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blazingtruth

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blazingtruth last won the day on May 21 2011

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  1. Tried to make a more functional layout, rather than a flashy and dark one. Thoughts? New post on the Non-Initiation of Force: http://www.blazingtruth.com/2011/07/non-aggression-principle/
  2. You mean the Bible is the only book incapable of being mistranslated? UNBELIEVABLE! /rant In all seriousness, to the best of my understanding Kant did use the word "God", did he not? Whether or not this was the convention of the time (such as the Founders did) or protection from political suppression/execution, I would love to come to understand. I'll take a look at Seddon's article, thank you for your knowledge.
  3. Also, thank you for being respectable in your criticism, I realize that you could have said much worse things.
  4. Upon doing more research, I think I have very much misinterpreted Kant's metaphysics. Kant's Critique on Pure Reason was very difficult to understand. It sounded as if he was suggesting that we cannot know anything for certain because our senses limit us so significantly. From there, he seemed to say that we need to accept faith in some respects in order to make up for this. Perhaps he's right in the context of his writing and was using words in ways which I wasn't familiar. I will admit I also had a negative preconception of Kant from my classes, I cannot remember why. Also I see what you mean now by jumping ship between ethics and metaphysics, I need to clarify that distinction and find out how Kant connects them. I do believe Nietzsche and Schopenhauer do have some valid criticisms, and will look into those more specifically. I will be doing an overhaul of this article, stating I was wrong in these particular respects and showing where and why. However, I do have some reservations on some of his points, but I will look more into them before jumping to conclusions so quickly. This article does need serious editing, and I may need to split it into two separate posts. Thanks for your support, and perhaps if you have the time I'd like to speak with you one-on-one if I need clarification. Your link helped very much. I was wrong in my interpretation.
  5. I have not read Critique on Practical Reason. However, because Kant calls for principled moral thinking does not vindicate him from any irrationality. After all, principled moral thinking isn't hard to come by, look no further than the Ten Commandments. You are right, the ideas of which I spoke do not follow necessarily from his maxims -- they are primary to them. Kant's metaphysics is simply atrocious. Have your own opinions about the cartoon if you'd like, but the point I was trying to get across is that we are not moral out of 'duty' or 'obligation', or because somebody tells us we ought to be. We are moral because it is in our rational self-interests, also something which Kant neglects entirely. In fact, Kant's Categorical Imperative is more often than not used as support of an altruistic society. I agree in retrospect that Peikoff's quote is a bit elementary and irrelevant. I figured I'd replace it with one by Nietzsche, since I referenced him in the final paragraph. Also, this is directly my concern with Kant's ethics: "To think that no one has thought of Kant's categorical imperative as dangerous to life! … What destroys a man more quickly than to work, think and feel without inner necessity, without any deep personal desire, without pleasure—as a mere automaton of duty? That is the recipe for decadence, and no less for idiocy. … Instinct at fault in everything and anything, instinct as a revolt against nature, German decadence as a philosophy—that is Kant!" Thank you for your input, D
  6. Posted a new entry on Immanuel Kant and his Categorical Imperative, step right up to see the Kantian circus for yourself! http://www.blazingtruth.com/?p=191 Thank you for your time, D
  7. @WeDontNeedGod, I will most-definitely be adding a link to your blog from mine. Thank you for your input, and I do readily think that we could be valuable assets for the growth of each other's websites.
  8. Thank you for your support and kind words! How else would be better to structure it? I realize my posts are, on average, longer than your standard blog post. I'm open to ideas and discussion on this, such that I can maximize readership and take advantage of my potential. I'll also move the buttons further down the page, thank you for that suggestion. I'll get looking at the banner, I have noticed it before and haven't been able to pinpoint the problem. It's not the image, it's the coding of the header when the image is inserted that is causing this. Thanks Dante! I try to insert personal aspects so as to provide a relevant real-life example/anecdote. It also allows for some enjoyment and chuckles from time to time, and a break from the serious stuff. I agree with your layout concern, and will try to expand it a bit. I managed to optimize it for mobile devices as well, with a bit of work. I'll take a look into it. Thanks again. Thank you Jennifer for your support and impressive praise. To hear this type of meaningful response from somebody in response to negativity is partly the reason I am indeed an Objectivist. I know that my hard work will pay off and I know that my happiness is the result of my achievements. Thank you very much! I have learned HTML, BASIC, and other introductory programming languages throughout high school, on a simple level. In college now, I am learning AutoCAD and LabView and will be learning C++ and Java in the next few semesters down the road. I don't *formally* know any programming languages, but I have a programming and logical mind which allows me to look at some pre-existing code and edit it. That being said, I use the Wordpress.org interface and have taken a (really brilliant) free-to-use theme and have modified it to the best of my potential, and will continue to do so. Wordpress does make it easy, but I also have direct access to source code through Bluehost, which I get to play around with sometimes. Best of both worlds, you could say. Thank you all! I will keep you posted on the latest from my end here.
  9. Hey all, I've started a philosophy blog located at http://blazingtruth.com The purpose is to spread awareness of Objectivist philosophy, in particular its moral principles and ethics; to blaze the path to truth through rational thought. The content on the website may not be much of an eye-opener to "seasoned" Objectivists, but I try to write with an intended audience of readers who are unfamiliar with Objectivism and philosophy in general. I discuss ideas as they are presented, and try not to put too many labels on them (except when dispelling them), so as to avoid polarizing my potential readership. I take on and debunk popular mantras such as "I think, therefore I am" and "Ignorance is bliss" to raise the consciousness of individuals when they hear those phrases. I also provide personal anecdotes of my life to demonstrate how philosophy is crucial. This is my first time seriously blogging and writing, and my first time hosting a website -- I know I have plenty to learn. So, if you could take the time and provide constructive criticism on the content and layout, I would love to hear it and grow from this opportunity. At my age, this is my way of contributing to my own personal knowledge and growth. Thank you for your time and patience, David
  10. The most irrational aphorism I can think of is "Ignorance is bliss." It annoys me so much to the extent that I had to write a blog entry about it.. http://davidmasten.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/party-at-the-pierian-spring/ Check it out, if interested.
  11. I've actually had this discussion several times with my English professor. He feels as if education ought to be a primary right given to all children. His argument is the same as your question: given the capitalist system, particular families will not be able to afford sending their children to elementary, middle, and high schools at all, and others would only be able to afford low quality schools. Moreover, children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school will resort to crime. Given the capitalist system, competition among the school systems will tend to: drive poor quality and/or costly schools out of operation altogether, increase the quality of education, decrease the cost of attendance across the board. You must ask yourself "Poor quality, by what standard?". Surely, these schools would be of higher quality than public education today because 1) the prestige would be returned to the position of teacher (and competition amongst teachers, too), 2) resources would be more readily available (and not wastingly allocated), and 3) motivation would return to students and parents. Part of the crucial point here is that right now, it is commonplace to say that 'those who can't learn, teach' with regard to the state of teaching on a pre-collegiate level. Moreover, students generally become dedicated when the money is coming from their family and pressure is applied from parents. Right now, some students are unteachable because they have zero motivation. I do not believe the crime rate would be affected whatsoever -- there is no way to motivate the unwilling. But do notice the difference in seriousness of public high schools and college. I would argue that this is due to several factors, but the monetary side is most important. Most families would pay out of pocket for education, parents would encourage students to do well because otherwise they'd be wasting money. Poor families could arrange loans or negotiate with specialized businesses which provide money to families on the basis of academic merit, say, contractual and conditional scholarships. Schools would likewise have massive endowments and would collect donations from alumni. There is even enough money left over to spend on technology and supplies! The bottom line with public education is this: parents, teachers, and students have zero external motivation to do their best. Students tend to slack off, teachers tend to take short-cuts, and parents tend to become absent from the picture entirely. Motivation is the key, and capitalism is one of the strongest motivational factors out there
  12. I'm curious to find out if Bin Laden kept anything of intel value to the US in that huge house of his. That could be more significant than his death itself -- finding file folders, a laptop, a USB drive, paper scrolls, clay tablets, etc.
  13. In reading the topic Should duels be legal?, while watching Tokyo Drift (perhaps a bad combination), it's not unlikely to notice similarities amongst the two events. With that being said, I'd like this topic to discuss the morality/legality/rationality of risky behavior such as dueling and street racing. I intend this to be much more general than the dueling thread mentioned previously, and would like to generalize and formalize broad criteria for when these behaviors are and are not legally permissible in the context of a society with a strictly objective law. To introduce the subject, there are risky behaviors such as drug use, alcohol use, and even smoking which do not in any way directly initiate force on another individual. It clearly should not be illegal to participate in these activities for that reason. These events may, in some circumstances, be the basis of illegal behavior (such as drinking and driving) wherein others lives are threatened; likewise they may be, in other circumstances, necessary for survival (such as the use of medicinal marijuana). I am not primarily concerned with the discussion of those personal risky behaviors, I am interested in discussing the situations wherein an individual consents to participate in risky behavior with another individual, free from coercion. Although, these events may be useful in getting to the heart of the discussion. Specifically, how does consent affect risky behavior with regard to agreements and contracts? The following is a clarification of what I meant by "objective criteria". My initial stance is that if two individuals 1) both consent to participate in risky behavior such as dueling or street racing, 2) they consent without any external coercion or outside influence of any kind, and 3) it is demonstrated that they both fully knew and agree to the stipulations of the specific nature of the event at both the time of agreement and time of the event (the two may be the same), then it should not be illegal to participate (within objective limitations) in that activity so long as a non-consenting individual's rights are violated. In short, if all conditions are met, you may proceed. Moreover, this does not imply that it is ever practical to participate in these activities. Also, the morality of the event would be dependent upon the context, as these are events which may potentially lead to the loss of life. I'd like to extend this discussion to contain similarities between these behaviors and those such as boxing, sword fighting, gambling, jousting, etc., as it may provide insight into the nature of this situation. In addition, I also believe that the concept of suicide is vital in discussing this topic. The crux of this thread is this: what objective criteria exists to determine the legal criteria of risky behaviors? What are the limits of this criteria? Thank you for your time, David
  14. That politico article is actually very well-written; however, I believe the ideas which he wrote about are much more moderate than what he truly believes. His main criticism of Hayek is that credibility is lost and ideas become flawed when you get involved in politics. Hayek's economic theory turned to a fight against communism. I don't see this to be the case with Hayek, and I see the failure of the communist movement as credibility to his economic theory. Unfortunately for Soros, he's found himself in a political conundrum wherein by his own words his flexibility theory is destroyed by his liberal bias towards regulation. He's trying to play off the pop of the housing bubble and recession, claiming capitalism is a failure and our economy needs more regulations.
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