Christopher

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About Christopher

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    Christopher

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    Male
  • Location
    Sausalito, Ca
  • Interests
    Studying Healthy Values. I love family, wine, and opera. I am also seeking deeper inner experiences through spiritual practice

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    Christopher Lipp
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    Roger Zelazny, Wagner, Simon and Garfunkel, The Matrix
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  1. I don't like this approach. If time is the measure of motion, then space is the measure of an object's position. But the problem with either of these definitions is that the object itself becomes the standard from which both time and space are dependent. Meaning, we're taking an object in a system and using that object to justify the existence of the wider system. I'd rather start from some axiom about the time-space system in which objects exist and function. Chris
  2. Unfortunately I recognize I am talking to a very biased perspective, but healthy environmentalism is protection of the ecosystem in pursuit of a richer and healthier human life. Humans evolved to live very well in collaboration with the ecosystem. We weren't born to die in nature, we were born to live and thrive in it. Millions of years of evolution ensures this. So the belief that somehow man must "protect" or "separate" himself from nature in a web of self-constructions to better survive is a bogus belief. In fact man's life depends on the natural ecosystem, it does not depend on a man-made "ecosystem". Man is about adaption to and not control over the environment... does Objectivism want to contradict our scientific observations supporting this point? We might argue that protection of nature per se can become divorced from human life. But I wonder about that too. A perspective on protecting the natural ecosystem might be implicitly demonstrating the proper way to live in relationship to nature so-as to survive. Protect that which protects life. For example, in India it's immoral to hurt or kill cows. Seems absurd. Then you look at the history of this code, and you find that cows were necessary to ensure survival of human life. So a set of ethics arose that on the surface seem divorced from human life but in which the very existence of those ethics in fact arose precisely because they support human life. The same seems plausible, perhaps even inescapably obvious, with nature. Anyway, I think we need some deeper consideration of these issues than simple Rand-like biased statements.
  3. Thanks Adam. I'm open to trusting him, but I need to understand him first. I noted that he claims the crowd size in D.C. was 500k, whereas news reports put it at roughly 87k. He's definitely an entertainer with the objective of persuasion. But to trust him, I keep trying to figure out how deep his methods of persuasion go before we hit the "real" stuff that represents himself.
  4. Can anyone tell me if Glenn Beck is authentically (personally) religious? He used some Christian terminology in his speech in D.C. It sounds like the typical redneck/retiree rhetoric used in the Republican party to generate support. It's also not a Libertarian position if I understand Libertarianism correctly. I keep asking myself when he states his opinions: is this guy real?
  5. Happy Birthday as well! Your humor and insight is missed
  6. A recent article in the LA Times showed research on educating 5th-grade school children, and the results were the following: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers-value-20100815,0,2695044.story Response to this data has varied. Both U.S. Secretary and State Secretary of Education have endorsed the release of this data. However, http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/16/local/la-me-0817-teachers-react-20100817 Interesting. Gotta love the unions! But to the union's credit, use of standardized tests as measurement does have significant flaws, particularly in cross-cultural evaluations of performance.
  7. Ken Wilber does a great argument against the idea that we can use observation of empirical reality as a foundation for faith-oriented issues. I might be misapplying it here, but basically Aquinas was arguing that the spiritual realm was responsible for the material world; determinists can argue the reverse - that the material world is responsible for the spiritual world. Wilber argues that they co-arise and neither can be explained by the other (and does a very handy job at it)
  8. Basically there are two ways to address this problem: Legal & Cultural. The legal ramifications of marriage exist, and it is appropriate that either they exist for both hetero & homosexuals or such laws do not exist at all. As pointed out, government benefits that are available to only one group of people are discriminatory against other groups, particularly when such laws are in recognition of human relationships & not sexual-organs. (children are not the issue, otherwise sterile adults would be exempt as well from marriage) This statement: is overly emotional against gays. Already those insurance companies spoken of have "a gun pointed at them" by straight couples. It is Objectively inaccurate to say that it's ok for some people to receive benefits and not others, and I think we see that. So equality is not "gun pointing" by the group requesting equality; there is a bias when presented as such. Addendum: An analogy to marriage benefits would be like this - if union workers received government-subsidized unemployment payments, but no one else received such benefits, Ted would prefer to have the union workers continue to receive benefits than "equalize" benefits across the population. I don't agree with this perspective. However, we both agree that no benefits should be given in the first place. Regarding the cultural issue, which is truly what proponents of prop 8 are fighting for, that is the topic I addressed in my post.
  9. A federal judge recently struck down Proposition 8 in California as unconstitutional, a proposition which prevented gays from marrying. The proposition had been previously voter-approved in a popular election. http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_15770593?source=rss The judge ruled that while the proposition did harm gays, the absence of the proposition did not harm those against same-sex marriage. However, the defendants' argued that proposition 8 is necessary "to avoid confusion and irreparable injury that would flow from the creation of a class of purported same-sex marriages." I think this is a beautiful example of why constitutional law and Objectivism are so important when determining whether laws should be enacted. Although the marriage law does not influence the defendants directly, it influences the institution from which they derive the meaning of marriage, and therefore causes dis-ease within their psychology. This argument is perhaps the most vicious of all arguments, for it requires that the behavior of others be regulated in order to appease a sense of "rightness" within the actors. It is inline with all historical religious and ideological arguments that have been used to subjugate or enslave a people under an institutional body. Two cultures will not share the same meaning structures. Therefore, the options are either to have both meaning structures co-exist (traditional marriage and love-focused marriage), or to eliminate one culture in order to protect the "purity" of the other culture. What's your choice?
  10. I thought this was an interesting article that I was inspired to read after the "Authoritarian Science" post: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/wikileaks-war-logs-back-story I'm quite critical of any news regarding the government supposed "leaks" or otherwise, since the government has a PR team that rivals Apple. However, in the case of this article, I actually see a bright side to internet news and a bit of honesty in the mix. As I commented on an earlier topic yesterday, the more people with access to government secrets, the better for citizens. Transparency is the only vehicle by which our limited democracy can survive.
  11. I didn't get the chance to watch the video since I'm downloading a gig of info in the background (too slow to load anything else), but I can say that I'd rather many people know secrets than a few people know. The government should have a minimum number of secrets, that's the key to transparency. Now as for the bureaucracy behind so many people knowing, well... the statistics argue that roughly 25% of all employed Americans work for the government. They have great job security, pensions, etc. That means for every three of us on this forum not working for the government, we are supporting through taxes a 4th worker in government. And when he retires, well... we have to keep on paying taxes to support his retirement.
  12. I like Joel's assertion - that it is questionable whether hard-core Muslim Terrorists are actually motivated by "Islam" rather than some other factor - an emotion of anger at poor living conditions, for example. Any and every terrorist will attempt to justify his/her actions according to some virtuous doctrine (nobody claims to be a murderer per se), but it's not uncommon to find a simple motivation such as despair or a sense of injustice fueling the fire behind the words. After all, it takes a lot of energy and integrity to actually adhere to a value system rather than simple emotions, and from what I've seen of terrorists, there is very little foundation for value-behavior. Since we are talking about ideas (I agree that there can be no war on Islam, the thought is absurd especially in a free country), perhaps Muslims living in the US represent good examples of the religion at its best, and the Muslims I know here are awesome people. But all that aside, I once spoke to a bunch of Objectivists who felt collateral damage was ok in killing terrorists, but they wouldn't accept the idea that it's ok to take out an apartment complex in New York where a murderer is hiding. Silly inconsistency.
  13. Awesome. Poor Kant, he's right in his own way, but wrong for things outside philosophy.