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    I am a 23 year old 3d artist and designer based in Melbourne, Australia.
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  1. Jonathan13, i definitely agree with you about government involvement. The only time someone should interveine is if the parents are going to do the surgery against the will of the child. If the child does have some sort of condition that causes discomfort, then he should be willing to have the surgery if his parents convince him. If there is an actual deformation which causes problems, and cannot be resolved through other means, then circumcision does make sense. Did you know that balanitis is mostly caused by not washing properly? It can also be caused by washing too much. The fact that 2 boys in the family had it tells me that they weren't properly taught how to wash themselves, although i could be completely wrong and it could be something else. Do the parents have a squeamish attitude towards sex? I have seen no evidence that infants feel less pain. Given how sensitive they are to the subtlest enviromnmental cues, this seems unlikely. There is an idea that the first few months of childhood are not special since they are forgotten by adulthood, but this is now known to be false. The baby's nervous system is still developing, and any trauma at such a formative age cannot be a good thing. The only case i see for infant circumcision is if there is an infection that would spread beyond the foreskin, or if a deformation resulted in significant discomfort for the baby. Reember, the froeskin has half of the sensitive nerve endings in the penis - you don't want to cut them away without having a damn good reason.
  2. I am certain that in any remotely common scenario you can design, you should ask the permission of your child before operating on his penis. Well, i think his son should have a say. It's his penis, his body. If his father wants to circimcise his son, he should wait till the boy is old enough to make a choice for himself.
  3. What health issues? Was it Phimosis? Whatever it was, could they not have waited until the child was old enough to understand, and gotten his consent first?
  4. Why did you only choose dead secretions? All of these things regenerate. The foreskin and nerve endings in it do not come back.
  5. There is a logical technique called "argument from absurdity". You preserve the logic of your opponent's argument, and apply it in different contexts, which is a great way to reveal any double standards in your opponent. This is completely valid, so long as you preseve the original logic. You know when you are dealing with an irrational person if they respond with "But this is different" or "analogies are not arguments". That person's motive is not to find the truth, but to provoke anger and irritation in others. I suggest that you don't engage with such people, your time is more valuable.
  6. For many uncircumcised men, the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. The nerve endings are different to the nerves in the head - while the nerves in the head respond to direct touch and friction, the nerves in the foreskin respond more to being stretched. the sexual experience is supposed to have a variety of complimentary types of pleasure. Circumcision removes half of the total nerve endings, resulting on only one type of stimulation, and it reduces the sensitivity surface area by over half. Plus, it slightly reduces the girth of the penis. The only places that such a procedure makes medical sense is in horrible 3rd world desert nations with no regular bathing. Even then, third world nations need a prescription of Capitalism, not Circumcision. There is a medical condition called "phimosis", a tight foreskin. Phimosis makes it painful to have sex or masturbate, and many guys who get sircumcised as adults do it for this reason. They report that sex feels much better afterwards, but that is only because a defect was corrected. Some children are being circumcised due to a 'tight foreskin' (phimosis). This is not good, because the foreskin is partially glued onto the head of the penis until puberty, and you should wait to see how it develops first - it may correct itself. Additionally, most cases of phimosis can be treated by regular stretching every day for a few minutes. This should not be too difficult for a teenage guy. Surgery should be rarely necessary for phimosis. If you ever see people trying to justify something nasty, and their justifications keep changing every time you shoot one down, you know that you are dealing with something irrational. Circumcision is such an issue. The original excuses were, in order: Religion, to remove the pleasure of sex, for hygiene, so that the child will fit in with his peers in locker rooms, so that he will look like his dad, because women find it more attractive, because it reduces the risk of some very rare medical conditions, because it reduces the incidence of HIV in 3rd world nations (by reducing the surface area of the penis and reducing the type of cells hat can acquire it), and so on. Each of the 'scientific reasons' can be destroyed by applying an argument form absurdity: if the risk of rare penis cancers makes it necessary to remove the foreskin at birth, then the risk of common breast cancers makes it far more necessary to remove the breast tissue of all baby girls. Also, if people call for circumcision to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV, the logical extension calls for removing the head of the penis so that people are less likely to have sex, or to scar the inside of the urethra in order to make a stronger barrier against HIV. The fact that these people only call for a socially accepted surgery proves that their are only circumcision advocates, not health advocates. Life is risky, yet pleasurable. If you want to cut off your body parts as an adult in order to reduce your risks of diseases in future, then by all means do so - but allow children to make those choices for themselves too. Don't assume that they will value pleasure as cheaply (or be as fearful of risks) as you are.
  7. The answer to this issue is surprising, yet simple. In a capitalist society where all land, water and air are privately owned, no one is allowed to pollute other people's property. If your neighbour's genetically modified corn releases pollen that contaminates your organic corn, then you can sue him. This created a deterrent effect in the long run: all new genetically modified organisms will be virtually sterile, or farms will have sophisticated barriers to prevent spreading. No one will want to risk being sued for growing uncontrollable crops. This is one example for how the free market can solve this problem. In an Objectivist system, the government would handle lawsuits through the court system. In an anarco-capitalist system, insurance companies would use their collective power to represent their customers, and ensure that people 'outside the system' are ostracised from a capitalist society. In both cases, the institution of private property minimises the risk of this problem appearing.
  8. Thank you! I rendered them using Cinema 4D 9.6, and did some of the modeling in AutoCAD. You won't get those colours in any renderer, though - that was all photoshop enhancement and manual recolouring. Some of his buildings look pretty cool, you can see a consistent theme running throughout each development. However, I read that his design approach is to scrunch up pieces of paper randomly and then draw inspiration from the more interesting ones. I don't think there is enough 'math' in his designs. If I were designing a building development, I would make it look as if some mathematical equations were driving the shapes of all of the buildings, so that by looking at one, you can almost predict what the next one ought to be. I was amazed by Rand's description of Roarke's developments - it was so close to what I would like to see. Some buildings mimic biological forms - one architect with some very interesting buildings is Santiago Calatrava, who did an amazing planetarium in Spain. I can imagine, lol. Interior spaces is one area that frustrates me, because rectangular spaces usually look better. I beleive that interior design is far more sophisticated than architecture - many, many interiors seem to have a great, integrated visual style. I like the detail and visual richness of neoclassical buildings, but their overall shapes are very silly. Rand got it completely right when she detailed all of the problems with them. Very modern buildings look nice - i have seen some amazingly beautiful variations on minimalist boxes, but they get a bit boring. Good point. In my opinion, one should try to design only beautiful forms, and then ignore projects where those forms cannot be applied functionally. An alternative is to scale up a beautiful building envelope in order to fit the fuinctional space inside. There would be some wasted space in between the 2 layers, so such a building may be more expensive.
  9. I was thinking of the governemnt in Atlas Shrugged: it had gone too far down the road to totalitarianism for it to be reversed "within the system" or through other means, even though it was a democratic system. There were 2 choices: wait for a total collapse, or change things earlier. The same can be said for America: certain flaws with the approach to American government make it impossible to reverse the direction that the country is moving in, unless there is a massive philosophical shift. Ayn Rand was complaining about America 60 years ago - and things are just getting worse for liberty. In the past year, the government has been nationalizing some major industries - things are getting bad. The same applies to any new government that is created which contains fundamental contradictions in its core: governments will naturally grow in size and power until they crush their host economies, unless they are restrained somehow. No government in history has ever been restrained, not even America. Objectivism intends to make it work by having an Objectivist constitution. So, if it can be recognized that a particular government is doomed to eventually become desitructive and collapse, is it appropriate to have a revolution, even when things are OK at the moment? Should we nip them in the bud, before they get so bad?
  10. An interesting addition to this question: Suppose a government system is 'fine' for the time being, but it is heading towards a disaster that cannot be stopped through normal means. Is a revolution acceptable?
  11. There are 4 types possibilities for knowledge: true, false, unproven, and unprovable. These last 2 are different to being false. Unproven ideas are those which are theoretically provable, but have not yet been proven (e.g. the existence of aliens). Unprovable ideas are those which do not interact with our reality at all. This last category is the one that Agnostics get so focused on, for some reason or another. The fact that they do not interact with out reality makes them 100% irrelevant - and unless the agnostics are proposing some way of interacting with them, they are just wasting their time and yours.
  12. It depends on how pro-liberty you are. If you support significantly more liberty than other nations, you will be discrediting ideas about the failure of the capitalism, and people will probably try and stop you. Governments are monopolies, and like all monopolies they hate new competitors. Note how the number of nations in the world has been gradually shrinking over the past 1000 years.
  13. Sure, but shouldn't they prove it? It is a bit more complicated than that, too. To me, he idea of taking a life, even in self defense, would overwhelm me with negative emotions. The idea of killing millions of people is worse. And when we come to killing innocent people, that would go against every fibre of my being. I fail to see how killing millions can be legitimized by cloaking them in the label of 'enemy nation', but more importantly, I know that no sensitive, emapthetic person could ever advocate such things, especially not with the intensity I have seen here. This is what I mean when i said bloodthirsty, and it requires a repressed or nonexistant empathy. There was a time when wars did not involve the gneeral population, but only the soldiers who fought them. Now, we live in an era of total war, which is not something that people who pride themselves on rationality and valuing life should ever advocate. To demonstrate to others that this sort of thing doesn't go unchallenged. One should never turn down an opportunity to pass judgement. How so? people have used America's relative level of freedom compared with Iran to excuse any behaviour. The fact that one nation may be more free than another does not justify killing the very people who are being oppressed in the less free nation. That is a non-sequitur: one does not follow from the other. If 1000 Iranians proclaimed themselves as a new nation with more freedom than America, could that new nation justify attacks against America using the same logic? Or does this principle only apply for America? An Iranian president with a fetish for irony may allow such a nation to be formed for precisely this purpose. People are throwing around principles here like crazy. Do these principles apply universally to all people, in all times and in all places, or are they just making up subjective preferences, like "I like ice Cream"? Either it is universal principle, or it is a preference. Just because allowing civilian casualties would make wars easier to conduct doesn't make it the right thing to do. Right, i think I'm done with this. I have provided enough explanations and resources to make my case, like the history of WWII, or Hans Herman Hoppe's ideas on Total War. People who are genuinely curious and interested will explore this information, while others will not. I am satisfied with leaving it at that.
  14. Mark, there was some package dealing, context dropping and appeal to tradition. Look back in your posts, there was another post before the exchange you quoted, which may help you see the context. If you wish to understand why someone would reject your version of history, check out the Mises institute website, which is the basis for the economics of Objectivism. They have shown that the commonly accepted versions of most historical events, especially WWII, are based on popular propaganda, government press releases or liberal academic talking points at the time of the event. Truth is not the primary criteria of what goes into a history textbook. By re-examing the events of the past and reading what people said outside of the popular media, revisionist history gives better answers. For example, popular history tells us that: - the Civil War was fought to end slavery - the Industrial revolution was a step backwards for the workers until the unions improved working conditions - anti-trust laws were created to stop the big business - people did not have access to education until the governemnt stepped in - welfare was created to help the poor - the Federal Reserve was created to end recessions and stabilise the economy - the great depression was caused by capitalism - Roosevelt saved the economy - WWII ended the great depression - McCarthy was paranoid about the communists in America These versions of history, and many more, have been demonstrated to be false by revisionist history. Are you open to the idea that this may also apply to your knowledge of WWII, or do you just 'know'? I suggest you explore the revisionist history of WWII. For instance, you might be surpirsed by the motives for Japan's Pearl Harbour attack, and who knew about it beforehand. Or the history of American's colonisation of Hawaii, and why there was a military base there in the first place. Or the influence that America's involvement in WWI had on bringing WWII into existence. There's a lot more to the issue than what you have presented.
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