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Nullius In Verba

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  1. Ayn Rand was massively influenced by Nietzsche when she was younger. Then she discovered Aristotle and realised that Nietzsche was wrong about a lot of things, although still maintained that Nietzsche had a brilliant sense of life afterwards. As for Hickman, Rand respected his integrity and the fact that he refused to bow to the whims of society but utterly opposed and condemned his actions.
  2. Taking Children Seriously is a philosophical school that treats children as autonomous moral beings with the same rights as adults. One of the core beliefs of TCS is that children are just as rational as adults, they just know less (hence them making more obvious mistakes and being wrong more often.) As a consequence we should never force children to do anything against their will (this includes things like going to school or brushing their teeth.) Here is the website for more information http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/ What are your thoughts on the truth of this theory and its compatibility with Objectivism?
  3. The BBC like to report news that heavily infers things like 'Israelis are unwilling to live side by side with Arabs'. This is silly because it can quite easily be shown to be false. For example Arabs citizens have the same rights under the law as any other Israeli citizen. This is great for them because it means they have way more rights then they would have in any Arab country including things like freedom of speech, much more property rights and the right to free assembly. Strange actions by a state that is apparently unwilling to tolerate an Arab presence. A recent study by Harvard (which isn't exactly known for its Philo-Semitic views) found that 77% of Israeli-Arabs would rather live in Israel than any other country in the world. This would be very odd behaviour from a people who are supposedly being oppressed by the Jews of Israel.
  4. I speak of Iran specifically because it is by far the most powerful regime committed to the destruction of Western values and were the regime to reform significantly in the right direction, the power-base of the Middle East and Islamic terrorism would swiftly fail. One of the key problems with Iran currently is that it believes its current ideology is necessary in order stay 'true to Islam', which is the cornerstone of the Islamic world. However historically there was a period from the 8th to the 13th century known as the Islamic Golden Age, whereby the Middle East managed to harmonise Islam with (comparatively) liberal traditions. Holy books are often riddled with contradictions. The Koran is no exception to this. Whilst there are plenty of parts to justify the kind of regime Iran has now, there are also parts which are relatively peaceful, and it these that the scholars of the Islamic Golden Age chose to follow, in much the same way as most modern Western Christians only follow the relatively liberal parts of the Bible. I think the most rational approach one can take, besides advocating military intervention, towards Iran and the Islamic world is to encourage them to rediscover the Golden Age of Islam. This solves their problem of Islam needing to be a cornerstone of their society and is also great for the West because it means an end to terrorism.
  5. String theory is silly, but not as silly as the mystical Copenhagen interpretation. I'm currently sold on David Deutsch's (tentative) unifying theory, as expounded in 'Fabric Of Reality', which harmonises the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics with evolution and universal computation. The many-worlds interpretation seems to solve all those seemingly irrational paradoxes invoked by the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.
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