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Everything posted by KurtColville

  1. Sharia alive and well in Afghanistan

    They have the exact same mentality with terrorist groups. If it doesn't come with the FDA label of al-Qaeda, it isn't a terrorist group. So Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqsa Martyrs Briagde, and all the other packs of animals are off the hook, nevermind the fact that these people are too stupid and primitive for groups to mean anything.
  2. Happy Birthday to KurtColville

    Thanks so much, Betsy and John. Another year of enjoying a rational, benevolent, wonderful life!
  3. Happy Birthday to Betsy Speicher

    A very, very happy birthday to you, Betsy!
  4. Story here. %@!&ing altruistic coward. How about some of those Marine words, Ray?
  5. "Spore": A game like no other

    That looks absolutely amazing, and a real breakthrough in game design (much needed!!). I imagine we'll be hearing lots about this game in the near future. Thanks, HaloNoble6!
  6. Happy Birthday to KurtColville

    Thanks so much, all! It's very much appreciated. Kurt
  7. Happy Birthday to theDML2112

    A very, very happy birthday to you, buddy!
  8. The John Galt Pledge Initiative

    There may be some truth to a youth corps of Obama drones, but Pam Geller is not the source for anything about it. She is a hysterical lunatic, sympathetic to neo-Nazi white supremacists, and entirely at odds with what Miss Rand's ideas. She is dishonest to the core, and has the nerve to call her blog "Atlas Shrugs". Don't just take my word for it. Go to her site and see for yourself -- it's all there in black and white.
  9. Happy Birthday to khaight

    Hey, have a great birthday, Kyle!
  10. Happy Birthday to KurtColville

    Thanks very much, guys! It was a real fun day -- definitely worth aging another year for. Thanks for the poem, Brian. No hearse day for me on the horizon. I was playing hockey last night, skating hard, enjoying being able to do that at 43, keeping that hearse well out of sight and just enjoying the pipers.
  11. Happy Birthday to Nicolaus Nemeth

    Happy Birthday, Nicolaus! Many happy returns!
  12. "Breaker Morant" dies

    That is sad news. He was a terrific actor, and Breaker Morant is a great film.
  13. Why did he do it?

    It's not a wire from the network, but just a freelance blogger for the NBC affiliate in Chicago.
  14. Why did he do it?

    You mistakenly assume that the mere reading of a book fixes in a person's mind a proper course of action. It does not. Millions of civilized people have read the Koran, and Atlas Shrugged, and they respond with denial, rationalization, blanking out, and are no better inclined to morality than before. That, because they hold a bad philosophy, not because they're ignorant.
  15. Hitler was an altruist

    When you have people who are unintegrated and unprincipled, like Kennedy and Obama, the little bit of good that they do still counts. Even if they don't get credit for knowing why it's good, it matters for those living under their authority that they did the right thing, if even for the wrong reason.
  16. Hitler was an altruist

    True enough. All the exposes in the world of government corruption and failure don't deter people from increasingly viewing government as the answer and freedom as the problem.
  17. Greetings

  18. Hitler was an altruist

    In reflecting on this whole thing, I've realized that the main reason for my confusion was that I was relying on a sort of unexamined stereotype of an altruist as someone who just gives, gives, gives. Mother Theresa, Bill Gates, all sorts of charitable.sacrificial engines, big and small. I got wrapped up in the everyday images of "people who give back/sacrifice". What I missed was the impracticality and necessary malevolence of altruism. That's a super-valuable identification that Objectivism offers.
  19. Hitler was an altruist

    Well, I wasn't equating desire satisfication with egoism (because I knew that that also includes hedonism, which opposes egoism). But in trying to sort out "selfishness", I think I was rationalizing how "altruism" relates to "benefit"; I dropped the fact that "benefit" is objective. I think I've got it straightened out now.
  20. Hitler was an altruist

    Actually you view your landlord's/Kiefer's/Betsy's values as a means to your ends, not those people themselves. You recognize that their lives are not yours to claim as a means to your ends, but that you are right to trade their values with yours, by mutual consent. That's a critical distinction.
  21. Hitler was an altruist

    I think I've cleared up my confusion about this. "Self-interest" and "interest(s)" do presuppose a moral standard. Those concepts denote that which is objectively beneficial to a man's life. This serves to distinguish beneficial values from harmful ones, which may be the result of whim worship or of an honest error in value judgment. When Miss Rand says that "selfishness" does not include a moral evaluation, she does not mean that the concept cannot be morally evaluated, but simply that a moral evaluation isn't implied in the concept itself. That is, first you recognize that there is such a thing as concern for one's own life, and then you recognize that it's moral to have such a concern. Assuming I've got this right, I can proceed to the responses.
  22. Hitler was an altruist

    Sorry -- one edit. This should read this way: From #1, I'm afraid that I don't see how to integrate the idea that an altruist views the needs of others as his standard of value with the idea that Hitler, who built his life around ascending to godhood to lead an imagined super-race, sacrificed millions to his vision, and ultimately ordered the Germans to sacrifice themselves for not living up to that vision, is an altruist.
  23. Hitler was an altruist

    I'm having a hard time keeping all these concepts in the right context, so if you all don't mind, I'd like to back up and specify what the key terms mean and how they fit in with the concept of altruism. 1) Altruism: Taking relevant quotes from the Ayn Rand Lexicon: From #1, I'm afraid that I don't see how to integrate the idea that an altruist views the needs of others as his standard of value with the idea that Hitler, who built his life around ascending to godhood to lead an imagined super-race, sacrificed millions to his vision, and ultimately ordered the Germans to sacrifice themselves for not living up to that vision. I don't want to get lost, or lose anyone, so I'll try to simplify it. How, in the concept of altruism, is there room for someone who is willing to sacrifice others to his own egotistical desires? Is it that altruism negates the pursuit of rational values but allows for the pursuit of irrational values, including the egomaniacal control over others? It seems that an altruist would not want to control others, but would let others' needs determine control over himself. The main point that I take from #2 is that the concept "self-interest" presupposes an objective moral standard, to be achieved by rationality. Whim, desire, and anything in conflict with rationality contradicts self-interest. The only reason to append "rational" to it is to emphasize that man's self-interest is not arbitrary, but is achieved by a particular means of survival (rationality). #3 is the toughie. In every other Objectivist formulation of "selfishness" that I've seen, the context has been that "selfishness" presupposes a rational moral standard (that being, concern for one's own life). That is, I've understood Objectivism to mean that to be selfish is to be rationally concerned with one's own life (as opposed to a mindless hedonist, for example). Yet #3 states that "selfishness" is not normative, does not involve a moral evaluation, but is simply "concern with one's own interests" (good or bad). Is Miss Rand saying here that this is just the dictionary's erroneous formulation, or is she saying that there actually is a valid conceptualization of "selfishness" that omits a moral standard? And if the concept of "self-interest" does presuppose a moral standard, how can "selfishness" be "concern with one's own interests", but yet exclude a moral evaluation? I'm confused. Sorry if this is too long and convoluted. I appreciate the feedback and will reply to Capitalism Forever and Henrik's posts tomorrow.
  24. Hitler was an altruist

    Bill, I haven't read TOP, but can you explain how my formulation is inconsistent with altruism, or how your description above is consistent with it? Specifically, how can someone who selfishly seeks power over men and who grinds everyone in his way into dust be considered an altruist? How can you wage open war against most of humanity, crushing their needs, to elevate a certain small group (das Deutsche Volk), and still be an altruist? If that's an altruist, how is that concept to be integrated with the concept of someone who is truly self-sacrificial, who wouldn't cause harm to anyone, and who only thinks of what others -- any others -- need? You don't have to be an altruist to advocate human sacrifice. You only have to view other men as a means to your ends. No, Hitler wasn't acting in his self-interest, but he was definitely subordinating the majority of the world's values to his own. I can't fathom how that can be considered altruism.
  25. Hitler was an altruist

    Hitler wasn't an altruist for the six million Jews and millions of others that he slaughtered. An altruist doesn't sacrifice others for some selfish cause, he sacrifices himself for others' needs -- all others. Altruists aren't egomaniacal, racist, fascist butchers, they're whimpering, pathetic losers. I think your heart is in the right place for wanting to make sense of massive injustices that confront you, but you keep appying the same fallacy of composition that Paul has pointed out to new, equally invalid cases. Hitler was altruistic in that he lived primarily to fulfill some insane nationalistic need of the Germans, but he rejected the needs of the majority of humanity, and instead sacrificed them to himself. That doesn't make him an altruist, just an apocalyptic genocidal animal. You really should take another look at how you're rationalizing altruism. Consider just how impossible it is take a concept like altruism (living only for others), which is at war with human nature in every possible respect, and treat it as though it is possible for a human being to actually be altruisitic for more than five seconds. It leaves you with only two outcomes: either recognize that many people are altruistic in broad degrees, and only to the extent that they deny their own desires (something Hitler failed utterly to do!), or call a collectivist an altruist and commit the fallacy of composition.