Rich Engle

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Everything posted by Rich Engle

  1. I never could wrap my mind completely around their relationship in the first place. It seemed so unbalanced. But on the other hand, she seemed to talk about him in terms of being her anchor. And it's very hard to be in the shadow of a giant, usually. Whether or not that is so, it looks like to me that she got to a point where having an anchor wasn't all that necessary- she was so in motion, and working without a wire. I'm convinced they always loved each other, but there's all different kinds of love. From what I get from reading, he seemed very much like one of those quiet, dreamer types of
  2. Nathaniel says that the most important judgment you will ever make is the one you make on yourself.
  3. Parents can, fortunately, guide children into tolerant morality, even through all the mistakes they will make doing it. Even when they fail and occasionally don't walk the talk. But extreme moral indignation? The real kind, not, say, the pseudo indignation of a freshly-trained fundamentalist? Assuming no serious pathology, I think it is because man is part of life, he is part of the universe. Assuming no serious pathology, such a man has a reverence for life, he looks upon it fondly, and likes to get up in the morning. I don't think it's that far of a stretch for such a man to get hacked off
  4. Uh, yes, I was talking about the witch doctor. No need to resort to spraypainting the locker room, Dragonfly. See, I'd have to retaliate.. being a UU guy, that would mean doing something lame. We're the ones that light those burning question marks in people's front lawns. What psychologize? The doc put it all out on the table. It's a pretty common mindset. I can sympathize, but jeez, suck it up and be a man. Fatalists aren't real men, they're just not. Yes, that means I'm saying that practicing determinists, be they psychological, evolutionary, or whatever other flipping varieties are out th
  5. He's some kind of determinist/evolutionary psych guy and he probably doesn't even know that. One does not exclude the other. This is where I tend to take Objectivism to task. Something is always running in the background. Or else your dead. I've said it before, I'll use it here again- do the experiment: Sit quietly and empty the mind. Just try to be aware of the body and the surroundings. See how long you can go before having an association, before the voice starts up. I know very few people that can do this even for one minute. But even in that under one minute, you can see what that is th
  6. Knowledge and experience are components of wisdom. I view wisdom as a evolved-into state of consciousness. With age often comes wisdom. It's true from a real basic standpoint, in terms of how a person, as they age, turns to referencing the many accumulated memories, experiences. It is a change of perspective.
  7. I saw Nathaniel lecturing one time, and he said something very simple that stuck with me, in the area of essentials. All it was basically, was "your thoughts are your thoughts." He went on to talk about understanding that simple fact. That we all have all different kinds of thoughts, some of which are disturbing or repulsive to the thinker. That a primal thing is to understand that you will have those thoughts. Obviously, the difference is what you do with which ones. Whether you will act on them, or not.
  8. Well, there is that empathy component that the have scientifically pinpointed. If I recall it triggers mainly visually.
  9. I haven't had time this a.m. to fully digest all the thoughtful replies, but I did take a pretty good glance. Here's what I did: I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to talk to an informed outsider, but someone out of the philosophical circuit we operate in. Basically I was looking for fresh thought and a different angle. So, I asked my friend of over thirty years. He's just a regular guy, albeit a pretty wise one. I laid out the original hypothetical, and explained how far I thought we had funnelled it over here, which to me is down to "where does moral conscience come from?" He said, in a
  10. MSK: One of the premises we are checking right now is the Objectivist view of man and his values. That's it, exactly. What do we know of it? Quite a bit. Objectivism is a modern system, so we also know that the differentiating trait is that the focus, the value, was put on man himself That may sound painfully obvious, but it is extremely significant if you look back in history. So, if we look at how it was laid out, we can look for ambiguities. If we look at the different ways it is practiced, we can look for interpretation errors. Integration errors that cause the pathology...
  11. I don't think legality is what compels people to do noble and heroic things. Maybe reverence for life, in the example. My reverence for life might even include the ultimate sacrifice, but even so I am acting in my own self-interest. Even altruists are really acting in their own self-interest, if you think of it. It's just that what their self is interested in might be a little effed up.
  12. It's interesting to see exactly how strong someone's conscience really is in extreme situations. Coming at it from a Unitarian perspective, I would say that taking one for the team is business as usual. They've been burning Unitarians at the stake since the 1500's. For us, it's about action. That's why Unitarians were so involved in smuggling Jews out of Germany during the war (that's where our chalice symbol was developed, it was somehwat of a secret sign). My point is that generally, the Unitarian view is not about "self-sacrifice". We will use the term "service." But what it is really abo
  13. Social metaphysics? I think it's a lot easier to call it the "we" part of life. Just as the inner domain exists, and the solid "it" part of the world exists. One does not exclude the others, they are all part of the whole.
  14. NB's different vantage point definitely gets it deeper! The very basics of things in life: What is good (ethics), what is true (science), and what is beautiful (art/aesthetics)? Looking at the scenario with the child. What is good about the situation? Pretty much nothing. Suffering, and pending danger. I don't see any good, do you all? That's one reason why I would want to act: because there is no goodness there, and that could be changed.
  15. Well, yes, Phil. It seems like it works that way on an almost metaphysical level. :-({|= I think not around here, my friend. Seriously doubt it, tempting though it may be for some to feel the tug of herd mechanics. rde Nobody deserves to be Wing Man<tm>
  16. On the whole, the NBI was a crack operation and no one has done it better since. If NB had remained at the helm of the organization (and, it was simply not meant to be and in a lot of ways I'm glad because it diverted him into what he does now, and my guess is that he's happier now than he would've been, but who knows) I have no doubt in my mind that it would have continued to grow exponentially. See, the greatly understated fact of it is that NB is a freaking good business person. I have some sense of how he operates because I got to do a little work with him. He's good. Very good. Top dow
  17. Oh, that was so wrong on so many levels, Michael. I couldn't have done better work myself. But don't many Queens have little lapdogs when they sit at the throne? Alright, that's it. It's gotta stop, and it's gotta stop now. Already, I feel the breath of the beast on the back of my neck. rde Mommy, why does Santa Claus have dirty fingernails and smells like whiskey?
  18. Youi know, working with foundations or other donor-type organizations does not de-capitalist you. Far from it- it's just a different way of dealing with finance. Obviously, the caveat is that an organization must have an intense comfort level with the donor organization, but that is not really so difficult. I'm doing something like this right now. When you go to a foundation for money, two simple things: 1. Know that the first thing they will do is think about the last thing they gave you money for, and determine if you were successful with it, and 2. That you better be discriminating, prepa
  19. That's a damn skippy quote!! American Idol: a trainwreck I love. I don't even watch it, because all I have to do is turn on the early morning news to see the train wreckage I want to see. "The horror. The horror." - Joseph Conrad In The Heart of Darkness Did you catch what I just said? I can see American Idol on the morning news. Every day. That's just so wrong on so many levels. American Idol and all of its red-haired stepchildren are about a couple of main things. The first and foremost is the purposeful spread of narcissism, via vicarious experience. The second, and this is key to the fi
  20. Hypotheticals in general are limited, artificial, because they are so reduced to the essentials. The essentials lie in the way the hypothetical is presented. In effect, you are hearing a story and being asked to either finish it, or if you agree with how the major protagonist acted. More or less, that is the situation when one is presented with a moral choice type of hypothetical. In this hypothetical, 99% of the time, if not more so, I'm going to help the child. Why? Because of my reverence of life. Because my moral compass automatically defaults and overrides in those situation. Because i
  21. Wow, welcome to the forum. If you look at my signature you'll see that the local heretic does a huge amount of his business in Euclid. I am based out of East Cleveland. Next year at Euclid Sq. Mall we are planning to host a very large RC convention. I saw a video of it and it was amazing. We are considering building an indoor track there. The thrust is RC racers but I think the airplane guys are going to be included too.
  22. I found this article to be one of the most spot-on, honest treatments I've read on the subject in a long time. We get in trouble with someone no matter what general name we use for it. I tend to talk about it as "individual religious consciousness". But, with the caveat that I am not referring to a specific form of organized religion. That is key. As Michael mentioned, I am a part of a religious community, specifically a Unitarian Universalist church in Kirtland, Ohio. Unitarian Universalism is a pluralistic, non-creed based (so it is covenant-based) denomination that includes atheists. I br
  23. Law or not, here's the thing: People can and often will do whatever they want, whenever they want. There are choices that have no ramifications to a man, other than what the action will leave him with, in the interior domain. I am positioned a little differently, obviously, because of my religious faith. Yes, faith, that's what I said, and no, it bears no resemblance to the little circus show that some Objectivists will open up on that over and over. For want of a better word, let's say. What I mean by that is that I have a moral compass. I already know that. MSK has a moral compass. Lots of
  24. My, what an interesting week. What to say... I can only go for broad strokes. Their kung fu is no good. I think one of the many peaks was one of them saying that, due to the supposed hardening that living on a farm gave them, they would walk past a starving, crying kitten in the woods, and... do you still want to know me? No, because you are either a very callous human, or, more likely, a liar. The worst and most dangerous of which are the ones that actually believe their own b.s. That was a pathetic display of male bravado, to be sure. That is not kung fu, it's not even pro wrestling. If any
  25. Well, I'm not sure what you were smoking, Roger, but if you get anymore of it, get hold of me to have a modest shipment sent over to Cleveland- me and the boys in the band might just have to break protocol in the name of psychotropically-induced spiritual expansion, as limited as that might be. I knew right away it was crooked, and I don't see how anyone would think otherwise, unless they are a fresh ripe turnip that just got loaded onto the truck. And that's the hellishly funny part of it; the care, the near-fawning. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain... For some reason, the part