Walrus

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Everything posted by Walrus

  1. Saddam's WMD

    Also, Saddam was evil, but not stupid (probably highly intelligent, in fact). If he didn't have WMD, why wouldn't he let inspectors in? That's probably all that was necessary for him to maintain his power.
  2. Saddam's WMD

    To add to this, when Bush 41 went in, he didn't even take out Saddam. It's possible that Saddam wasn't expecting Bush 43 to take him out either.
  3. Saddam's WMD

    A friend of mine who worked in the State Department (and pretty high up in it) said that he is certain that Iraq had WMD and transfered them to Syria after Bush started talking about an invasion.
  4. 24 (2001)

    In my opinion, the first season was the best, followed by the fourth, then the fifth, the third, and the second. The second had some great scenes and great lines (like all of the seasons do), but it was horribly crippled by the Kim thread (i.e. running from Gary Matheson and the cougar).
  5. Willful Blindness

    I don't think Dr. Peikoff said an Objectivist should never work for the government. In fact, I think he believes the opposite, based on the "Question and Answer" part of his website. http://peikoff.com/
  6. Willful Blindness

    Where did he say that?
  7. Are you saying that the state could not force a given defense lawyer to represent a client, or that an indicted client should not have the right to legal representation during a trial? If you mean the former, I believe defense lawyers already have the right not to defend a given defendant. If you mean the latter, I disagree.
  8. Stephen Month

    I agree with PhilO. Why not adhere to a general "Stephen rule"?
  9. Index of Economic Freedom

    I would call it a country. It's economic system is completely different from the PROC, and it even has its own currency. The political system is also independent, except for guaranteed military protection from China.
  10. Leftists preparing to disrupt UCLA panel

    What do leftists hope to achieve by such disruption? Do they believe that someone in the audience will think "Wow, if that protestor plays a drum, Dr. Pipes must be lying"?
  11. Aquinas' Arguments for God

    1) The Way of Motion: "It is certain, and evident to our sense, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is moved is moved by another, for nothing can be moved except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is moved; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be moved from a state of potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality... it is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is moved must be moved by another. If that by which it is moved must itself be moved, then this also needs to be moved by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and consequently, no other mover, seeing as subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are moved by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is moved by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at the first mover, moved by no other; and this everyone understands to be God." 2) The Way of Causation: "The second way is from the nature of efficient cause. In the world of sensible things we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or one only. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, or intermediate, cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God." 3) The Way of Contingency: "The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to be corrupted, and consequently, it is possible for them to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which can not-be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything can not-be, then at one time there was nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist begins to exist only through something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence - which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has already been proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore, we cannot but admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God." 4) The Way of Goodness: "The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble, and the like. But more and less are predicated of different things according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest, and, consequently, something which is most being, for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being... Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus, as fire, which is the maximum of heat, is the cause of all hot things, as is said in the same book. Therefore, there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God." 5) The way of DESIGN (or teleology): "The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not fortuitously, but designedly. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is directed by the archer. Therefore, some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God." Leonard Peikoff analyzed these, I think: http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/products.asp?dept=23
  12. THE FORUM and My New Life

    Betsy, Your outlook in the face of such a loss is an inspiration. Thank you for maintaining the FORUM.
  13. Leftists preparing to disrupt UCLA panel

    Incidentally, Pipes never actually said the last two quotations attributed to him: http://www.danielpipes.org/cair.php
  14. In this talk: http://youtube.com/watch?v=eSmh03pL44o Christopher Hitchens calls Ayn Rand one of the leading intellectuals of the American right. Sadly, he gets her philosophy wrong (he thinks of Objectivism as Nietszchean) and claims that Greenspan is an Objectivist. Nevertheless, it was quite heartening that a leading British intellectual would recognize Miss Rand's importance.
  15. Stephen's Health

    Though I've been here but a short time, it was easy to see Stephen's wonderful personality and powerful intellect. What a horrible loss.
  16. What to do about Religion

    I disagree with your example. Richard Dawkins, in his books and in his TV appearances always comes across (to me at least) as a thorough subjectivist. He attacks certainty and absolutes as such, and attempts to defend his view that altruism is the good via appeals to evolution.
  17. New Hampshire University,

    Wow. I was pro-eating disorders (and pro-clubbing baby seals with a hot iron) but now I'm reconsidering those positions.
  18. Your Habits

    I find that having certain habits to prepare for writing allows me to focus far more effectively. For example, I almost always make tea before writing an editorial or an academic essay (and I hardly drink tea outside of some kind of working context). I also set aside a certain place where I always go to work. In addition, I find that if I am dressed more formally (i.e. in a suit rather than jeans and a t-shirt), it helps me to focus. I don't claim any of these as necessary, but I think having certain habits one associates with writing can help one focus on the task.
  19. I Quit College!

    I think the essential difference between a university and a college is that universities award higher degrees, while colleges only award bachelor's degrees.
  20. Homes worthy of viewing

    Sadly, I can't spend a penny over $32 million.
  21. Stephen's Health

    I hope Stephen recovers quickly. Best wishes.
  22. 24 JOKES

    Passed out, surrounded by terrorists and nerve gas, and handcuffed to a table leg, Jack Bauer laughed to himself and said, "I have them right where I want them."
  23. the beginnings of islam vs. the U.S.

    John Lewis has a chronology on his website: http://www.classicalideals.com/chronology.htm
  24. 2007 Academy Awards: Best motion picture of 2006

    To be fair, I watched only a very small portion of this year's ceremony. If they had gotten a better host (I recall Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg being good), I would have watched more.
  25. Movies depicting a malevolent universe?

    Simon Birch takes place in a pretty malevolent universe: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0124879/