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tommyedison's Achievements

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Advanced Member (5/7)



  1. My favorites Back to the Future I, II and III National Treasure Dr. No Movies I find enjoyable but are not favorites Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets Rocky I, II, III Pirates of Caribbean I, III Kate & Leopold Project A, Part I
  2. Just read the essay. Very Nice Mimpy! Congrats on the award. You deserve it.
  3. Well that's just it! One of the values of Christianity is to love the enemy. So "turn the other cheek" is a part of the values you are fighting for.
  4. Yes I have. Not Les Miserables though I've seen the film. I've read "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". That is not a coincidence. Ms. Rand is setting up a situation. If you call that a coincidence, you can call pretty much the whole book a coincidence. Infact, in Atlas Shrugged, every situation relevant to the plot is solved by the ACTIONS taken by the heroes, NOT by random chance or coincidence. For example, you don't see John Galt and others quitting because of divine inspiration or random decisions, do you? For example, you don't see John quitting because he is angry at the way the politicians restricting the freedom of his fellow citizens and just happens to cause the death of altruism in AS! Dagny does not refuse to quit in the middle of the book because of random chance or coincidence. All this happens because of the fundamental premises the heroes hold. They think, decide and act on the basis of those premises which is what advances the plot and resolves every tense situation in the book. Things don't just HAPPEN in AS. They happen because of a reason - because of the actions of the heroes - and the villains. Compare this to Harry Potter. Coincidence in the way I've described above completely destroys a story or a novel. You read fiction because it gives you a vision of life could be and ought to be (a fact shown in the essays of Aristotle and Ayn Rand). Coincidences are not the rule of life. In human life, virtually everything that happens happens because one took action towards making it happen. If in a fiction novel, everything is ruled by chance, the heroes are riding purely on luck, then the fiction is completely inapplicable to human life. It is purposeless. Even Ayn Rand was against coincidence. She said so in one of her articles on Romanticism or in her Q&As, can't remember which.
  5. It's not just the explicit ideas but the characterization, the actions and the psychology I'm criticizing. You don't get that sense of elation, the feeling of intelligent action, the reverence for man in this novel as you day in say Victor Hugo (whose explicit ideas are very bad but whose sense of life was great). Everything just happens by chance and coincidence, the events in the novels are not directed by the heroes' choices but by chance and luck. As for fighting for your own values, even Christianity tells you to fight for your values but it's hardly a selfish philosophy.
  6. The new novel is a Christian tract. Right from the explicit ideas which to the characterization of Harry and his gang. And the Christian philosophy is really consistent throughout the book ? The psychology of the characters is totally off. The novel is profoundly unromantic.
  7. The "text of the bill" link points to a bill introduced in 2005, not this year's bill.
  8. What evidence do you have that IQ is innate?
  9. True and I think it is being manifested given the popularity of faith-based books ("Left Behind", "Purpose driven Life", etc.), faith based movies ("Passion of the Christ"), faith based music (some evidence of this provided by Dr. Peikoff in his '04 statement), Bible Camps, etc. I agree. What I meant was that it is wrong to base one's conclusions only on statistics or some out-of-context anecdotes. For instance a lot of arguments, both for and against Dr. Peikoff's statement, have consisted of something like this: or or or Such out of context arguments are not any evidence for or against the possibility of a theocracy or Dr. Peikoff's statement. This is what I was arguing against. I am not saying they are totally useless. What I am saying is that they by themselves shouldn't be taken as evidence for or against voting for Democrats. Does it matter who is crafting the agenda of the GOP? The important point, I think, here is that a very evil philosophy and consequently evil policies are being advocated by the M2s in the GOP who have been supported by the M1s and not opposed at all by the pragmatists. If these guys are kept in power, they will weaken the principle of the separation of the church and state (which will be much more harmful in the long run than any threat posed by the Muslims as it will pave the way for a theocracy) and they will destroy the meaning of military offense and small government by package dealing those phrases with an immoral agenda. If ideas determine the course of history, then I don't see how it is not an error to think that the GOP (which is advocating fundamental evil ideas) will not do much more harm than the Democrats by spreading evil ideas. If Christianity keeps getting ever larger funding from the state, it will massively accelerate the spread of Christian philosophy. Electing the Democrats will delay this which will give more time to change the culture. The concrete effect of one vote may not be that important. But one side in this debate over the elections is committing a philosophical error. And since the battle is philosophical, I think it is extremely important to identify which side is committing the error and what is the error.
  10. Hugo and Republicans are complete opposites - at least in terms of sense of life. Victor Hugo, had he become president, would never have implemented a full-fledged dictatorship. I don't think the comparison between Hugo and the Republicans is very apt.
  11. Oops! Sorry. It's just that I read Mrs. Hsieh's post last so that stayed in my mind. But thanks for your help too. This was what I posted on NoodleFood I think it is a philosophical error. It is ideas which determine the course of history, of a country - not the exact approval rating of a born-again president at some point of time, or the exact percentage of people supporting Bible-based laws at a given time, or the number of people supporting censorship of obscenity at a given time (not implying that you are basing your judgment on such facts). These are mere concretes which are trumped by ideas in the long run. The entire agenda of the Republican party follows from Christian principles. The Republican Party is explicitly basing its agenda on Christian principles - even its agenda for war (Bush:"God told me to do it"). Once this principle is accepted, the rest is a matter of time. As for the sense of life of Americans, for one thing, a sense of life can't survive without an explicit philosophy. Secondly, just like the American sense of life could not prevent FDR's new deal, it will not be enough to prevent a Christian theocracy - provided that there is any remnant of a rational sense of life left in people by then. Further, keeping the Republicans in power will mean that even more government money will be channeled into Churches which will accelerate the spread of the ideas of Christianity. In addition, the Republicans, especially Bush have become agents of conceptual corruption by putting some phrases like "national security", "national sovereignty", "small government", etc. into their speeches while meaning something completely different by them. For instance, when Bush advocates "national security" and then proceeds to wage altruistic wars which endanger the US, he completely corrupts the concept of national security. The effect is that a large amount of people who would otherwise be willing to wage total war think that war cannot bring victory. Thank you though I think the proper credit goes to Dr. Peikoff, John Lewis et al.
  12. True enough. In regard to the environmentalism of the Democrats, I would like to point out that their environmentalism has not been integrated into an explicit philosophy the way Christianity has been in regards to the Republicans. By this I mean that the Democrats don't have an explicit epistemological base for their environmentalism. The Republicans do propound an explicit epistemological base for their Christianity - faith. This is why the Republicans can do much more harm in the long run - because they are advocating a fundamental idea while the Democrats are quibbling over some concretes and in the long run it is the ideas which win. And Islamic terrorism is not that big a danger to the United States as pro-Republican people (Objectivist or otherwise) are making of it nor will the Republicans do a better job of handling it because even in the worst case scenario of a nuke exploding in a major city, it would kill at most around 1 million. It will be horrible but having a Christian theocracy in the US will be infinitely worse. Secondly, the Republicans have not made us safer from terrorism. They have made us 100 times more vulnerable. Witness the surge of Islamic radicalism in Palestine, Iraq, Iran, etc. after Bush. The Republicans simply cannot fight Islam because they share with it their fundamental principles - faith, sacrifice, statism, etc.
  13. I previously in this thread interpreted Dr. Peikoff's statement as implying that those who do not vote for Democrats are immoral. After thinking it through, and reading Dr. Peikoff's post again as well as Mrs. Hsieh's excellent post, I would apologize for my previous statements. Although I still think that Dr. Peikoff's statement could have been better worded, given the amount of work he has done in Objectivism and his understanding of it, I should have examined his statement more thoroughly and given him the benefit of doubt.
  14. While I think that many O'ists are taking a short term view of the situation, don't you think this could simply be an honest mistake? Why does it have to be NECESSARILY immoral? It is not easy to predict how much will the vote this November push this country towards theocracy.
  15. Although I agree with Dr. Peikoff's analysis of the current political scenario, I think that his charges of immorality and "no understanding of O'ism" should have required some serious justification. It wouldn't have been a problem if these strong statements had been backed up with some reasoning i.e. an explanation as to why one is necessary immoral and/or has no understanding of O'ism if one disagrees with Dr. Peikoff. But as presented, these charges are wrong and if taken literally, do imply that if you do not agree with Dr. Peikoff, you are not an Objectivist (O'ist being someone who understands and practices O'ism).
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