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Everything posted by Arkadi

  1. Greg--You've just confirmed what I said: our government reflects (however imperfectly) the will of the majority. This regime is called democracy. You preference seems to be oligarchy (or, you might call it aristocracy).
  2. Greg--Our government is not entity unrelated to the people, it is their reflection in a considerable degree.
  3. p.s. (re "Biblical values") St. Paul adds somewhere that he has a great pity for married men as they have to care about pleasing their wives rather than about pleasing God.
  4. Greg--I work for an Ivy League University library.
  5. Greg--Yes, I live in America. Yes, I am Christian but currently do not belong to any church. "In America today, anyone who is a slave only did it to themselves."--Are you ignorant of the genetics' impact on IQ? And of the influence of drugs consumed in childhood, when a person is not yet formed as a person and cannot resist the pressure of their social environment?
  6. Brant--Yes. He benefited but his benefit was not (nor was intended by him to be) material.
  7. Brant--Whatever Jesus was doing, his objective was stated by him explicitly: " “If you continue in My word.., you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I.e., his goal was influencing others, not material production.
  8. Most slaves also produce more than they consume but they do not benefit from this. Neither did Jesus.
  9. JTS--No, I would not. I might consider my life, not his, to be a failure should I have to pay for his sustenance against my will.
  10. For me, Capitalism is the triumph of the moral sovereignty of the individual. Which implies that nobody, except the person himself, has the moral right to judge whether his life was success or failure. Usurping such right is a trait of totalitarian mentality.
  11. jts-- "If a man can't make a living, that is a failed life."--NO. Such a person would quite literally die. He would not have either failed or successful life. He would not have anything. For a simple reason that he would not be around any more.
  12. p.s. I have to admit, that, personally, I find Greg's criterion ("making more money than you spend") ego-pandering. I'm almost 62 and I never borrowed a single cent in my whole life, nor lived off any inheritance. It looks like I'm admitted to Greg's "good people"'s (a.k.a. American Capitalists) club.
  13. But then, do not refer to the Bible and its values, Greg. For by your measures, its major hero, Jesus, was a failure.
  14. No life is failed "but [one's ill] thinking makes it so."
  15. JTS--"Being unable to make money is a failed life. Money is one of the necessary ingredients of a good life."--This tells it all. No more questions on my part. Thank you.
  16. JTS--It's a failure in one particular respect; and it was, perhaps, due to his reading the Bible not attentively enough, as St. Paul advises to not marry.
  17. JTS--One can possibly call some people "failures" only by applying to them (and, by implication, to all people, including himself) a certain measure or criterion.
  18. jts -- Thanks for sharing. If I may ask you a question: did Jesus accomplish anything? Was Jesus, in your view a failure? I ask this to get a clearer idea of what you (and others here) mean by "accomplishment" vs. "failure." What exactly is your measure? And even more importantly: why bother measuring oneself?
  19. Greg--"I'm talking about today in America... "--Today, in America, Snowden--who, in my view, did what's morally right--would be in jail if not for Vladimir Putin. So, the freedom of a person who does what's morally right depends on the benevolence of one of the worlds' greatest moral wrongdoers. "I have a totally different view on mountain climbing than you do... If people didn't put out the physical effort to hike up mountains they couldn't travel anywhere to live in new territories and civilization couldn't be spread over the world."--Yes, we do disagree on this. Without Aristotle there would be nothing to spread. Monkeys put out physical effort and spread around yet remain monkeys.
  20. Greg--""If anyone is not willing to work, neither let him eat."-Bible."-- "Man does not live by bread alone". "Blessed are the poor". "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.…" etc., etc.--all by Jesus
  21. p.s. Basically, you seem to me saying that a person who, by a certain age, has not made a good buck, can be neither happy nor having done what's morally right. My apologies if you did not mean this. But if you did, I've to say that it is patently false.
  22. Greg--"Free men are happy because the achievement of earning it makes them happy." It does not do so always; otherwise there would be no people killing themselves or others (like Simpson) after earning a lot. "Freedom is earned by doing what's morally right." Again, it is not always so: under some regimes, doing what's morally right paves one's way into jail. "Climbing a mountain is action. Discussing Aristotle is talk." Aristotle was not climbing mountains, he was "talking" (=discussing ideas, with Plato and his own students). Yet this "talking" influenced our civilization more than many actions like mountain-climbing.
  23. I thought entertainment does not presuppose commitment or dedication.
  24. p.s. Discussing Aristotle requires a carefree leisure and a certain level of education. A certain level of wealth is a precondition for both.
  25. Greg--Does independence necessarily implies happiness?