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shadesofgrey

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  1. Wouldn't the eternal dissapation of all matter and energy in the universe constitute thermal death if there's nothing to reverse it? I would think that even if the span of time were infinite, the entire universe wouldn't reach absolute zero because there would always BE energy as you've stated. Still, it'd be pretty darn close.
  2. Well, nothing can actually happen without time. If you have three dimensions of matter, it's just going to sit there unless time exists as a dimension in which it can be acted upon by other things or an outside force. Time exists regardless of whether or not anyone is around to perceive it. Our perception is somewhat irrelevant, because of instances when time is warped, as when an object approaches the speed of light or crosses the event horizon of a black hole. The perception of time changes (even to the same observer) when events like this take place. It becomes RELATIVE. Hence, the Law of Relativity. I'm not sure if this is the current thinking, but as I understand it, some people think that time itself began with the Big Bang and before that, there was no such thing as matter or time. This presents the paradox of the Prime Mover (i.e. if there was no time or matter, what started it and where did the matter come from?). Personally, I can't get my head around the notion of a singularity, a point of infinite mass and density, because it seems to me that even that should be quantifiable in some way. Actually, yeah I remember reading that. Instead of the Big Crunch where everything comes back together, it just keeps spreading out forever until everything reaches absolute zero, resulting in the thermal death of the universe. Cozy thought.
  3. Sounds like you have the situation well in hand then. Just as a opinion, I don't think anyone NEEDS to agree with whatever philosophy you embrace for the two of you to be happy. You may PREFER to date an objectivist, but the argument that you couldn't make a relationship work unless you were both objectivists is a weak one. I would examine why your significant other being objectivist is so important to you. Say you were dating some religious zealot. It would be pretty hard to respect that person if they thought you were a filthy sinner who deserved to burn in hell for all eternity because you didn't embrace their faith. The same goes for being too strict with objectivism. Do you not respect this man as a person because he's not objectivist? Whatever this guy sees in you, whatever he loves you for, it's clearly independent of your objectivist views. Even if your objectivism is what is responsible for who you are, it's still indirect to him. You could take the objectivism out of your life and he'd still love you, regardless of HOW you got to be the way you are. Now, the challenge for you is to determine what you love about HIM. Whatever it is, it didn't appear because he was an objectivist. I doubt if he ever was. So, in the abscence of objectivist thought, he still was and is a person who has many great things in him that you treasure. To hold stubbornly onto objectivist dogma at this point would be silly. You keep your beliefs, he keeps his. If you're both open-minded, intelligent people, you can at least mutually respect each other's right to your respective views, even if you don't agree with them. There's plenty of people who are completely happy with each other and who see the world very differently. I keep coming back to religion, but there are believers who marry aethesists, muslims who marry christians, agnostics who marry objectivists, and all other combination of relationships that would never work out on paper. The point is, no matter how tightly you embrace your personal philosophy, there's more to life than that. They're just GUIDELINES so that you can reach whatever potential you posess in a way that makes you fulfilled. That's why philosophy is relative. It doesn't matter HOW you attain fulfillment, just that you attain it. You're not selling out because you're with someone who doesn't think the same way you do. There's truth to the old adage "opposites attract." That's how it became and old adage There must have been instances in your relationship where the two of you were completely living in the moment, not thinking about philosophy or the future or anything but the immediate present. Philosophy didn't matter right then. Now it's about how the two of you make each other feel and whether you want to continue that or not.
  4. There seems to be only one real issue that I can identify: you're dating someone with conditions. The excuse that you "haven't gotten around to" reading the objectivist works that are important to you together is invalid. You've had 2.5 years. If it were that important, I'm sure you both could have made time. The fact that he hasn't gone out of his way to read them alone (while you're still dating) is significant as well. It sends a message that either 1) your wishes aren't that important to him or 2) he doesn't care to learn that much about objectivism. If you choose to only date someone who is an objectivist, that's fine. However, attempting to mold someone INTO an objectivist is not. It has to be undertaken freely, otherwise it's analagous to forced religious conversion. Not only that, but you should be prepared for the fact that he may not be the TYPE of objectivist you want. As this forum clearly demonstrates, all objectivists are not equal and they disagree on a lot of major topics. Additionally, there are many people who only embrace part of objectivism or who agree with only a few of its principles. They're not objectivists in the true sense, but there's a good chance this person you're dating could be in that category. It seems to me that there's too much work going into this whole thing. It shouldn't be that hard if you both agree. I think there's a level of appeasement going on here and that will lead to the other person resenting you. You're not embracing them for who they are, you're embracing them conditionally on who you want them to BECOME. Not to say you shouldn't have standards, but those standards should be met through common interest, not prodding and threats from you. As a man who has been rejected by, and is friends with, far more women than I have ever dated or probably will ever date, I can attest to most men not wanting to REALLY be friends with women who turn them down. They don't get the concept of total rejection with no possibility of parole I agree with the other posters who said that there's almost no way this could work as a friendship, even temporarily, after 2.5 years. Under those conditions, I would EXPECT him to resent you because you're sending a thinly-veiled message that "You're not good enough. Once you embrace what I want you to embrace, then you're welcome back into my good graces." I think it would be beneficial to stop trying to nudge him towards a goal he clearly hasn't embraced. You've had enough time to make a decision. Either accept him for what he is or don't.
  5. I don't work in the same town as senior administration, so I wrote my e-mail on the 5th. Predictably, I have not gotten a reply. If I ever do, you'll see me back here.
  6. *** Warning: Contains "Atlas Shrugged" spoilers *** So....Rearden dates Dagny, Dagny leaves him for Galt, Rearden develops a man-crush on Galt, everyone lives happily ever after. I've had a bit of an issue with this since I read the book. I was thinking about it in the car on the way home today and it occurred to me that this almost never happens in real life. Granted the three characters are a bit more "together" intellectually and morally than your average civilian, but still, Rearden didn't even display a fleeting sadness as I recall. I mean, that's just unnatural. Even if he realizes later that they're all better off that way, it strikes me as artificial not to even acknowledge a loss, however temporary. This led me to think that the only reason that Rearden was so OK with Dagny leaving him was that he valued his work more than he valued her. Galt totally changed his world and opened his mind up to being "free" to live and work how he wanted, which was a giant bonus to Rearden. Dagny left him, but he seemed like..."eh, no biggie. Galt's amazing though!" Like, the positives associated with meeting Galt so far outweighed the negatives of loosing Dagny that he scarcely acknowledged it. Thoughts?
  7. Welcome to the forum. You certainly have a strong philosophical background and I look forward to reading your exchanges. Hope you brought a helmet
  8. Sorry about the quote mixup. I hear what you're saying, though I didn't ask the original question because I want to emulate John Galt. I agree that it's the principles which are important to apply to oneself rather than in the context of a particular character. That's why phibetakappa's quote I thought rung particularly true: "Therefore, in some respect, there’s nothing particularly special about John Galt. Every man possessing a healthy brain can do what John Galt does. But, not every person is going to possess his particular set of interests, experiences, education, intelligence, etc. In other words, when faced with the choice of self-sacrifice, a man possessing a normal healthy brain can make the same philosophical choices Galt makes." Which, between the two of you, answers my original question. John Galt simply elucidated the values that a bunch of other people were already thinking. It's optimistic, creating his character, because it allows for the realization of the true potential of every person. Thanks everyone.
  9. Well they should. Or try to anyway. OK that helps. Could you elaborate on the intellectual aspect? In the book he was a brilliant guy. In terms of his plan and ideas, there was no room for improvement at all, so you could literally call his discourse objectivist perfection. Is it implied that someone else could have come up with the same theories and ideas if John Galt had never existed?
  10. It's actually a two-parter: Is John Galt considered literally a perfect man, or is he a symbol of perfection, towards which all men should strive but not necessarily attain? I don't recall him having any room for improvement either past or present in the book. Does objectivism teach that all men are capable of the same accomplishments in terms of self-improvement, or does it acknowledge that some people will attain a higher level of self-improvement than others? I use the term "self-improvement" because not all men are capable of the same physical accomplishments and also to keep it broad, inclusive of morality, intelligence, selfishness, etc. For instance, there wasn't anyone who could "live up" to John Galt's example....or, could it be assumed that someone could have come along in the future with the same ideas if he never expressed them?
  11. Exactly. It's that whole difference of what is and what should be.
  12. It is a not-for-profit actually, though many NFP hospitals clear an impressive amount of profit (which is ostensibly re-invested into operations). Pretty much any hospital with an ER is running a business to help out the less fortunate, though this one recognizes the importance of the bottom line. The reasoning for this decision as was stated in the letter is to save the hospital money. It is a lot cheaper to give everyone $1000 than to give everyone 3% of their salary. However, I can't figure out WHY they said "It is our intent that those earning the least will benefit the most." I'm assuming it was to placate those employees who earn towards the lower end of the scale and for whom a 3% raise means a lot more economically than those towards the top of the scale. However, it's no real excuse in my mind. As posted previously, the real question is why the health system values its employees based on what they're paid rather than the other way around. The strange thing is that a hiring freeze was instituted on all full-time employees except those considered "critical to patient care/safety", which happens to include me. We shall see.
  13. *** Mod's note: Split from the thread on God. -sN *** This question relates back to the beginning of the thread around page 2 or 3, but I figured it would be better placed here than in a new/identical thread. I read the exchange about objectivism and its views on agnosticism and its assertions that some things are unknowable (like the existence of god). Where does objectivism fall regarding subjects which are currently unknown and may well remain unknowable for an unknown length of time? The idea of a god started out as some primitive person's way to explain eclipses or earthquakes or sunshine or whatever. At that time, it was unknown information, but the idea of a god seemed to fill a gap in man's lack of understanding of the world around him (suspend for a moment the lack of advanced reasoning that primitive man possessed). Today, the idea of a god is far less rational because we have empirical proof of how most of the major physical systems of our world work. There's not as large a "gap" for man to really wonder about. There is information today that is unknown and that indeed contradicts the known "laws" of physics/thermodynamics/etc. Quantum mechanics is the best example I can think of. The laws we made up for the macro-atomic world don't apply fully at the subatomic level. Indeed the very existence of many components of "elementary" particles (quarks, neutrinos, bosons, etc) has never been empirically proven on any real level. The best we have to my knowledge is an electromagnetic "signature" that SOMETHING happened when some atoms collided in a particle accelerator and that something is different than what was there originally. Nothing measurable or directly observable. Just an indication that a situation had changed over time (as all situations eventually do). That, and mathematical posits that something other than the particles we know of must be causing the relationships that are seen in the accelerators. There are mathematical "gaps" that are currently theorized to be filled by some tiny particle that must have SOME physical characteristics, though we cannot as yet theorize what they may be. Since objectivism holds that the universe is "known and knowable", what would the position be on subjects which we do not understand (yet)? Not only that, but that currently we have no proof that we will EVER understand? Does objectivism assume that man will continue to progress in intelligence and technology until the whole of existence is known?
  14. If you think a display name affects whether or not you have principled stances on an issue, you have bigger problems that not understanding my post. It doesn't imply MORAL grayness in the least. I could be talking about a cloud for all you know, but you didn't bother to find out, did you? I'm not sure what you think is confusing about the post, though. I completely agree with your second paragraph. I'm not sure how my sense of concern dropped off after the first post, but I maintain that I'm looking into it. Am I quite as outraged as I was when I opened the letter? No. Sustained anger doesn't help anyone. Rather, an angry period at the injustice of a company is good motivation to ACT on the inequities presented previously. If it's not fast enough for you, tough. You'll see the results as soon as I do.
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