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  1. The definition and history of both words is MUCH more complicated than that. I will try to find my notes and post something more meaningful soon. In the meantime think about this: every definition you've mentioned in this thread could apply to both a democracy and a republic by today's general understanding of the words (either here or in Europe). So since the word democracy is not used one single time in any of the founding documents (of the U.S.) and the word republic is not only in the founding documents, many of the founding fathers said and wrote about the government they created specifically as a republic (even our pledge allegiance says "and to the republic for which it stands", and they spoke and wrote about why the U.S. is NOT a democracy, why does anyone use the word democracy when referring to the U.S. today? Bob Keller
  2. Sorry, but IMO, that is a wholly inadequate, nebulous, wishy-washy definition of democracy. You also seem to reside in the 'freedom and power-to-the-people' camp. The "people" also rule in a republic. But just how is it that they rule? Through representatives? Hmmm, a republic meets that definition also. What else? How MUCH power do the elected representatives have and why? Your post said nothing at all about "rights", which is the cornerstone of the (U.S.) Constitution. You might start there. Bob Keller
  3. First you have to define democracy, which is not easy. John Adams struggled which defining both democracy and republic during his lifetime. And also, the definition has changed over time. For example, "liberal" used to mean some things that we would today consider to be "conservative", so we now have the term "classical liberal" to mean those things and liberal now is associated with left-wings ideas. So also, in the late 1700's democracy mostly meant 'all things decided by popular vote of all of the people", and Thomas Jefferson, among others, spoke out vehemently against it. Yet it wasn't much later that he founded the Democractic-Republican party. I've had a history professor try to convince me that the word democracy has evolved over the last two centuries to mean the good things that I was espousing about a republic. So I replied, if it means the same thing and the definition of republic hasn't changed, why don't we just use republic. He didn't have an answer. IMO, today the general definition that most people use for the word democracy has mostly to do with freedom and a nebulous idea of rights like the right to free speech. I suspect you may be residing in this camp. But, as others have pointed out, when you start to realize that the primary purpose of the government set up by the founders is to protect the rights of the people, and not to make everyone equal or to GRANT rights (we possess them before government), then you start to understand how the U.S. is (supposed to be) a republic. So I think you'd find most Objectivist leaning towards a republic, which we have not had in a pure form in this country for quite some time. Bob
  4. First I've seen your work and I'm an instant fan. I particularly found your representation of the Dagny-inspired woman in Motive Force to be absolutely stunning. Bob Keller
  5. Another irony is that people instinctively DO behave in their own self-interest as his example shows. It is the large loss of life in such cases that led to building and fire codes that have been in use for decades. It is inadequate exit widths, doors swinging the wrong way and other construction factors that have led to such deaths - has nothing at all to do with anyone acting, or not, in their self-interest. Bob
  6. “We are a republican government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy.“ Alexander Hamilton “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself “ John Adams “It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this.” – Alexander Hamilton “Democracy is a form of government that cannot long survive, for as soon as the people learn that they have a voice in the fiscal policies of the government, they will move to vote for themselves all the money in the treasury, and bankrupt the nation.” - Karl Marx Bob Keller
  7. Define 'good food', 'decent housing', 'worthwhile education'. Who gets to define? What if I don't like their definition of 'good food', etc. Al Capone's basic needs of food and housing were certainly met, yet he continued to commit crime. Hmmm. Go figure? Not even worth reading any further. Bob
  8. All things are susceptible to the universe collapsing into a single point of mass. But if the universe is continually expanding, then unending immortality could be discussed. Bob
  9. Steve and Maximus, much thanks! Don't why I find this fascinating, but I do. Interesting that the Mayans had more awareness of their actual place in the universe than my great-ancestors. I'm going to start celebrating April 7 as 'Galactic Center Day'. Might even light a few firecrackers or howl at the moon. ;-) How long until it changes to April 8? (or 6??) Bob
  10. Thank you, Steve, I think. My head is still buzzing! LOL I'm sure it's quite clear in your mind, but it's WAY more than I wanted and quite un-clear, though it's probably what I NEED to answer my question. What I'm really interested in is the relationship of our solar system to the galactic center. I understand we are out near the edge somewhere. Perhaps you answered this, but I didn't follow. The earth's orbit is tilted a little from the galactic? But regardless it's not 90 degrees off so once every year a line from the sun through the earth would point at the galactic center (looking down in plan view). I'm wondering what that date is right now. (Obviously as the solar system rotates around the galactic center the date changes)
  11. What has always intrigued me is what is the position of the earth-sun at midnight Dec. 31 in relation to the rest of the galaxy? IOW, an arrow starting at the sun and pointing through the earth would point where? The center of the Milky Way? 180 degrees from that? Some other direction? Any astronomers out there know? Does it change over the years/centuries? Bob
  12. OK, it takes action to stay alive indefinitely. Fine. So if at some time in the future it becomes technologically possible for someone to take that action, they could become immortal.
  13. Depends on what your definition of immortal is. You began by saying only inanimate things like rocks were immortal. But can a rock be immortal if it is never alive? And a rock, like an asteroid, can fall into a star and be consumed - is it now dead? Whoops, I guess it's not immortal by your definition above. Bob
  14. But such a robot could replace worn out parts with the latest technology, including downloading it's entire memory and program to a new computer/brain. Much the same as every cell in your body is replaced every...what, seven years?.... and you are still you. So a robot could theoretically live forever. Bob Keller
  15. My dictionary says blathering is 'foolish talk especially in great quantity'. That was my impression. They both work.
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