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Everything posted by JRoberts

  1. . There is also another problem with Rome; a problem caused by our modern society. As opposed to the 1800's, few people today know anything about Cicero and Cato...Fabius and Scipio...Servius Tullius, etc. Instead, they know about Caesar and Cleopatra, Hadrian, etc. From this perspective, your average lover of liberty will say, "Why study Rome, the Empire? What's so great about Caesar?". I'd bet that Amse wasn't aware (like most Objectivist I have met) that Greek authors such as Polybius, Dionysius, and Plutarch praised Roman culture and history...in some ways as superior to the Greeks! So there is a treasure in Rome...but this treasure does not lie within the general body of knowledge taught today. It's not an accident that the Founding Father's education of Rome skipped from Augustus (first Emperor) to the Renaissance.
  2. If you have read all of these things, why don't you consider reading them again? You could read the works of Aristotle twenty times and still learn something new each time. I say this because I think it'd be better to solidify yourself in one Metaphysics/Epistomology, learning through-and-through the workings of it until you integrate it as a system. Integration doesn't happen just by scanning a book and moving to the next. It happens by fully focusing on what you are reading; reading it and pondering over the points made; and thinking extensively about what you have read.
  3. I can guarantee you now that every virtue of Aristotle's is based upon man's nature, and not a single one is arbitrary. It is truly fascinating to read his Ethics and see his process of reasoning; quite a life-changing event in fact.
  4. I have honestly found this method very useful. I usually will read something, and then write about it. This helps me explore further avenues, consolidate my learning, etc. You don't even have to share; if you want, they could all be private. But, I'm sure the public will enjoy them too. There is quite an active network of Objectivist Bloggers who write on a multitude of subjects (not all just current events). Blogging (both in public and private mode) I have found to be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of my life. If you are interested, I'd be more than glad to help you set one up. You may PM me, or email me at HomerReborn@Gmail.com
  5. John Stuart Mill

    How do you propose to appreciate one without the other?
  6. John Stuart Mill

    And here is the crucial issue: from what do you base your assumption?
  7. John Stuart Mill

    Emphasis mine. I'll let you be the judge.
  8. Am I still an Objectivist?

    This is true. But once again, be careful of conflating issues. Accepting an idea as true without rigorously investigating and studying all aspects and technical issues of the idea is different from defaulting on thinking. I think it would help the situation if you would expand on your definition of a second-hander, and what it takes to be one. The more concrete examples, the better.
  9. Am I still an Objectivist?

    Henrik, I believe that I have identified where your ideas may disagree with Objectivism. Ethics, by its very nature, is a study of actions, not necessarily ideas. Thinking or having knowledge of the good does not make a person good. Virtue comes only when an individual has acted virtuously so many times as to make the virtue a habit. Virtue, then, is the summation of millions (or more) of individual choices. Though it is undeniable that an individual born into a savage society will be impacted by that society, every individual still has the power to make a choice. Look at Ayn Rand. When we look at society as a whole and try to "pass judgement" on it, we are really just playing a percentages game. Translated: "In my opinion, 60% of the people of [insert region] posses sufficient [insert virtue or collection of virtues] to make this area relatively good." Nice to know-so you can increase your chances of coming into contact with a person of your ethical persuasion. But in reality, mostly pointless. I think that you conflated the ethical issue with a "sense of life" issue. If this is the case, then the first place you need to turn is yourself: what experiences have led you to believe that the sense of life of the average man is savage or "second-handed"?
  10. Gun Control

    Very true, but be cautious of going to an extreme. Though our government has faults, what separates our society from every other society in history is a government of laws, and a nation of law-abiding citizens. I don't think anybody in this thread yet has argued for the removal of guns, the abolition of guns, that guns be banned, etc. Rather, this issue lies upon a Golden Mean between total gun control (no guns but in the hands of the government), and no gun control (nuclear armed citizens, as proposed by the Libertarians, and as rejected by Ayn Rand). So the true issue then is how can we ensure that every citizen has the right to own a gun, and to keep it in his house, and to use it only in self defense (or at a shooting range, or in sport as in hunting, etc.), while also ensuring that criminals, habitual offenders, menaces to society, and generally violent people do not also own agents of death?
  11. Colliding galaxies shed light on dark matter

    Imagine you are standing at a cliff, observing a very dense and sprawling forest beneath you. Now imagine that you see trees start to fall over in certain patterns, and in certain ways. You are so far away, and the cover of the forest canopy is so thick, that you can not see what is toppling the trees. However, from observing the fact that the trees themselves are falling, and observing that they are doing so in certain patterns, and under certain conditions, you can make hypotheses about what the agent is. You can tell that it must be of a certain size, moving at a certain rate, with a certain amount of energy to fell that many trees, etc. Assigning a concept to this agent has nothing to do with any kind of mysticism. It only becomes mysticism when you take what little facts you do know, the hypotheses that appear to work, and exerting them as a placeholder for more complex computations. I would not doubt that there are those in the Physics world who are taking a more mystical approach to some of these concepts. I do not believe, however, that it is fair or just to smear a large group of educated and intelligent scientist because of certain assumptions about certain individuals. It is much better to single out those individuals who are indeed inserting mysticism into physics and expose them for the mystics they are.
  12. It's Election Day!

    Obama will win. And this will happen: "A perfect democracy, a 'warm body' democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally has no internal feedback for self correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens...which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it...which for the majority translates as 'Bread and Circuses' "Bread and Circuses is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader--the barbarians enter Rome." -Robert Heinlein (To Sail Beyond the Sunset, 227)
  13. The Renaissance did not kill Plato-it in fact made him much stronger, and much more powerful. Many philosophers, such as Descartes, were "rebelling" against the Church and Scholasticism, which established Aristotle (incorrectly) as their "leader". There was thus an exodus of people away from the study of Aristotle after the Renaissance.
  14. Could you please provide some citations from Plato's corpus supporting this view?
  15. Happy Birthday to alann

    Happy Birthday!
  16. WALL·E (2008)

    Though I can see how this interpretation is possible, I do not believe it to be plausible. I think the movie is much more an attack on excess and opulence. The people became so lazy, so ingrained in their hedonistic/opulent ways, that they could not even take care of themselves. WALL-E brought life back into the equation for the actual robots-mankind.
  17. Happy Birthday to oldsalt (Janet_Busch)

    Sorry for the late response, but happy birthday!
  18. 2008 Presidential Poll for July 2008

    As much as I do not want to, I will vote for McCain. Nevertheless, I think Obama will win. The Media loves him too much, and the American people will fall into this new "fad" of Obama-ism.
  19. European Union will send dissenters to their death

    It is so horrible to see the home of Newton, Kepler, Goethe, Locke, Voltaire, Raphael, Michelangelo, the Louvre, the Parthenon, etc. being overrun by incompetent, effete idiots and camel-F***ing barbarians. What a horrible, horrible tragedy.
  20. Happy Birthday to Duke

    Happy Birthday! Have a great one .
  21. Israel

    It seems that Israel's newest Prime Minister is finally taking some proper, moral action. After the attacks on Palestine due to the capture of Israeli soldiers, Israel is now launching an offensive against Lebanon (for the same reasons). -Foxnews.com
  22. Israel

    I totally agree with Betsy. If we moved some of our submarines (if they are not already there) and other naval ships close enough, as well as our carriers with our airplanes, to bomb the strategic points in Iran, and if we send in special ops teams to assassinate the leaders of the Iranian government, the ensuing chaos, the destruction of any ability to really strike back, and the potential uprising (which of course would be supported by US military personnel) would be enough to take down Iran. If we had a President with balls, we'd also threaten the other Muslim countries not to take action...because our nukes are pointed at Mecca and Medina. I do not think the Muslim world would be happy if we nuked Mecca and built a Victoria's Secret over their holy sites.
  23. Happy Birthday to Cicero

    Happy Birthday . I'll see you tonight!
  24. That was amazing! Thank you for sharing it