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Shinji Shiranui

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About Shinji Shiranui

  • Birthday 04/03/1987

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  1. I'm currently reading "The Fountainhead" for the fisrt time, and entering this trhead reminded me of something. I was talking to a guy that studies phlisophy in one of the "best" mexican unviersities, so I decided to talk to him about objectivism and Ayn Rand. First of all, he had never heard fo her, second, he was pretty offended when I told him that Rand defends capitalism (philosophers and philosophy students in my country have this weird idea that they have to be socialists in order to become philosophers), but the owrst thing was when I told him that people, reasonable people, have to build new philosophies in order to have a better life on this world, and that I respected Rand for that. His answer (I still laugh when I remeber it) was something like this: "Are you f**** crazy? I don't study philisophy to create new philosohpies, that woulkd be an insult to the great thinkers of the past. We have to understand them, and try to aplly their ideas into our world. Creating new philosophies would be an insult to them!" Then he talked about traditions, the achievements of Plato, whom he considered the only true philospher on History, the value of Nietzche's nihilism, and a lot of praise to the existencialist. For this guy, being sad for knowing that life is not forever, is the most beaitful feeling ever invented by a human being.... I think many universities, I don't know if this is the case around the world, but it is on my country, is to produce "philosophers" that don't think, but simply repeat evertything they read on books without having ideas of their own, a lot like the architechs in The Fountainhed, like Fran├žon and Keating. This sad true is even more evident in my country, because the goverment, icompetent and corrput, only whishes to suck as much money and work force from the population as they can, and this is easier if the goverment also controls the formation of future thinkers. So, why would someone defend a philosophy that teach you to think on your own? That's outrageous! (I'm being sarcastic, of course...)
  2. God, for me, is more a problem of personal desires that an actual logical or axiomatic issue. I understand what you mean by the coincidences that have ocurred in your life, for I have lived similar situations myself. For example, once I found out about a book I really wanted to read, but I never found it on any bookstore. I looked into many of the biggest (and most expensive) bookstores around, but never found it so I gave up. The, one day, I was walking bored in the street and I walked into this modest, small, bookstore. I had gone there many times in the past, and sometimes they had interesting books, but nothing truly outstanding. Then, on a lonely bookshelf, I found the book I had been looking for months, and at a very accesible price. I didn't hesitate, and I bought it. Back then I used to believe in god and miracles, even the small ones. The book I was looking for was Atlas Shrugged. People believes in miracles and "coincidences" beacause of two reasons: 1- It's easier to give a magical explanation to something that otherwise we could not comprehend. 2- It can make people feel special, safe, protected, and give this feeling that they are not alone, and that god, or whatever it is, cares for them enough to save their lifes at a determined point. Now, I'm not going to tell you to change your beliefs, not I will call you irrational or insult you. Some people want to believe in such things, and this is alright as long as they don't begin to despice they own individuality, their freedom (if I believed in god, he (or she) would not be a tyrant); as long as they don't sacrifice their lives for their god, or to think that every single things they ask to god, will be magically given. I stopped believing in god because I didn't want my life to be free, I wanted to earn the right to live it, so, just think about this. I welcome you opinions.
  3. I haven't read all of th posts yet, but I will give my opinion on the matter. I agree when you say that vidoegames have the potential to be art but their media is still immature. Many videogames that are considered art borrow a lot form cinematoghrapic language, like Metal Gear Solid, which has great cinema sequences. However, I think that the true potential of videogames to become art resides in the next: According to Rand's definition of art, this has to be a recreation of reality that reflects the values of the author. Videogames don't create an imitation of reality (with exceptions like war games) but a reinterpretation of it. Like someone above said, is more a creation of the basics aspects of reality, than an imitation of it. Videogames, like some fantasy or sci fi novels, can create great an complex worlds that are offered to the player, and, in most cases, he's free to explore them at will. This could be call the "physical" aspect of the vidoegame, a world which contains basic elements of reality, like people, society or history. The second aspect of the videogame would be its "metaphysical" aspect. A player can explore the world, but his own morality and values can be reflected into it. Is like having some sort of a canvas. We have a world, we have other people, now the player will decide what to do within it that game. However, his choices need guidance, and here's where the plot of the game comes in by telling a story the player can modify through his actions. But the videogame, to be a form of art, still lacks certain unity. A common RPG game, like Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, gives this enormous freedom to the player, tells an interesting story, and yet cannot be considered a work of art. Why? Games do not only reflect the values of the people involded in its creation, but should also reflect the values of the player. A recent videogame, Mass Effect 2, besides telling an epic tale full of action and heroism, present the player with a series of choices that affect the outcome of the game, including which characters live or die. The valuable aspect of ME2, is that some of this decisions, if not most of them, present the player with ethics choices (like deciding which of two characters will die, knowing they are both innocent) There are not right or wrong answers, but the player will still have to face the consequences of his (her) choice. Here comes the resource videogames should exploit in the future to become true forms of art: interaction. The player not only becomes inmersed in a vast world, but he also becomes involved wiht moral choices within that world, and these have an impact on the sub-universe that is created. However, these choices, as well as the worlds presented, are still very limited to reflect the true identity of the player, an, in order to be a unified work of art, it still requires elements like a plot and a story. Some videogames I consider within this definiton: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Nintendo Wii) Bioshock (PS3 and XBOX 360) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (X BOX) Mass Effect 1 & 2 (X BOX 360, PC)
  4. I will refer something I witnessed first hand. About a couple months ago, in august to be specific, a friend of mine (whom I consider one of my best friends) was left by his 4 year time girlfriend. He then thought his life had ended, that every single thing of value in his life, meaning her, had abandoned him, and he started to consider suicide. Now, he might be a good friend, but the reasons were just stupid. His ex grilfriend didn't die, instead she decided to end the relationship to focus on her career on medicine. She said "I want to expand my life, my ambitions, my expectations" She was feeling trapped by the relationship. This friend of mine feel into the worst depression I have ver seen. He thought that neither his family, his friends, even his life, was worthy enough without her. He had turned her into what he could have called "his only value". H spent months like this, and I tried to help him, until the moment came when I said. "you know what, is your life, do whatever you please with it, but I won't mourn you". He didn't do it. But even by this time, he considers it from time to time, calling his ex girlfriend and saying, "I cannot live without you". Her answer: "I can". Of course is a thousand times more stupid to consider suicide with a simple break up than with the death of the loved one, but my point is this: when a person falls in love with another, he (or she) must do it completely aware of their own lifes and values. In short, a person whitout and individuality and self steem should never fall in love. My friend had none of these, and he projected every value he might've had into her. She became his whole universe, because he didn't had any. He was even willing to give up music, the only thing he has considered his long life dream, and sacrifice every sinlge thing in his existence for her. I think something similar happens when a person loses a loved one. But here's the thing: if someone without own values and own perpectives on life loses a loved one out of an accident or disease, they could commit suicide because they might believed their only purpose to live is gone. If a person with previous values, objectives, and self steem loses somenone, they will mourn the person of course, but they will go on living.
  5. I was just reading this topic, and I thought of the following: What are the reasons that make you want to give money to charity? Some possible answers I thought of are: 1: Because you want to. Some sort of "selfish altruism" in which helping others without affecting your own life or economy simply gives you joy or pleasure. 2: Because there's a benefit for you or someone you know on a long term. Like someone else mentioned, giving donations to the Alzheimer research because a member of your family or a friend has the syndrome. But these are the true reasons why many people gives money to charity: 1:Be famous. Some people give money to charity because they want to be known as "good people", but they don't do it because they a have a purpose behind it, or because it gives them another kind of satisfaction but increasing their own "ego". 2: Clean their names or give themselves a good name they don't deserve. It happens a lot on my country (Mexico) where a politican with fame of being corrupt gives money to charity in order to celan his name. Some people believe that one single "selfless" actin redeems them of their crimes. Very much like the "repent system" from cristianity.
  6. And no, I wasn't trying to make an argument from intimidation. Again, I had troubles trying to explain my thinking. My apologies. (Please read post from above) As for the qustion about the perfect philosophy. I don't believe there can be a perfect philosophy by nature, because man is not perfect by nature.
  7. First of all, thanks to Rockefeller for understandin that I'm new to this philosohpy, and tha maybe some of my disagreements from the philosophy might come from a misunderstanding of the philosophy. I would also like to clarify that I'm a guy I need to update my profile. Second: this goes for Howard, I don't like being insulted. In the small time I've spent on this forum I realized something: the so called objectivists I know are just idiots who took Atlas as a "banner" without knowing what it means, promoving a philosophy of hate, intolerance and pure seclusion to others way of thinking in this world. They insult anyone who disagrees with their ways, offending them just for thinking differently. I have recieved some insults from them, and believe me, I do not want to take more here, even if the intentions are good. I accept your apolgies, though. Third: I will admit a big mistake I made. I committed the mistake of thinking that all objectivists in the world were like the ones I know. That's why I joined the forum, to see if this was true. Fortunately, it wasn't. There are some comprehensive and polite people here, who defend their philosophy because they understand it and agree with it, and don't act like mindless fanatics. This is why I have taken a somewhat defensive position on my posts, and even if I came here to learn, I refuse to be treated like an ignorant. Thanks again, for your warm welcomes.
  8. About this, what I tried to say was that they learned from many religions, many philosophies and many faiths, and, in the end, chosed the one that suited their values without listening to the ones who said "this belief is wrong, chose cristianity or islam, they're true". They chosed out of conviction, and comparing their values to those beliefs. No one obliged them. I chosed to believe in objectivism because its values suited my own, and because I agree with the philosophy, and not beacause someone came and told me, "this way of thinking is the future, chosse it" In the words of Andrew Ryan, a character from the videogame Bioshock. "A man chosses...a slave obeys". Hope I made myself clear this time.
  9. Thanks, it does change the picture. Allow me to share with you a little explanation I gave to this friend of mine I mentioned, about God. I would like to read your opinions about it. I told him that I do not believe in an almighty god controlling our lives and our fates. Basically, someone who believes in a higher power influencing his or her life is giving away the responsibility of their own actions. Its easier to say "It was God's will" than to say "it was MY fault". Also, believing in a magical power that wll simply give everthing you want by just praying to it is a way of admitting that the person does not have the will or even the desire to achieve the things they want. Is just like an extreme form of lazyness, the way I see it. However, I do believe in this: The Universe is a system ruled by the laws of physics. Everything in it, from the smallest atom, to the greatest star, follow the same rules, and never disobey them. The purpose of this system is its own preservation and evolution by creating new methods for improving itself, like finding new parts for a clock or a car. The evolution of living creatures, including us, serves to the same purporse. Here I must clarify, the Universe is not a sentient entity, like a white bearded man saying "your purpose is this". Not, the purpose of life is to preserve itself, and teach its heirs new ways of doing so, through genetics or, in the case of humans, through teachings. When some of my friends say "everything is connected" I agree with them, but not in the pseudo religious manner of New Age beliefs. The elements that compose us, are generated on the stars themselves, like giant factories of chemical, and utterly, biochemical elements. This is the closest thing to a "god" that I can think of. In my introduction post I said that I disagree on the statement that man is the greatest power in the world. Man will never be greater that the universe I depicted, or will ever be able to control or understand it a its fullest. Even if man will always recover from natural disaster, we will always be overwhelmed by the power, and, in the end, even the human race will be extinct. That's why we have to achieve our own happiness and don't worry about the rest. I wait for your opinions.
  10. Thanks a lot guys. To be honest, I was beginning to fear that the majority of objectivists would be like the ones I know, and who only use the philosophy to "act like a smart ass", and now I'm begginign to see they don't even know waht theye're talking about. Thankfully my fears were not founded. I should begin to look for those books to understand my doubts and find my answers. I'm certainly relieved, adn I'm sorry if I still don't get some principles of objectivism at its fullest. Surely I will be learning a lot here.
  11. I have a question for you. Does objectivism accepts the existence of fantasy movies and literature? I have to say I am a fan of movies such as Avatar (which I don't believe contains any "anti-man" message) The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars, and other science fiction and fantasy stories, videogames included. Many of you might tell me I'm not an objectivist for liking this things, and if that's the case, I don't care. I've also studied J.R.R. Tolkien words and essays, and how he believes that fantasy stories (or "Tales of Fairies" as he calls them) are necesary for the development of a person's own evolution. This post is related to the one about the existence of God, which contains post about how wrong will it be to make a kid belive in Santa Claus. According to Tolkien, a kid needs to believe in the fantastic and the inmmaterial as methapors of right and wrong. Explaining a kid about moral issues in the same language that we talk to an adult, would simply confuse them. Not because children are stupid, which they aren't, but because they lack the life experience to assimilate very abstract concepts. So, I want to read your opinions with one condition: Last time I talked to an objectivist about this, his answer was: "If you like such things, then you are as weak and sinlge minded as they are (whoever "they" are). Therefore, you are accepting their beliefs and becoming one of those losers" If anyone insults me, my preferences, or gives another coment that's not related to give their objective opinion on my question, I'll simply ignore them, so don't waste your time.
  12. A little aclaration for my previous post. I'm not denying reason, or saying that it is not the ay to acvhieve knowledge. I seem to have a problem at clarifying myself, so I will try again. When I said, not to give answers based on "pure logic" I meant to say that I prefered an answer that described a personal matter, in other words, that you gave me an example like "I remember this time when..."or something like story, and anecdot (not sure if that's the word) that allow me to know, form your direct experience, your thoughts and ideas. The kind of answer I don't want is, for example "You shouldn't make your sons believe in Santa because A is A, or because their premises are wrong", I want you to tell me a personal answer. If I can't make myself understand this time, then I might have to improve my comunication methods.
  13. As for my past post: I wrote that real conversation to know what your opinions were. I just read the post about Santa Claus, and I have a quetions for you, which is strongly related to my previous post: Why wouldn't you make your kids believe in Santa Claus? And here comes the trick in the question: I want to hear answers that are not pure logical statements, I want to hear direct testimonies from you and personal anwers to this question. Now, I will explain the reason why I wrote the previous post. The friend I had that converstaion with is a musician who expects to make money from his work. Is not one of those people who say the do art just for the love of art, but someone who really wants to make a living trough his art. His music, and his lyrics always talk about the human spirit, but not in the sense that religious pepole do, but understanding the word as the combination of objectives, values, and dreams each and every person possesses for themselves. He doesn't go to church, he denies all other religions, and states that, I quoute: "In only belive in God because the idea, the concept, representes the goals of my life. If you want to call him a superior power, then do it, if you want to call him a human abstraction, then do it". The point I want to make with all this is the next: Every sinlge objectivist I've met, simply gives anwers by focusing on logical premises and statements, but so far not of them has told me a more personal answer. I have friends that belive in God, friends that belive in Gaia, friends that state reason as an important part of being human, but not the most important. Each and everyone of those people are the ones I call my best friends, for they chosed their beliefs, and never let anyone impose them. Little story before finishing this post: I have a niece, and when she turned 12, on a christmas, her mother told her: "I have to tell you somehting, Santa Claus doesn't exists". My niece answered, with a big smile on her face: "I always knew that, but I liked to believe in him because I wanted to" She never cried or went sad by knowing the "truth", and she never mentioned Santa Claus again.
  14. Thank you so much for your welcome, and yes, I have to clarify some of the aspects I put on my introduction. When I refered to the word "perfect" I might've chosen the wrong word, but I'll explain. I know some people who call themselves objectivists, but so far the only thing I've seen them doing is taking passges form the book or any other of Rand's quoutes and repeating them by memory. Some of theme even consider, ironically, Atlas Srhugged as their "Bible", saying that it is the "only perfect philosophy I've encountered". As for me, I'm not the kind of person who chooses a sinlge philosophy and adapt it to a hundred percent in my life. I rather build my own philosophy taking aspects of other ways of thinking, comparing them, and then choosing the ones that can be useful in my life and help me to the persuing of my objectives. So far, objectivism has given me a lot of elements to choose from, altough not everything from it is appealing to my way of thinking. Once more, I'll explain: I don't believe in God, however I cannot accpet the idea of man as the most superior thing in the world (notice that I don't deny man's power or his capability to enhance his own enviroment to achieve a better quality of life.) This does not become from a single-minded blind faith, it comes from a series of arguments I've discussed with other people and my own thinking. I'll explain this further on a more aproppiate post. There are more aspects, but, like someone said, this is not the thread to expose them. I thank you all for your understanding, and thank you for giving me some other non-fiction titles to understand better.
  15. I have a friend who fevershly believes in God. On a certain day, I tried to convince him that there was no such a thing as "God" and not a sinlge proof of his exsitence or non-existence. He knew about Atlas Shrugged, so he asked me: "Why don't you believe in God?" "Beacuse there's no rational explanation that proves his existence" "No, there's not, but Kant said, 'God is not a prolbem of reason, is a problem of faith'" "I don't know what Kant said, I simply cannot belive in the immaterial" He looked at my with certain suspicious, and said: "According to Rand, happiness is the ultimate goal and only moral objective for man, isn't it?" "Yes" I answered "What if a person is only happy by believing in God? Would you dare to take that happiness from them?" "Then they would be living a lie" "But they would be happy in the end..."
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