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Everything posted by Inspector

  1. There are all kinds of nihilists out there - this is another form. I think Orwell put it fairly well: "Four legs good. Two legs baaad."
  2. The latter is what I meant. It relates because sexuality is not immutable and inborn. As I said, it is not necessarily within reach to access it for most people, but the point is that it is an aspect of psychology and is not inborn. As I said, however, it still doesn't make any given homosexual necessarily immoral.
  3. But that's precisely what we've said humor is - to say that x is absurd and to laugh at it. To say that humor is destructive is only to say that is necessarily declares something to be absurd. It's the same thing. Does that make sense?
  4. Actually... while I haven't (and wouldn't) terminate any friendships, the fact is that they simply aren't the same. There's no way I could have the time to spend with even my best friends on the level I did before I was married. They all understand, too: it's just a part of life. Um, yes, actually. That is precisely the primary reason we're not having kids. We'd have less time to spend together and neither of us could tolerate that.
  5. Ah, that has what I like to call the "he thinks he's people" factor. I mean, the panda acted just like you would expect a person to act if startled by a sneeze, right up to the looking at the camera at the end. Of course, it's not a person; it's a panda. That's what makes it funny - because we all know that pandas aren't people, but there is one that just so happens to resemble one. Humor is often found in a discongruity - something that isn't real in an obvious way. This is reality-affirming because when we laugh at something like that, it is as if to say "ah, that isn't real." The baby thing works in a similar way. I mean, he is a person, just not one that's really developed enough for you to expect him to act that way. Plus, he finds paper ripping to be absolutely hilarious for some reason. Why? Who knows but we laugh because it makes no sense - i.e. again to say "ah, that isn't real." Plus, laughter is just plain infectious. That's why Toohey's brand of humor is evil: because he expects good and noble people to look at the good and noble things they do and say "that isn't real." Yep! Oh, also I think that this doesn't have to be in the debate section. I see a question about Objectivism, not an argument being made against Objectivism. What do you think, Kevin?
  6. Oh, okay. I see what you mean. Here's the deal: what exactly was it that Toohey expected one to have a sense of humor about? The problem was the object of his humor and not humor as such.
  7. How about a direct example from youtube or similar? It may help to concertize things.
  8. Thanks, Featherfall. Good luck and good premises.
  9. Yes, Ayn Rand used and clearly enjoyed humor all of the time. She simply understood that humor was a form of attack, and didn't tolerate it when used against the good. Personally, I've found her sense of humor to be priceless. She once commented on the irony of hippies talking about pollution, saying that they would pollute a river by stepping in it.
  10. I think you misunderstand me - I'm saying it's the flip side of the coin - to use a metaphor, it is like predatory subjectivism is to altruism. I'm not saying you're a sadist. I didn't say you were, and believe me I'm the type that would say it if I thought it. And as I said, I disagree that it is a small value which can ultimately be contained. I believe it is a matter of principle, and the principle you've accepted is an error which will have the same effect as any other contradiction in one's premises. I do not believe this is a matter of personal taste. I've already described in detail why I think this is so. Obviously we disagree on whether it is a dangerous idea or not. But I object to your characterization of me as someone who doesn't allow others their personal tastes. It's simply that in this case, I do not think this is a matter of tastes. See, this is what I am talking about. I don't object to anyone's personal taste of diet per se. I object with the particular reasons that he stated as responsible for his diet. Burgess Laughlin eats a meatless diet because of his unique body chemistry. I don't object to Burgess' diet. If you knew me personally, you'd know I have all kinds of quirky personal tastes. If anyone understands such matters, it's me. So please don't tell me that I don't understand or tolerate personal tastes. What do you think I said that is different from that? My personal council about what constitutes reality aside, I told him to base his emotions on reality. I didn't even mention my position in the post where I replied to him about emotions, so I don't know what you're on about.
  11. Definitely the latter (lying won't help!) - find the sources of your emotions and then subject them to logical scrutiny. It won't happen instantly, but if you're persistent, you'll get to the bottom of the matter. Cheers!
  12. I think the top entry here might be helpful to you. Emotions aren't primaries - they are automated responses based on the value judgments that you previously integrated into your subconscious through your conscious choices and value judgments. As such, they are capable of being in error if the original, conscious, choices and value judgments that you programmed them with are in error. So it is not only possible, but also absolutely necessary for you to find out what should and should not make you feel good, lest you end up "miswiring" your emotional mechanism and ending up feeling good about things which hurt you, and/or feeling bad about things which help you.
  13. While I don't agree with your position, I will say it is at least the more consistent, logical conclusion of featherfall's premises. Eating animals at all necessitates the use of force against them and the "suffering" that must come with that. But what you both don't realize is that there is a still more logically consistent position - that all human existence and civilization necessitates, in some way, shape, or form, the use of force against animals and the "suffering" that must come with that. You might want to say, "well I'll do it if it's me or them." But it's always, in principle, "you or them." That is the very metaphysical nature of the beast, as it were.
  14. To add slightly to my point, the term "benevolent universe" does not mean that the world and everything in it is fuzzy and loves us and we should love it back and give it a hug and fuss about its feelings (especially those of our food!) - it means that our faculty of reason gives us the ability to live and thrive in it. Which, in the case of the bloody, violent, animal kingdom, means to triumph over it and dominate it - to conquer it by overcoming its brute force with our use of reason applied to force - a superior weapon that it cannot possibly hope to match. General indifference to the living conditions of food is not the same thing as deliberate, sadistic cruelty. While the latter is immoral, the former is in fact demanded by reason - it is irrational and decadent to think we ought to be morally squeamish about what kind of life is lead by the things which we slaughter and devour. Things which are metaphysically incapable of returning such concerns. The equation of their pain with human pain (and the subsequent assignment of a moral status to it) is an error. Ironically, it is the same error committed by the sadists - as someone truly indifferent to animal feelings would be incapable of receiving sadistic pleasure from them: their feelings are only the automatic responses of instinctual automatons. But then, sadists aren't exactly the sanest of people. It is right and proper to recoil from and condemn sadism in all its forms, but this does not necessitate concern for the feelings of animals - most especially food animals. (I'll note that tame pets are a different context, although people do tend to anthropomorphize those as well)
  15. I strongly disagree with this idea - it is not benevolence, but naive decadence to think that nature can or ought to work that way. It does not - nature is bloody in tooth and claw. And as David correctly points out, it necessarily involves costs and sacrifices materially. Although I am more concerned with the spiritual sacrifice involved. I don't expect you'll agree and don't care to make a giant discussion of it, so I'll bow out at this point.
  16. I think you should think through your position to both its origin and conclusion. You're killing and eating them - if you're willing to do that, then how can you be uncomfortable with the comfort of the animals per se? The entire point of such creatures is to grow into meat and be slaughtered. If you'll allow me to go out on a limb here, it sounds like you're feeling guilty for this - but why? It's not like anyone farming them is going specifically out of their way to cause unnecessary suffering. At least I've never heard of such a thing. "Extra-miserable beef." Take a look at what the Objectivist ethics have to say on animal rights and why torturing them is wrong. It's not because they have any inherent right to be free from suffering at our hands (they don't - they are resources for us to exploit, like any others). It's not that it is immoral to cause them suffering per se, as they don't have rights. It's immoral to irrationally want to cause suffering for its own sake. So long as you aren't doing that, you really shouldn't worry about whether your food suffered or not. Unless it affects the flavor or price or something.
  17. I'm getting the sinking feeling you are the sum of Objectivism. I hope I'm wrong.

  18. Yes, his post started as a separate thread, which was later merged with this one. So my question was directed at him, specifically.
  19. Animals eat other animals. What's the source of your concern about the matter?
  20. Of course I'm not so much outraged as being silly so no worries man. But my point was not so much the specific section of the forum you posted in. The whole board here is basically about questions regarding Objectivism and its application so it is a bit strange to ask the question anywhere here as Objectivism does not have a position on Batman vs. Superman. But, that being said, everyone's chiming in with personal takes, anecdotes, and other merriment so I'm not one to dump on all that. Cheers!
  21. I don't agree with that estimate. To say the least. Submarines and electricity do not work that way. Furthermore, a mere plane crash put a very big hurt on the place. A single submarine attack would annihilate it. I don't think that it's a reasonable assumption that he was operating in that way before the breakdown of law and order. Who are you talking to? Didn't you read my last post? Not true. Did you read my post where I asked if you remember when Dagny asked if she was a prisoner or a guest? What do you suppose was the meaning of the answer that was given to that question? No it wasn't, but that is the answer you have been giving. Yet that was not the answer given to Dagny. So I think you should check your premises.
  22. Yes, basically that is the meat and bones of it. If anything, it's a cautionary tale of what happens to even a very great society when the Libertarian, rather than Objectivist, method is used. Really quite ironic since Levine himself asked me why Objectivists have such a problem with Libertarianism. He's kind of answered his own question.
  23. Indeed, and now that you've read the thread, how do you respond to the cojent points made about the impossibility of solving the problem with conservation, the irrationality of attempting it, and the need of those attempting it to learn that it is not possible?
  24. If a society will be destroyed by the secret being revealed, then they have a right to defend their lives. Plus, I can't imagine that this wasn't a condition for joining in the first place. Ryan mentioned a contract at least once and he strikes me as the type that would have thought ahead. The point - to borrow your phrase - is that you can't just contextlessly condemn the situation sheerly on the fact that people are being kept against their will.
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