Thoyd Loki

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Everything posted by Thoyd Loki

  1. Death

    It all has to do with context. You are mixing two things in your questions. Some, I included, have been arguing that an extended life expectancy would be irrelevant to the nature of the issue being discussed here. You then ask why your questions within the confines of our present context of life expectancy. Thus, conflating two seperate issues. To die at 20, 50, or 90 does make a difference and does matter in varying (descending respectively) degrees in the context of our current life expectancy. To die at 20 is always tragic, to die in the hammock at 90 (12 or 13 years later than most) is outside the context of tragic, and merely becomes an expression of an inexorable metaphysical fact. Again adding, in the present context. An extended life (extended life expectancy) does not make a difference because it doesn't change the issue. If someone dies at twenty instead of 80, that is tragic now. If, in the future, someone dies at 70 instead of 190, they can call that tragic then. The measurements have changed, but not the essence of the issue. What premise do I accept by not calling it tragic at 90? The metaphysical absolutism of reality. If someone bemoans not being able to live well outside the range of life expectancy, be it 150 years 500 or whatever, I feel perfectly justified in bemoaning the fact that I wasn't born with wings on my back.
  2. Death

    Damn it, now I'm being confusing. I mean the numbers that are beyond what we are going to get in our context. Within the context, the numbers certainly do matter - right after quality of life, that is.
  3. Augustine's "Sense of Life"

    It is too bad people aren't more historically literate. Can you imagine a sitcom based on this guy? Or a series of skits with him as the lead? He gets time-travelled here, and has many misadventures like landing the coaching gig for the New England Patriots, or inherits a life coaching business, or takes a job as a motivational speaker. Or ends up in Van Nuys California, or as a glee club officer.
  4. It is not a list (why would anyone call it a list?). He is not consistent, but he has quite a few profound insights, and his general direction is far better than anyone besides AR that I have read. Also, a study (whether in detail or broad strokes) of Greece could hardly be said to be underway without a treatment of Aristotle. That is also my answer to your original question. Take on Aristotle if you're bored and want a challenge. It is not light reading. Try The Basic Works of Aristotle from Richard McKeon.
  5. So...what's the answer?

    I listened to MacArthur's lecture and do have some observations. First a caveat or two. One, I agree with what others have said already. No one here can, nor am I going to attempt to, state Miss Rand's case better than she herself did. Two, ultimately this is a decision that is in the hands of your reason alone. Now I must observe his selection of so-called philosophers as representative of philosophy. By his selection you would think that the whole of philosophy was an atheistic boys club. He left out a bunch of thinkers: Bishop Berkeley, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Plato, Plotinus, and even Aristotle who found himself assimilated into Catholic teaching via Aquinas (although Aristotle's Unmoved Mover is rather a quaint, uninspiring sort of deity). It is only of the modern era that we find any such concentration of so-called atheists. The time of Paul of which he is referencing in the Epistle Galatians was not a time of rampant atheism, quite the opposite in fact. His characterization of a thousand different philosophies is also incorrect. While, on the surface at least, there seems to be quite a divergent conglomeration of philosophical theories, there are in essence very few. The Greeks had the essential positions of philosophy finished long before Paul came around and they haven't changed to this day. There may be a lot of different concrete answers, but in essence there are very few fundamental positions. It is basically Plato and Aristotle. An observation you can gleam and be presented in almost any history of philosophy course. Also I do not know where he gets his account of David Hume's death, from all accounts I have read, including from Adam Smith and Hume's own physician who was there when he expired, he died calm and clear-headed, although very ill, but, hey, he was dying. I also do not know his source for Bertrand Russell's last words, he should cite sources. Also if he talks of the divergence of philosophers' views he may want to look at theology itself! He may even want to look at the many interpretation of Jesus' and Paul's own words that are out there. But this part is almost to digress. There is also the point that he is taking a view that is pre-Aquinian Christianity. To go by faith in Christ alone, and to eschew human reason as a distorter, and philosophy as some serpent out to mangle you, as an enemy. Might as well convert to Islam. Finally, and this is just my own point. You are obviously looking to make a reasoned decision, else you wouldn't be asking us this question, nor would you be seeking outside help. But I think this is a mistake either way in the long run. You said that you were on the fence between the teachings of Christ and the teachings of Ayn Rand. Go to the source for both and think, think, think. Even then, if you think you see more sense in Christ, you still have the problem of conjuring up faith in him (or God). I don't think that is like choosing to love a jelly donut.
  6. I was a highly functional alcoholic for about twenty years, including all those that anyone has known me here until January 25th of 09'. It was not something I even viewed as a problem until it escalated to a certain point that its effects could not be denied. I could drink anyone I knew under the table and converse calmly on Plato's Theory of Forms all the while, so what was the problem, right? That is, until a humiliating experience of being pulled over. I stopped on that day. I went directly to AA (my wife talked the officer out of arresting me, and over the phone no less, I kid you not) that very morning without going to sleep. The people I saw there were ruled, defined, broken already by alcohol, and bowed fealty to hopelessness in the face of what they called a disease. I recoiled out of there in a hurry and didn't dream of going back. They had exactly the wrong answer. Whatever problems "pushes" one to want to seek drink (or anything else) it is still a choice. You either decide to, or you decide not to. Once I saw it for what it was, I had not the slightest problem walking away. "No", and meaning it is all that is required. I leave out such psychological examples as people suffering from severe trauma from childhood or from other causes. I had none of these things.
  7. You don't really want Civil War II

    We're not there yet, and your objection is on record, so I wouldn't freak out about that. I do say we are not there yet, but I think we will be soon enough (10 - 20 years). I've been mentally preparing for it for some time. I quit drinking last year (really, super function type), and now my favorite mantra is: "I quit drinking for this?"
  8. The Consequences of Socialized Medicine

    Idaho has already set in motion against the bill, Virginia will file a motion as soon as the bill is passed. And I heard on FoxNews that at least (I think I heard this number) 20 other states are to follow. That's on the good side. The bloodbath in November will be the other. If not, bye bye.
  9. Kafka's Metamorphosis

    So a friend of mine who has some degree in literature recommended I read Kafka after hearing I had never read him. So I read the Metamorphosis as I had heard of it before. I have read that this story is highly regarded and taught in college (or was, probably Snoop Dogg "lyrics" now). I do not know why. Here is what I got from the story. Son, who was the family's provider, wakes up as useless beetle (I guess scholars debate exactly what bug he was), annoys and frightens the family for a time, and then dies. The family is left without a provider. That is until the parents notice that their daughter has grown up to be a hottie, thus their daily bread is re-won. Has anyone read this? Did I miss something?
  10. AVATAR

    Oh, and toss in that corporation that Ripley worked for in the Alien films replete with the man-machine-walker vehicles.
  11. AVATAR

    I am a giant science fiction / fantasy fan, so I had to see this no matter what. It is a James Cameron film. Anybody who knows what that means should have no surprise when seeing it. Think Dances with Wolves meets Fern Gully with Cameron's usual anti-science/technology, anti-wealth hypocrisy. Hypocrisy, because he uses and is those things. That said, it was a truly beautiful visual spectacle that certainly raises the bar for the genre in technology. Themes for the non-retarded are still up for grabs though, the bar moved not an inch here.
  12. The following assumes you have the prerequisites: mutual interests, values, sense of life etc. I can see the full head of hair running out (mine did long ago) but why the charm? As far as the hair goes, her boobs will droop; all in all it will be a mutual process we call aging. I think avoiding complacency is a big factor. Never take her for granted, as if she is no longer a value to gain and keep. I know a lot of divorced men in my line of work - bartending. It is always the same story. It came out of the blue. I thought we were happy. She just up and left one day. Well, they were spending their time with me - that was the problem! It doesn't have to be something as mundane as hanging out at a bar. You could be complacent and be more interested in watching an episode of Mork & Mindy that you've seen ten time rather than tuning into her as she is talking. Unless she's the kind that prattles on and on about stuff no one cares about, or nags endlessly. But then you'd have a different problem altogether. Sexual attraction is also very important, as Betsy noted. I think it also important, particularly for the man, to, putting it softly, master the bedroom, and her. If you are one of those guys that just sticks it in and hurries to your own finish line, you will have problems. Unless sexual gratification isn't important to her, but then you'd have a different problem altogether. Those two paragraphs, if you noticed, are the same point. I've never really researched it, but I'd be willing to bet the guy that doesn't pay attention to his wife is also the guy that isn't interested in satisfying her either.
  13. Am I still an Objectivist?

    So, misrepresentation was part of all this ongoing rationalistic malevolence. You didn't want to know whether you were "still an Objectivist" in the thread where you proclaimed you were not an Objectivist. And in "what's wrong with me?" you were simply doing exercises in an issue you already knew you were never going to change your mind on. No one here misunderstood your views. You actually expressed them quite clearly. It is also evident that you never had any intention of changing your views no matter what (and was never in it for that possibility) because you have been rounded refuted dozens and dozens of times. Nobody is going to buy your book. Even Adolph Hitler had a sizable potential audience with Mein Kampf because the object of his hatred was a small enough minority to gain a popular following. "How 99% of Mankind are Immoral Scumbags" is not going to fly off the press. Unless you title it as I have. You might want to try such titles as: "You all make me want to barf." "I Hate You All!" "Man = Satan" or the Hitleresque "My Contempt"!
  14. What´s wrong with me?

    Sorry, I have to correct myself here. Part 7. I count seven threads of basically the same topic. Your contempt of others. Others, others, others.... others.
  15. What´s wrong with me?

    Wow, this is just like the other thread you started. You call everyone moral monsters, and then display the exact same behavior for the rest of the thread. And I'm also referring to all of the excellent points brought up by everyone else that you throw out as quick as possible. And not grasp at all. On a silver platter, eh? So, why hasn't ARI snapped you up? You must have one hell of a presentation. Why ask what is wrong with yourself, and then deny that you have any faults? What psychological need are you enlisting us to fulfill for you? Since it is not rational argument or discussion you after, but a need to re-affirm, ad-nauseam, your malevolent view of the world, there must be something you are seeking from this discussion PART 2. Part 2 because it is a carbon copy of the last discussion.
  16. What´s wrong with me?

    This will sound harsh, but why pull a punch when truth is involved? Freeriding on thinkers like you? Are we talking about fields such as philosophy? They certainly are not freeriding on your thought. They may be freeriding on the derivative thought of giants such as Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Ayn Rand, even Jesus Christ (or the words that were attributed to him), but they are not freeriding on your thought. Or do you place yourself in their league? I do not suggest humility (although it can feel as such), but a stone-cold sober re-evaluation of self. You are not these giants. You are attempting to transmit the thought originated by another to the consciousness of a third party. Are you adequate to the task? What do they see and hear when you are communicating with them? May it be that not only are you not a giant of the ages, but also in want of communication skills? Is that possible? It does not serve your self-interest nor truth to blithely blurt out that your communication skills are fine. That the fault obviously lays at their feet. When you are dealing with philosophy, you are dealing in fundamentals and very wide abstractions. When you are engaged in conversation with one of these people, you are not only struggling with the particular personality, context, knowledge, psychological defenses and all that, but with millennia of beliefs that permeate every crevice of our culture and experience. You think just your words can break that? And what do these people see and hear when you speak to them? I used to think much like you in my twenties until I had a conversation with my boss one day when he told me most people see me as a lunatic. A hard working smart and honest person, but a lunatic nonetheless. I break into song constantly, full bellowing song mind you, and am a master of saying outlandishly absurd things that make people's jaws drop. How do you think they took me when I spoke of philosophy? Seriously? No. Also consider the country you live in. That is a factor. We are still, in America, fighting against what Europe bowed to long ago. Look at our current fight over healthcare reform. Think that would happen elsewhere? Think again. Your experience here would be significantly different than in Sweden. Surely cradle to grave welfare statism is a factor in your experience. Finally, if a simple rational argument was sufficient, we would never have this conversation. Atlantis would have been achieved long ago. I would suggest dropping the philosophy, the rhetoric, the attempts to convince, to convert, for a time, and seriously re-evaluate exactly what is going on. As others having been saying in numerous ways, it is a lot more complex than simply transmitting syllogisms.
  17. Kafka's Metamorphosis

    Pretty much my opinion as well. I enjoyed reading him to the extent that I thought he was technically a very good writer. But the despairing hopelessness of his story obviously rubbed me the wrong way, and his parents disgusted me. I may try other stories of his merely because I did enjoy his technical proficiency.
  18. Online Guitar Lessons

    As usual, great output from you! Unlike a lot of video lessons I've encountered, I understood what you were saying as you were presenting it. Good pace, presentation, and clarity. I might want to incorporate that into my blues studies I am currently undertaking. Spice up the ol' 12 bars, you know? Actually thought about you the other day when I was picking up my lifelong dream guitar (and an all tube amp!) as I haven't been here very much as of late. I got a '59 Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose Gretsch hollow body and a Peavey Delta Blues 210. Oh, the tone! The tone, the tone, the tone. As a payback for yet another dose of musical pleasure, I'll leave you with this funny musical story from my personal folly files. I laid a guitar track down for one of my friends for a song of his. He's one of those cut and paste types, no real musical knowledge, but I like to play so... A few months later he calls me back and says he was about to do a final mix for the song, but my track got corrupted and the sound was terrible. Could I come back and rerecord it? I told him I could, but it probably wouldn't be the same piece as I didn't write it down. "What the hell do you mean?" he screams, "that piece was perfect! Just listen to it and redo it!" I very patiently tried to explain to him that I had no ear. I can't even redo my own music! I thought he was going to cry or kill me for being a liar or something! I eventually got it somewhat and he can't tell the difference! Fixing that though as I remembered a Perfect Pitch course from Burge that was in every guitar magazine when I was a kid. Works pretty well, too! Anyway good luck with your playing and lessons, and thanks again! Thoyd
  19. Iran's Counter-Revolution

    Ok, keep them separate. You still have a rotten man with a rotten philosophy who acts rottenly. Honesty? Courage? Integrity? Virtue? Character? Are you subscribing these attributes to Obama? NO, I don't think anyone here, from what I've read, is making an error in assessing Obama except you. And you are actually wrong, those things can't stand apart from one's ideology. That is why he has none of those qualities you imagine he has. There can be contradictory people - he is NOT one of them.
  20. Iran's Counter-Revolution

    I reject the notion that being a politician necessitates lying and talking ambiguously all day long. Who is forcing him? Why doesn't he know speak the truth now? He's already got the job. Or maybe he has to lie to ensure he gets re-elected in '12, and then he will speak up and set us free and tell us the truth about how he is a champion of reason, and individual rights, and a free, un-fettered market. As for the last. I don't separate the sin from the sinner. And he is acting on his philosophy. There is nothing good about a person who pursues power and control such as he does. By your reasoning why can't we say that Hitler was basically a good guy with a notoriously bad Total State philosophy? I mean he was nice to dogs I've heard. Kissed babies at rallies, and people say he was a great orator. Everything you said I could apply to Hitler equally.
  21. Iran's Counter-Revolution

    We're not in a depression. It is a recession, and one that is largely media inflated. Look up the difference. He certainly helped bring along the current recession, but a lot of those seeds were sown a while ago. What he really gave us is the jump start that Obama could only have dreamed of being handed to him in the form of bailouts, and government strong-arming of banks. Bush gave us 9/11? This is to miss over two decades of evidence. Of all the past presidents, from Carter to Bush (GW), Bush is the least to blame for 9/11. Yes, it happened on his watch. And he would have certainly done just as little as all the rest if not for 9/11 8 months into his presidency. Carter, with his impotence in the Iranian hostage crisis, and Clinton doing nothing through a series of attacks deserve more of the blame. Bush gave us Obama, that is what will curse his name in history. Made America and the West seem hateful? In whose eyes? I'll tell you what he made us look like - WEAK. Hateful? Completely out of touch with reality maybe. And quite frankly - who gives a damn what other countries think. Are we a nation of laws and principles, or are we a seventh grade class of schoolgirls worried about what people's feelings towards us are? He certainly trampled on some laws. Who cares about the UN anything. How can you even possibly say that we will be freer in 4 years of Obama than of Bush? Have you not viewed any news in the last couple of months? You tell me how, and be specific, how in the next 4 years we will be freer under Obama? How will this come about? He is taking over, fascist-style, every major segment of the US economy. And he hasn't brought out his bigger ambitions yet. How is that freer? Think it's temporary? Just until we get through this "crisis"? Think again. His policies will only spurn on more crisis's to be met with more and more take over. I think he very well knows this, his education and associations seems to indicate he would know this as a matter of strategy. Have you ever read Atlas Shrugged? It details how this works out. So how do you go from a downward spiral into fascism to freer than the Bush years in four years because of Obama and through his continued tenure I would really like to hear. I don't think McCain and Bush are evil men (at least to the standards of modern politicians!). I think they are befuddled, pragmatic, altruists in an age where their sort of distorted thinking is having real immediate consequences. I don't think they are good men either, I think them inept. Obama on the other hand. I would agree he is more intelligent. He is not a man of integrity. A simple review of his past shows that. He is a man incapable of understanding what the concept could ever mean. This is a man that purposefully and consciously pursues a path of control and rule through force. While McCain and Bush would actually believe their own crap about taking over to save freedom and capitalism, Obama has no such illusions. He is not here to protect individual rights (something the other two would at least pay lip service to) or the free markets. He is here to dictate and control the markets - that is - us. They used to speak of "the cold hand of reason" - well we are going to find out about "the cold hand of collectivist epistemology".
  22. Do we have the government we deserve?

    Given your premises, your statement doesn't follow. Thugs can be amoral as well. A 90 year old grandmother gives no more sanction to a tornado than she does to a deranged psychotic killer storming through her house to rape and kill her even though she is just as helpless against either. Or is it also your contention that the poor old woman gives sanction to the killer?
  23. Economic Dictatorship in US Begins

    Your post does not address my main point. And as Ray pointed out, it goes back a lot farther than that. How about the establishment of the Federal Reserve system in 1913, and the Sherman Act in 1890 - both gifts from Republicans.
  24. Economic Dictatorship in US Begins

    His analysis is wrong on several fronts. First as I stated, it is the Republicans who start most of the worst trends in government. Bush and his bailouts, and John McCain with his salvo against free speech to name but two. It was also under Bush and a Republican controlled congress that we got the Sarbanes-Oxley mess. Under Bush and the Republicans we saw the worst anti-business legislation and treatment in decades. Yet what is now thought of that "era"? They call it deregulation and the failure of free markets. When it was the diametrical opposite. It was they who laid the groundwork for what Obama is now doing. But with Obama we run very little risk of it being blamed on "free markets" and deregulation. It was the Republicans and their failures that gave the left the opening they needed. Else if the Republicans had not abandoned everything they once stood for, there would be little incentive for the average bewildered American to vote for the likes of Obama. I'd like also to note that it is short sighted to view all of this as a progression whose beginning only starts from Bush or the election last fall. This is a culminating point in a century long battle. There is no getting out of some pain given the road we have gone down. Given the philosophies that dominate both parties and the culture at large, we were going to do this sooner or later. It is unavoidable. It is like someone abusing their body with alcohol for years and then pleads to the spirits at large to spare him the DT's. I, and I suppose many other people, do not take a short view of "is this guy going to be better or worse for me for the next four years?" It is a consideration, but not to the point of excluding a long-range view. Yes, Obama is really going to mess things up. But the republican party, through their capitulation and bankruptcy, was guaranteeing this outcome sooner or later. What do you think the ultimate results were going to be of the Republican party going continually left? It is my view, and I know some others, that the Republican party must be brought to its knees, and through this, hopefully, find itself again. Otherwise a full dictatorship is absolutely guaranteed. Doesn't look good so far as I see Palin is still a contender and the usual idiots. We have an unavoidable bitter pill to swallow no matter how it plays out. I must add that I didn't vote in the last election as I live in Washington state and there was no way in hell Obama was not going to win here. Finally, I took him at his word. We live in a "democracy" (which is not true) therefore whatever happens is our fault. I find this myopic view of the intellectual battleground to be the equivalent of the 3 second sound bite. I know we have some real young members on this forum, would you blame an 18 year old? Nice justice. How about 16 years old? Voting does not explain anything of what is going on in our government nor our culture. Voting is merely a mechanism. Who you end up with as voting choices says a lot more than who wins the vote.
  25. Economic Dictatorship in US Begins

    You enjoy it too, buddy (another insulting, condescending poster - getting real friendly this forum is). BTW, we already knew what Obama was, none of this is surprising. Although you seem to be quite shaken up by it. Were you somehow hoping it would not be what it was? Obama is following nearly everything that Bush started, and McCain promised the same thing but more so. You got two parties that are pretty much the same. What is the sense in putting in Republicans? They'll just push us farther down the road and their failure will be blamed on the "free market". Which is exactly the way it played out. When Obama fails, it will take quite a mental leap to blame it on "free" anything - except loot. So, your news is stale, message insulting, and your evaluation is wrong.