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Godless Capitalist

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Everything posted by Godless Capitalist

  1. ^^It's not that clear, which is why I used "seeming." From the release: "the prosecution came nowhere near proving its central allegation that Jeff Skilling engineered a conspiracy to defraud investors." "... Skilling ... destroyed no documents, nor did anything else resembling a criminal cover-up." "conviction for a phantom conspiracy" So the ARI writer seems to be claiming not just that the prosecution failed to prove guilt, but that there was no conspiracy or coverup at all. That certainly sounds like a claim that he was innocent.
  2. Thanks, softwareNerd. I'm still curious about the details of the case and the evidence (or lack thereof) on the specific cases. Megan: Interesting question. Which is the bigger crime, stealing an unattended purse with $100 in it, or causing an an investor to lose $100,000 by deliberately misrepresenting the state of a company's finances? Both seem criminal to me.
  3. Dr. Montessori did not copyright the name "Montessori" so anyone can use it. AMI schools have to meet more rigorous standards than AMS schools. But ultimately parents judging a school should learn about the method themselves and observe a few classes to see how well the method is followed. This thread has more info: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=1726
  4. One more thing: a Catholic school specifically may be better academically than a public school or even other private schools. Catholicism has a long tradition of intellectual rigor that carries over into many Catholic schools. Whatever religious doctrine the child may be exposed to at such a school will probably be no worse than the environmentalism and socialism they will get at most other schools.
  5. There is also this thread: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=1726 For those considering Montessori, try to find an AMI rather than AMS school. (AMI adheres better to Montessori's philosophy.) I agree with posts above that a private school may not be any better than a public one. We will be doing AMI Montessori through Gr 6, then probably public with lots of parental supplementation.
  6. I recently got a press release from ARI seeming to claim that Skilling was innocent. Does anyone have a link to more details on this? Ayn Rand Institute Press Release The Media's Mistreatment of Jeff Skilling October 23, 2006 Irvine, CA--Upon hearing the news that former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced to 24 years, most Americans, trusting the newspaper articles and books they have read on Enron, think that justice has been served. But, said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, "Jeff Skilling has not gotten justice, and the media bear a major portion o
  7. I think there is one way you can connect things like symmetry to objective standards. A lack of symmetry in a human face and/or body, or a serious skin problem, is usually a result of a disease or genetic disorder and thus shows that the person's body is not in ideal health. Similarly, a person who is extremely thin or fat is also not in ideal health. There is an objective reason to find unhealthy bodies unattractive. (In some cultures, however fatter people are considered more attractive, but that is because in that culture fatness is an indication that the person is economically successful a
  8. I don't know the answer to the original question but it does seem to be a scientific question rather than a philosophical one. It could be of philosophical relevance if it were discovered that an animal species had conceptual abilities similar to those of humans, and in particular the ability to reason. We would then have to consider what rights such a species might have; possibly the same as humans.
  9. Ha ha. Computers have been around long enough that even old codgers like me (42) know how to use them. More likely the reason is that college age is when most people discover Objectivism and are most actively involved in it. That's how it was for me, only we didn't have online forums then. (I learned how to type on a manual typewriter, how to calculate on a sliderule, and how to program using Fortran coded onto Hollerith cards. Growing up, hi-tech was color TV and touchtone phones.)
  10. good opinion piece from TIME: Essay Liberty, Equality, Mediocrity The strangest revolution the French have ever produced By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Apr. 17, 2006 The French are justly proud of their revolutionary tradition. After all, 1789 begat 1848 and 1871 and indeed inspired just about every revolution for a century, up to and including the Russian Revolution of 1917. Say what you will about the outcomes, but the origins were quite glorious: defiant, courageous, bloody, romantic uprisings against all that was fixed and immovable and oppressive: kings, czars, churches, oligarchies, ty
  11. ^^ lol Well, actually it seems that there wasn't good evidence that there were WMD, or any clear connection between Saddam and 9/11. I still don't think Bush lied, and I don't think we have any need to apologize for deposing a viscious dictator, but the case for invading Iraq in order to protect the US is very shaky.
  12. ^^Agree. Open immigration should not even be considered until governments stop handing out free services like education and health care. Why work within the system? Because what is important is not just your innocence, but that your innocence can be demonstrated by some open and objective process. If everyone just does what they think is right, and ignores the objective legal system, the result is anarchy (even if each person's judgement is in fact rational). On the drugs question, I generally agree with you. The friend might break the drug laws, but is no more likely to break othe
  13. I'm not thinking "genetic" and I don't think anyone else here is. I'm thinking your second meaning. The core ideas of Objectivism already exist in Western culture; it's not surprising that many people learn them from parents, books, etc. before seeing them in Objectivist literature.
  14. ^^I think the answer to this depends on the nature of the government you live under. In the US, or other Western country with a relatively fair legal system, you should work within the system to appeal your conviction and prove your innocence. If you are in a corrupt or dictatorial country with no chance of fair treatment, I think it would be moral to escape if possible. As for rule of law, the problem in our society is that the choice is between following all laws as written, or acting, at least slightly, as an anarchist. As the speeding example shows, most of us choose to be partial anarc
  15. ^^Not to mention that Iraq did in fact still have the capacity and intent to restart their weapons programs once the inspections were eased. Wow! So I guess you believe Iran's claim that the enriched uranium is just for power plants, despite the fact that Iran has loads of oil and thus no need for nuclear power, and despite Iran's explicit and aggressive rhetoric against the US and Isreal? Regardless of what one thinks about Iraq, Iran is far more clearcut.
  16. lol The moon bit was a joke; I don't want to live there either. The point was just that our society will be quite different by then. It also occurs to me that some countries have already developed methods of dealing with higher sea levels. 1/4 of the Netherlands is below sea level and protected by dikes; engineers from there are consulting on plans to protect New Orleans. Prosperous, technologically advanced countries should have no trouble dealing with gradual sea level rise. (interesting country btw; only 16 million people, one of the world's most densely populated countries, but stil
  17. I would consider my wife and myself "natural" Objectivists as well. I discovered Objectivism in college, and already agreed with most of the basic ideas. My wife has never read any Objectivist works, yet generally comes to the "right" conclusion on most issues by herself. I don't think its really that unusual. Agree. Don't forget John Locke as well! Objectivism did not spring out of nowhere; it is part of the general pro-reason "classical liberal" trend in western culture. Ayn Rand did add many new ideas of course, and tie things together, but foundation was already there.
  18. ^^Good find, Tommy! Here is a typical article about the worst-case scenario: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...andicemelt.html excerpts, followed by comments: "Scientists have previously calculated that if the annual average temperature in Greenland increases by almost 3° Celsius (5.4° Fahrenheit), its ice sheet will begin to melt. Many experts believe the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will have reached levels around the year 2100 that would cause the temperature to rise that much." So the melting, and thus sea-level rise, is not even predic
  19. All good points. However: -Often the original "cutting-edge" paper is the one that makes it onto the front page of the newspapers (often in oversimplified and even more sensationalist form), while the paper refuting it is buried on p. 47 or not reported on at all -Most scientists would rather do their own researcch thaan double-check other peoples' work, so correction smay take a long time. Overall I agree with you and with Monica. Global warming is a scientific question, and it is irrational to reject the idea outright for a priori ideological reasons. My own position is that we probably
  20. Primary sources are not as reliable as many people think. My wife is a scientist and both publishes papers and reviews other papers. Her opinion is that many published papers, including in Science and Nature, get only cursory reviews and are of questionable validity. Nature in particular in known for publishing "cutting-edge" papers that later turn out to be wrong.
  21. I think we are still on topic. The core of this issue is what masculinity and femininity are. Once we understand that, we can understand the proper nature of male-female romantic relationships and then consider whether same-sex romantic relationships might be proper.
  22. It doesn't matter whether we can create a cell or not. What matters is whether cells could have evolved by purely natural processes. If ID supporters could show that some form of concsious design was required, then they would have a point. But they can't, and they don't. True. I should have been more clear. What I meant was that some combination of physical constants must "win," not that a life-sustaining combination must "win."
  23. Being a model is productive, since one is paid for it. Being a "trophy wife" isn't. So now you seem to be basically saying marriage should be a form of prostitution, or at least that a wife's primary role should be decorative. For me (and my wife) productive work is not a specifically masculine virtue; it is something all rational people should engage in. I would have no interest in marrying a woman who did not want to do something productive with her time; in fact it would be a huge turnoff as it would suggest a serious character flaw. Ayn Rand addressed this issue specificall
  24. CF: Touche! lol My point was just that the the experience of actually being married is somewhat different from the romantic fantasies people sometimes have. (not that there is anything wrong with romance!) BD: I think my answer is clear. I agree with Shane; who earns what and pays for what really doesn't matter much. I find it interesting that CF and BD are both from outside the US. Is it possible that your "traditional" attitudes on this issue (and Ayn Rand's as well) have little to do with Objectivism and much more to do with the societies and families in which you were raised?
  25. ID can easily be shown to be religion, not science. If the creator in ID is some sort of aliens, then the same problem occurs: who created the aliens? If not, then the creator must be supernatural, eg religion not science. There is a much easier solution to this problem than postulating some bizarre idea of infinite parallel universes. Think of it like a lottery. There are millions of tickets (possible combinations of values of physical constants) but only one person can win (our universe). From the point of view of the lottery winner, it seems very unlikely that they would have won. B
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