and there to pacify whatever whims they might have. An earlobe here, no big deal. Maybe snip down the nose to look like Michael Jackson. Maybe some face tattoos like Mike Tyson? Maybe the kid will grow up fine. Does that make the Frankenstein plastic surgery moral? I agree, it's a tribal thing. Humans have been doing all this crap since prehistory. When does the individual have a right to reject this tribal stupidity? Ever?
  5. Can you link me to some proof of this assertion? It's ok if you can't. I do recognize the difficulty of legitimate proof. You are basically making a blanket assertion which is opposite of my assertion. Funny how some ask me for proof but others may post assertions without proof. Psychology might add some perspective, but it is still a young science. I expect any perspective about the mind of a believer of God verses the mind of a non-believer of God is very limited science.
  6. Yes. I was making the case that contradictory & imaginary concepts fit within the scope of Objectivism. So, we are in agreement here, I assume. Absolutely. We are in agreement that an imaginary God concept plays no role in mathematics with which I am familiar. I'd say the concept of an imaginary God is basically what defines religion, depending on how we want to define religion. But, please, let's just use the casual definition. It's not useful to split hairs here. Can we not agree that God & religion are tightly integrated? I gave examples. Proof is rarely trivial. I was hoping that we could agree about the role the so called imaginary God concept has played in the course of history, art, literature, politics, morality, law, ethics, etc. This is not only the case in ancient history, but still exists today. I made all of these points already. Maybe you missed my original post. Here, I'll quote my previous explanations in the posts above which you may have missed. Even though God is imaginary, God plays a critical role and forms a basis for Western culture. Isn't it critical to meaningful interpretation of Western history to understand Christianity? The American system of justice has certainly been influenced by Christian morality and continues to be. Even politics is shaped by the religious right. It's absolutely realistic and rational to acknowledge God as a force affecting the world, even if it's imaginary in concept. I think it's worth acknowledging this imaginary God as relevant in concepts of method regarding how to deal with specific elements of reality, namely society in general as well as politics, law, and history in specific. It'd be nice to dismiss this imaginary God, but that would be rejecting that part of reality which is tightly woven into my daily live and the lives of the rest of you too, if you just open your eyes and see it for what it is and deal with it rationally. No, it isn't proof. It's an appeal to common sense. If you reject any of these specific claims, you need to address the specific claim. Never again proclaim, "You're wrong" and just walk away. That is extremely rude and insulting to me. I do appreciate this final clarification of your original statement.
  7. What about individual rights? Doesn't the government have the responsibility to protect the individual rights of the citizens? I'd say it's a right to not have needless and senseless cosmetic surgery mandated on one individual by another. Or maybe you'd be fine with the possibility that any random person could molest or mutilate your body like that when you are not in a position to protect yourself.
  8. So, basically, the onus is on me to explain your objection to myself. I just want be clear. You want me to read your mind.
  9. First of all, you are the one making a claim. Defend your claim. Second of all, I made my claim and I am defending my claim. When one tells me "You are wrong.", I say "ok, explain WTF are you saying.". Then the guy walks away all smug and say, "You lose, the onus is on you.". Wonderful discussion.
  10. Isn't inconsequential a value choice best left to the individual doing the valuing? Sex is one of the most important aspects of man’s life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually. --“Playboy’s Interview with Ayn Rand,” March 1964. But, in fact, a man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy of life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he’s taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment—just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity!—an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces him to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and to accept his real ego as his standard of value. -- “The Meaning of Sex,” For the New Intellectual, 99
  11. It's more accurate to use the terms that they use. Simply invoke a liberal use of the word imaginary as a prefix for key concepts, such as God. Otherwise I think we are all in agreement. God is as real as complex math or any other similar theoretical field of study. It's just an imaginary abstraction which can provide unique insight, despite the fact that it is a logical contradiction to the basic axioms of reality. God isn't real in an axiomatic sense, but certainly has applications with respect to methodology.
  12. Since three others have given their personal testimony, I'll give mine. I'm cut and I wish I'd had a choice about it. I think it's symbolic castration to further invoke the slave morality of the ancient Jews. I hope nobody here needs a speech from me about how religion is designed to destroy a man's ego, to enslave his mind, etc. Circumcision is just more evidence of it. As for pierced ears & tattoos, no child should have that done against their will either. Plus, a pierced ear is not a chopped sex organ. It would be more like cutting off a child's ears at birth. It's just useless skin, right?
  13. You're rejecting my claim that God and religion influences modern politics and law, not to mention culture in general? God isn't dead by a long shot in many people's eyes. I think it's worth acknowledging this imaginary God as relevant in concepts of method regarding how to deal with specific elements of reality, namely society in general as well as politics, law, and history in specific. It'd be nice to dismiss this imaginary God, but that would be rejecting that part of reality which is tightly woven into my daily live and the lives of the rest of you too, if you just open your eyes and see it for what it is and deal with it rationally.
  14. Thanks for the links. I did a search, but I bet I made a typo or something so nothing came up. Sounds like Mr. Peikoff and I are 100% on the same page, so that's a relief. The whole topic was a revelation to me today, reading some atheist stuff about the horrors of religion and I guess the topic moved me enough to seek out answers.
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