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Peter writes:
He uses some market cues as hints but mostly his theory is made up bullshit he is passing on


Peter, it's NOT a theory that the two largest stock market crashes in US history BOTH occurred on Elul 29 in a 7th sabbath year on the Jewish calendar.

Even you can't change objective reality as much as you'd like to. :wink:

Greg
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This was in a TownHall online advertisement. At first I thought it was a joke: Still looking for an affordable God-honoring healthcare solution? The doors are always open at Medi-Share. Healthcare Sharing Ministries . . . Best of all, it’s Biblical. You never have to pay for things that go against your beliefs.

What insane bullshit. Sometimes stupid people NEED to be taken to the cleaners to teach them a lesson. That reminds me of three card monty and shell game street vendors on the streets of NY, and the carnival games across America, and the board walk games in Ocean City, MD and Atlantic City NJ. Sally! Stop putting your quarters in the claw machine. It’s fixed!

Peter,

You announce that people trying to find solutions outside of govt healthcare and regulated insurance are automatically getting ripped off? And they're stupid? Whose side are you on?

From here: http://www.healthcaresharing.org/hcsm/

"A health care sharing ministry (HCSM) provides a health care cost sharing arrangement among persons of similar and sincerely held beliefs. HCSMs are operated by not-for-profit religious organizations acting as a clearinghouse for those who have medical expenses and those who desire to share the burden of those medical expenses.

  • HCSMs receive no funding or grants from government sources.
  • HCSMs are not insurance companies. HCSM do not assume any risk or guarantee the payment of any medical bill. Twenty-nine states have explicitly recognized this and specifically exempt HCSMs from their insurance codes.
  • HCSMs serve more than 480,000 people, with participating households in all fifty states.
  • HCSMs’ participants share more than $430 million per year for one another’s health care costs.
  • HCSMs strive to be accessible to participants regardless of their income, because traditionally shares are a fraction of the cost of insurance rates.

"

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Mike E. wrote: Whose side are you on?

On the side of the consumer, Mike. Of course. Sure. You get it. What is whacko about that private insurance is that it claims to be biblical. I wish the hucksters would bring back the wittle puppies.

Glenn Beck Calls WDBJ TV News Shooting God’s ‘Final Warning’ Before the Apocalypse Beatrice Verhoeven ‎August‎ ‎26‎, ‎2015: Glenn Beck sees Wednesday’s murder of a reporter and a cameraman on live television as God’s “final warning” before the end of the world. Just a few hours after Vester Flanagan opened fire on former WDBJ colleagues Alison Parker and Adam Ward during a local news broadcast in Roanoke, Virginia, Beck made the wild claim during his show on The Blaze TV. “I think that God is giving me one final warning,” Beck said. “He’s telling us, ‘you got one more chance, this is it.’ I’m telling you, this is it. This is God saying, ‘Last chance.'” end quote

Adam wrote: Greg, as far as I understand his position, is not predicting the apocalyptic end on September 15th. . . . He meant do not read into what I am saying and basically make shit up and then ascribe it to me! end quote

All right all ready I will stop making this shit up. How did you catch on? And it’s September 14th, not the 15th, Adam. How could you get that wrong? Greg sure is brave because HE names a date. Most hoax-sters say sometime in the near future.
Let’s see. Greg, Glenn, Mike E., Adam. That’s four divided by point three which equals 13.3333333 . . . I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Celebrity Jeopardy is on. Whew. Gotta go.
Peter

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Peter writes:

Greg sure is brave because HE names a date.

I only did because someone else had pointed out a well ordered pattern of extremely RARE events within the context of moral law. If you deny that America has forfeit its moral protection and economic providence through societal degeneration... you're in for a rude awakening.

I fully understand that moral law is meaningless nonsense to secularists because they are relativists. Good or evil are just peoples' subjective opinions. Devoid of any reference to nonexistent objective reality, one person's opinion is no better or worse than another's. Christian American, or Islamic fascist... they're all the same to a relativist, because there is no objective standard and thus no moral law.

Greg

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Your designating sundry people this or that is, by your own basic metric, completely subjectivist--just an opinion. Yet you are an absolutist. Hence the fuse you ignite on a stick of dynamite thinking saying it's a tube filled with oatmeal as you get the hell out of there.

--Brant

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Peter writes:

Greg sure is brave because HE names a date.

I only did because someone else had pointed out a well ordered pattern of extremely RARE events within the context of moral law. If you deny that America has forfeit its moral protection and economic providence through societal degeneration... you're in for a rude awakening.

I fully understand that moral law is meaningless nonsense to secularists because they are relativists. Good or evil are just peoples' subjective opinions. Devoid of any reference to nonexistent objective reality, one person's opinion is no better or worse than another's. Christian American, or Islamic fascist... they're all the same to a relativist, because there is no objective standard and thus no moral law.

Greg

You've not demonstrated that "secularists . . . are relativists" or that you yourself aren't a secularist. You keep bouncing back and forth and around God, reality and God-knows-what. I happen to agree with you about what you call "moral law" and so did Ayn Rand, yet she & co. were and are secularists if you use the common and unconfused parlance.

Now if you state that one isn't a secularist if one "believes" in reality than atheism per se (belief in a Supreme Being) isn't enough to make one a secularist. He might believe in reality just as you claim too. A secularist--the guy left over--would then be someone who thinks reality is subjective and manipulable and his opinions are hard, must-be-believed objective reality and if they aren't treated as such then unbelivers are to be traduced at will for they are getting in the way of one's righteous opinions. The most extreme manifestation of this would totalitarian communism and the Rev. Jim Jones.

I posit you need another word than "secularist" to tell one and all what you are talking about or we could go on and on with a semantical discussion until the cows come home. Or, tell us how Rand was a secularist too, not just the communist next door.

--Brant

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You should read some of the non-fiction works of Ayn Rand Greg. Here are a few letters demonstrating that you are very wrong.
Peter

From Goddess of the Market, Ayn Rand and the American Right” by Jennifer Burns, page 100: When she arrived in California she was working on her first non-fiction book, a project she eventually abandoned in favor of her third novel. Much as “The Fountainhead” had showcased her ideas about individualism, this book would reflect Rand’s growing fealty to reason and rationality. After three years in California Rand had redefined the goal of her writing. Once Individualism had been the motive power of her work; now she explained to a correspondent, “Do you know that my personal crusade in life, (in the philosophical sense) is not merely to fight collectivism, nor to fight altruism? These are only consequences, effects, and not causes. I am out after the real cause, the real root of evil on earth – the irrational.”

Soon after this development came Rand’s dawning awareness of the differences that separated her from the libertarians or “reactionaries” she now considered her set. At issue was her opposition to altruism and, more significantly, her unwillingness to compromise with those who defended traditional values. In 1943 Rand had been one of the few voices to make a compelling case for capitalism and limited government. In the years that followed she would become part of a chorus, a role that did not suit her well.”
end quote

Brant wrote back in 2000 to Barbara Branden:
Then I think you missed a post a made a while back, Barbara. I stated that no ideas existed independent of human consciousness, not even unread in a book until it be read (assuming the author was dead). That from this context ideas can be good or evil only if expressed and/or acted upon, but not within the mind itself. Therefore, ideas can be evil but they need help to be so. Ideas per se? No, they cannot be good or evil, but there is no such thing as an idea per se. There always has to be a human mind attached to it, to reiterate. It is not, by the way, good form to maintain your position for adopting it means forever explaining why ideas are not good and evil (or good and bad, etc.) as your distinction in my opinion is contrived and artificial, maybe arbitrary. Anyway, we need to be able to categorize ideas as this or that and should not exclude moral categories.
end quote

Gregory Wharton also back in 2000 wrote: Here's my understanding of this issue:

1. The objectivist position on human action is that it is a direct result of human thought. In other words, what you do is a direct result of what you are thinking. This establishes a definite logical/causal relationship from intent to action and is a direct corollary of the rejection of the mind/body dichotomy. If the mind and body are one, then thought must necessarily be inextricably intertwined with action. To genuinely believe in some idea is to act on that idea, by necessity.

2. Since the objectivist meta-value and meta-ethic establish an absolute standard in reality against which actions are measured for normative significance (good/bad), we can say that some types of actions are universally evil (though they may differ in degree). A good example of this is the initiation of force, which denies mind and therefore denies life (again, as a consequence of the rejection of the mind-body dichotomy). In other words, there is a class of actions (and ideas which lead to actions) which, when considered normatively for the context of human beings in general, are objectively evil for all humans according to the objectivist meta-ethic. When the "to whom" is the set of all human beings, and the "for what" is framed in meta-ethical terms, then we can show a set of actions and ideas which are universally evil for this context.

3.To espouse an idea to others as true is, in itself, an action. If the logical corollary in action of that thought is evil, then the conceptual content of that idea itself can objectively be considered to evil, as noted in point 2 above. Not only that, but then the mere advocacy of that idea, qua action, is itself evil. So, ivory tower Marxist professors really are doing something bad and idle sophistry really can be destructive (and often is).

So, on this basis, we can say with rational certainty that some idea or action is universally evil, in an objective sense. On what basis could we judge that a _person_ is evil?

This is a difficult question, which hinges on an issue of teleology.

It all depends on how the person believing the ideas and acting on them went about coming to their belief and then acting on it.

Evil ideas or actions originate from two fundamental sources: Error and Intent. I have explored this issue somewhat further in an "epistemic truth table" [http://www.axiomatic.net/ragnar/truthtable.htm] in which I explore the relationship between accidental and willful error and the impact of both on the status of knowledge.

Accidental error occurs as a result of either perceptual pathology or lack of knowledge. It is as a result of an accidental error that a person can hold an evil idea or take an evil action and yet we would not be justified in judging him/her to be an evil person. Certainly, particularly with respect to action, the person is still responsible for themselves, but the accidental nature of their error is a mitigating circumstance with respect to judging them individually.

Intentional error (or evasion, as Ayn Rand put it) is another animal entirely. The teleological status of the belief or action is now very different--we have not a failure or inability to know, but rather a refusal to know what would otherwise normally be known.

Commission of intentional errors, particularly as a pattern of behavior rather than an isolated incident, is the defining characteristic necessary to judge a person evil. Not only do we have evil actions or ideas, but we also have the intentional action undertaken to believe and/or act on these ideas, even when their normative status is known. Not just merely the "refusal to see," evasion is the refusal to be good. On that basis, and not solely dependent on some heinous evil action, we can legitimately judge that a person, qua person, is evil.

So, how do we tell the difference between accident and intent? Careful examination of context.

We know that ideas translate into action. It is in this way that we can legitimately deduce what someone is thinking from the evidence of their actions. Clear evidence of evasive thinking can be determined from examining actions for which there is no reasonable explanation but that evasion was taking place.

Unfortunately, we are only rarely presented with clear-cut evidence of intent over accident. As Napoleon was fond of noting, we should not ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

Not only that, but in judging the teleological status of another person's thinking and action, we also face the problem that we ourselves are making an accidental error (assuming for the moment that we are above evasion ourselves). Without a reasonable level of objective certainty, there is no justification for judging another _person_ to be evil.

And yet, this does not free us from the epistemic obligation to know what can be known and make our judgment based on that knowledge. At any point in time, we must take the sum of our knowledge and come to some sort of working conclusion to make sense of it all, even if we must understand that such judgments are ultimately corrigible. At any given time, our judgment of the people around us has them as good, evil, or unknown/indeterminate/neutral. That status is refined and expanded as further knowledge of their motivations becomes available, whether through evidence of their actions or their words.

This we must do, because to avoid the process of reaching conclusions based on the evidence at hand would be to commit an evasion in itself, willfully shutting down our conceptual capacities, thus corrupting our own character. The important thing is that the certainty of the conclusion be proportional to the magnitude of the evidence available--a difficult challenge.

As with any judgment, judging the character of another human being involves walking a razor's edge. However, to refuse the necessity of judgment so that the risky walk along that edge could be avoided is to jump squarely off into the abyss of evasion. Unfortunately, as many objectivists as there are who are quick to condemnation, there are as many who are just as quick to avoid judgment.

"Judge and be judged" does not require that we condemn and be condemned, or sanction and be sanctioned. Rather, it requires that we know and be known. That's was Rand's message, even if she herself was not always consistent about practicing it.
~g

From: BBfromM@aol.com
To: atlantis@wetheliving.com
Subject: ATL: "Evil Ideas"
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 18:23:17 EDT

I'm ready to try again to explain my discomfort with the concept of "evil ideas." I'm still groping, so please bear with me. But let me say that this discomfort most emphatically does not mean I'm suggesting that people cannot be evil, only actions can. Certainly people can be evil. The question in my mind is whether an idea, per se, can be evil.

It's safe to assume that "communism" is what those who say that ideas can be evil would use as an example. But we all have had the idea of communism in our heads: those who have accepted it as a value to be acted upon, those who have studied it, those who have considered it, those who have denounced it. So the mere presence of the idea in our heads is irrelevant to good or evil.

"Idea" and "belief" have been used as synonyms in many of the posts. But they are quite different. And this usage implies that the presence of an idea in consciousness can be evil--such that the communist and the student of communism equally hold an evil idea.

"Evil" should pertain to belief--that is, it should pertain to *acts of consciousness* with regard to anti-life ideas, the act of consciousness in accepting them as true.

Barbara

From: "George H. Smith"
Reply-To: "George H. Smith"
To: "Atlantis"
Subject: ATL: Fw: "Evil Ideas"
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 18:50:00 -0500

Barbara Branden raised a number of interesting issues in her discussion of whether or not beliefs per se should be called "evil." This is an old philosophical controversy, one that was tied to the problem of whether we have volitional control over what we do and don't believe (a topic that, in turn, was tied to the debate over the persecution of heresy, atheism and other "evil" beliefs).

Do we choose to believe something or not, in the same sense that we choose to act or not? I discuss the historical dimensions of this problem in "Belief and Free Will" -- a chapter in my forthcoming book, "Why Atheism?" (which is scheduled for publication later this year by Prometheus Books).

So much for the plug. My own opinion is that neither ideas nor beliefs per se can be "evil," though the actions they inspire may be judged such if we project their consequences into the external world. I say this for two primary reasons. The first might be called a category mistake. Terms like "true," "false," "rational," and "irrational" are the value judgments that should apply to the realm of cognition, whereas terms like "immoral" and "evil" are value judgments that should apply to the realm of external action.

The second reason is a more pragmatic one. So-called "freethinkers," such as Anthony Collins (an eighteenth-century deist) expended a good deal of time and energy trying to erase the stigma of "evil" that Christians had attached to the unrestrained pursuit of truth, however egregious the errors and unpalatable the consequences may sometimes be. (Hence the origin of the term "free thought" -- meaning the MORAL freedom to question, criticize or believe anything.) And I don't wish to return to an earlier, benighted age when moral condemnations replaced intellectual arguments.

George H. Smith

From: BBfromM@aol.com
To: atlantis@wetheliving.com
Subject: Re: ATL:Postscript to"Evil Ideas"
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 20:04:41 EDT

An addition to my post on evil ideas:

If, as I suggested, evil requires an act of consciousness, not merely the presence of a false and potentially destructive idea--that means that the act of consciousness is volitional: it is an act of evasion.

Okay, let me restate my present position:

The locus of evil, of immorality, lies in a volitional act of consciousness, not in the presence or absence of any sort of idea. That act of consciousness, in order to be considered immoral, requires evasion and irrationality as the means to embrace ideas that are false and anti-life.

Barbara

From: "George H. Smith"
Reply-To: "George H. Smith"
To: "Atlantis"
Subject: ATL: Re: Fw: "Evil Ideas"
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 22:23:31 -0500

(1) Before commenting on the specific issues raised by Bill Dwyer, I would first like to sketch the position of John Locke (and Thomas Aquinas) on "cognitive determinism," since I generally agree with it. The follow passages are extracted from "Belief and Free Will" (Chapter Five of "Why Atheism?").

"According to the doctrine of cognitive determinism, what we do or do not believe is not a matter of free will but is determined by our intellect which, having analyzed and assessed the available evidence, judges whether a proposition has been sufficiently justified to qualify as true. And when the intellect makes this judgment, when it determines that a proposition is (probably or certainly) true, then belief follows automatically and immediately, without an intervening act of will.

"Belief, in this view, is commanded by the intellect, not chosen by the will. Whether our judgment is good or bad, reasonable or unreasonable, it is how we assess the evidence for and against a proposition (p) that will determine whether or not we believe p to be true. For to believe is to assent, to assent is to affirm, and to affirm is judge affirmatively. In other words, to judge that p is justified, is simultaneously to affirm that p is true - and from this affirmation there must necessarily follow the mental assent known as belief.....

"This conclusion is not necessitated by every form of cognitive determinism. John Locke, while denying to the will any direct role in the determination of belief, still concedes that our choices can indirectly influence what we believe. For even if belief necessarily follows judgment, we must still choose how to exercise our judgment in a particular case. We may, for instance, refuse to consider pertinent evidence and, as a result of this willful ignorance, render a judgment that is inadequate or defective. Thus, although we are not directly responsible for what we believe, we are responsible nonetheless, because it is within our power 'to think or not to think,' to consider or not to consider, when judging a particular issue.

"Locke's theory -- which assigns to free will a major role in determining, not our beliefs per se, but the quality of our judgments on which those beliefs depend -does not fully support his argument (quoted above) that what we believe 'does not depend on our will.' For if it is true that I cannot will myself to believe something without sufficient evidence, it is also true that I may, through an act of will, consider evidence that I had previously ignored, and thereby alter the judgment on which my belief depends. And if this is possible, we can be said to
exercise some control over belief -- because we can choose to exercise better judgment and, in so doing, possibly alter the content or intensity of a given belief.....

"We have seen that, according to Aquinas, truths that have been logically demonstrated (i.e., the knowledge of "science") command the assent of the intellect, so our belief in them is not a matter of free choice. Aquinas adds a proviso, however: 'But the actual consideration of what a man knows by science is subject to his free choice, for it is in his power to consider or not to consider.'

"This is similar to Locke's argument that our knowledge 'is neither wholly necessary, nor wholly voluntary.' Locke illustrates this point by comparing reason to the faculty of sight. If I look at some objects I cannot help but perceive various similarities and differences; I have no choice in the matter. But I do have a choice as to whether I will look in the first place. Moreover, I can also choose how carefully I will scrutinize the objects, i.e., whether I will survey them hastily or focus on them carefully. The same is true, says Locke, of our understanding: 'Just thus it is with our Understanding, all that is voluntary in our Knowledge, is the employing, or with-holding any of our Faculties from this or that sort of Objects, and a more, or less accurate survey of them: But they being employed, our Will hath no Power to determine the Knowledge of the Mind one way or the other; that is done only by the Objects themselves, as far as they are clearly discovered.'"

(2) I hope these passages clarify the issues dealt with in the first part of Bill's post. They also should serve to resolve some of the ambiguity in our natural tendency to speak of highly irrational beliefs (such as racism) as "evil." Unfortunately, my earlier post, brief as it was, did not discuss a third alternative to passing value judgments either on beliefs or actions; this is the practice of passing moral judgments on individuals, as when we say that Hitler or Stalin were "evil people." Without going into the intricacies of this issue, let me just say that this kind of judgment has historically been predicated on the overall character, or general dispositions, of given individuals. In this view, a person who occasionally (i.e., out of character) acts immorally is not evil per se; we reserve this judgment for people for whom immoral actions are part of their character, or way of life. And a flagrant disregard for reason (which will obviously influence a person's beliefs) is part of that person's character.

With this in mind, I think we can distinguish between an evil belief per se (a notion that I reject) versus the evil character of a person who may affirm such an irrational belief -- since, as Locke pointed out, irrational beliefs are made possible (in some cases at least) by a willful refusal to consider contrary evidence.

(3) Part of the confusion here is caused by the fact that prescriptive judgments ("ought" and "should" statements) involve more than factual beliefs; they are also calls to action. Thus, although I would not say that racist or anti-Semitic beliefs per se are evil, I would say that anyone who calls for the practical, systematic, and political implementation of such beliefs is indeed an "evil" person, because such actions would be an egregious violation of the rights of others.

(4) Another part of the problem has to do with the vagaries of ordinary language. As Bill points out, we do indeed call not only beliefs but actions as well "irrational," but what does the latter judgment really mean? If the members of a cult commit mass suicide with the expectation that this behavior will hook them up with aliens who are lurking behind a comet, we would normally say that these actions were "irrational." But I suspect that the true meaning of this judgment has to do with the beliefs that inspired these actions, not with the actions per se (since suicide is not always an irrational act). If you accept certain beliefs, certain actions are bound to follow; and I think we impute irrationalism to the latter because of the former. An action per
se, if divorced from the beliefs and intentions that motivated it, has no "meaning" one way or another, and something without meaning can be neither rational nor irrational.

(5) Bill wrote:
"So we shouldn't morally condemn those who advocate that blacks be enslaved, Jews exterminated or businessmen executed in an anti-capitalist pogrom?! We shouldn't view these beliefs as morally offensive and outrageous?! We should view them simply as false ideas in a manner no different than we would the idea that the earth is flat? I don't think so!"

Flat-earthers don't usually call for the extermination of people who disagree with them. If they did, I would call them (not their beliefs about a flat earth) evil. You may say that this is a distinction without a difference, but such is (sometimes) the nature of philosophical analysis.


(6) Bill wrote:
"Moreover, if a belief like Nazism or Communism is totally innocent, is it appropriate for us to dislike those who hold these beliefs? Or should the content of their beliefs make no difference as to how we feel about them? After all, according to the no-belief-is-evil view, the proponents of these destructive ideas are morally no worse than if they didn't believe them -- even though we know that, given the right opportunity, they would not hesitate to implement them, much to our detriment."

Of course it is appropriate for us to dislike Nazis and Communists, since we tend to dislike people who hold highly irrational beliefs, but what has this to do with the issue under consideration? I suspect that Bill likes the judgments of "immoral" or "evil," because he thinks they are more forceful than "irrational." I do not agree. Systemic irrationalism is the root of an evil character and is therefore more fundamental. Personally, I would rather be called wicked than irrational. .

(7) Bill wrote:
"Condemning the ideology of Nazism or Communism is really no different than condemning its practice. When we condemn its practice, we simply identify it as a bad course of action with devastating social consequences, even if its practitioners, in not recognizing it as such, are incapable of choosing otherwise. Similarly, when we condemn its ideology, we simply identify it as a bad *belief* with devastating social consequences, even if its proponents, in not recognizing it as such, are incapable of *believing* otherwise."

It is manifestly untrue that to "condemn" fascism or communism "is really no different than condemning its practice." I can discuss the irrationalism of the labor theory of value without regarding this belief (or even the Marxist who holds it) as evil. The same applies to dialectical materialism and the like. To say that we should summarily reject such beliefs because of their possible consequences, without considering their intrinsic merits, would amount to nothing less than a call to return to the medieval mindset, in which moral condemnation (the labeling of certain beliefs per se as "sinful") were regarded as a substitute for argumentation.

(8) Bill wrote:
"To treat a belief that has life-and-death significance as morally neutral is, therefore, to deny its practical implications – its influence for good or for ill. It is to treat it as if it were inconsequential -- irrelevant to our lives and happiness. In fact, ethical and political ideals move the world; they are anything but morally neutral abstractions."

I don't follow this at all. To say that a belief is "irrational" is in no way to deny its "practical implications" -- indeed, quite the contrary is true. But, to revert to my previous example, is the labor theory of value (a theoretical foundation of modern socialism) an "evil" belief? If so, then many early libertarians who also endorsed a labor theory of value, such as Adam Smith and Lysander Spooner, must also be adjudged evil.

I believe my last reply to Bill Dwyer also covered the points raised by Gayle, except for the following.

Gayle wrote: "In fact, Rand herself often referred to "evil philosophies," which subsumes "evil ideas" doesn't it??"

Yes indeed, but I was giving my own opinion rather than engaging in Randian exegesis. I think that Rand's emphasis on "evil philosophies" -- which she took to the absurd length of calling Immanuel Kant the most evil man in the history of Western Civilization -- is an excellent case study in the pitfalls of this approach. Was Kant more evil than Hitler or Stalin? Yes, according to Rand's perspective -- but no, according to mine. Even if Kant was wrong about everything he said or advocated (which is far from true), to brand him as more evil than mass murderers is to debase our moral coinage.

Well, I've gone and done it now. Let the games begin.
George H. Smith

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In the preface to his book, “How we Know,” Harry Binswanger writes:
Mankind has existed for 400,000 years but 395,000 of those years were consumed by the Stone Age. The factor that freed men from endless toil and early death, the root cause of the elevated level of existence we now take for granted, is one precious value: *knowledge.* The painfully acquired knowledge of how to master nature, how to organize social existence, and how to understand himself is what enabled man to rise from the cave to the skyscraper, from warring clans to a global economy, from an average lifespan of less than 30 years to one approaching 80.
end quotes

Religionists are primitive people. Ayn Rand demonstrated that religion was primitive philosophy. Basing knowledge on what is mystically revealed is on the same level as tribal blacks in Africa. Some of the contributors here would benefit by getting an education.
Peter

Notes:
Stanford Encyclopedia of Culture: African morality is founded on humanism, the doctrine that considers human interests and welfare as basic to the thought and action of the people. It is this doctrine as understood in African moral thought that has given rise to the communitarian ethos of the African society. For, ensuring the welfare and interests of each member of society can hardly be accomplished outside the communitarian society. The communitarian ethos is also borne of beliefs about the natural sociality of the human being, expressed, for instance, in the Akan maxim, previously referred to, that says that “when a human being descends from the heavens, he descends into a human town”(onipa firi soro besi a, obesi onipa kurom). Social or community life is, thus, not optional to the human being. Social life, which follows upon our natural sociality, implicates the individual in a web of moral obligations, commitments, and duties to be fulfilled in pursuit of the common good or the general welfare.
end quote
From Mr. Nussbaum, Learning and Fun: The Navajo people held many interesting religious ceremonies and celebrations. Most of their ceremonies were held to restore harmony. The Navajo believed in good and evil, but that evil could take over if the universe was not in harmony. Ceremonies were held to honor the “holy people” of Navajo culture such as Coyote, Changing Woman, and the Corn People.
A “sing” was one of the most important Navajo ceremonies. In a sing, a medicine man might perform an old, complicated song and dance designed to restore harmony, heal the sick, protect a family, promote the growth of crops, or protect a village’s herds. The sing was always dedicated to one of the “holy people.”
A “blessingway” was a ceremony in which something was requested of the “Holy People.” The request could be as simple as a blessing over a newborn baby or newly conceived marriage, or, for protection against enemies in a pending raid. The Navajos believed that the “Holy People” would grant their requests if they approved of the blessingway, or, if they were displeased, evil spirits could interfere.
The Navajos made “sand paintings” as part of a Sing or Blessingway. A sand painting was a large picture made on the floor of a hut made of different colored sands that were carefully crafted between the second and third fingers. The pictures could be ten or twelve feet long and told of magical stories or characters with super powers. Sand paintings were made in the hopes of healing people. Such paintings were destroyed before nightfall so that evil spirits could not infiltrate them. Traditionally, sand paintings were made by medicine men who wished to restore harmony toward a sick person. After the sand painting was finished, the “patient” sat on it and hoped that the powers of the “holy people” could be absorbed. After the ceremony, the sand painting was considered poisonous because it absorbed an illness or disease.
end quote

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Evil in your head is not evil out there.

I was--I guess 12 or 13--on the beach at Rocky Point, Sonora Mexico, when I spotted a girl my age in a bikini and got my first erection ever. Boy! What a surprise! I had to run over a sand dune and hide. The only thing I knew to do with it was rape her, rape her and rape her some more. (Masturbation? What was that?) After a long short while I returned to "normal." This is my idea of "evil in your head." To dispute this is to engage in a semantical argument but not over where ? was. When we went back across the border to Arizona I brought this evil with me into the United States. And, no, I was not asked by the border patrol if I had an erection.

On a river trip through the Grand Canyon when I was 34, an 18 yo young lady gave me the I-want-to-have-sex-with-you stare when we were sharing the back of the wooden dory. This time I had no rape fantasy but merely wondered if it could happen and what was my responsibility and if I really wanted that myself. I was now a responsible adult who knew enough to be rational and to know my two heads were in conflict, but the big head ruled. She was ignorant. You go around looking at men as if they were pieces of I-want-you-to-fuck-me meat and that kind of predatory behavior can backfire. There are a lot of men who will take you up on it leaving you alone and pregnant and maybe with an STD.

I have never been capable of or really desirous of rape. Not at 13 and not at 34. Not ever. Someone actually wanted to rape me in college when I was at an outdoor end of semester party drunk on my ass. I cut him. Nor did that young lady want to have anything to do with me beyond that hormonal induced tease. It's dangerous to be a tease for men are biologically so quick to go. Rape or love and consent--the DNA doesn't care. Babies are born fresh and innocent, ready for the first steps into their social lives. After the children are raised into adulthood your DNA doesn't care any more about whether you're dead at fifty or a hundred.

Evil is as evil does. Qua evil what's in your head is bullshit.

--Brant

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Brant writes:

You've not demonstrated that "secularists . . . are relativists

Most are.

Ayn Rand was a notable exception in that she was a secular absolutist. If she would have been a secular relativist, she would have been a failure... not only as an author, but as a person.

Greg

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Mike writes:

Second Market Crash May Be Imminent: Violent Selling Could Return On Thursday

Zerohedge is a great site. It's like the Drudge Report of economics.

Greg

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Brant writes:

You've not demonstrated that "secularists . . . are relativists

Most are.

Ayn Rand was a notable exception in that she was a secular absolutist. If she would have been a secular relativist, she would have been a failure... not only as an author, but as a person.

Greg

I suppose this is progress. Yep, that's what she was. So were the communists she escaped from.

Would be totalitarians use relativism to worm their way in and get their way with liberal mush heads, some of whom will do the wanted vicious assaults on those not them.

You can tell the leftists: they want to destroy those not them. They deny your reality and ignore your ideas except as caricatures for assault. All opposition is dehumanized and turned into social fertilizer if not simply ignored. They want power, more power and to keep power. They are moral absolutists and they are always right and you are always wrong.

--Brant

rant

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Not to mention the fallacy of "...after this, therefore, because of this..."

The post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this therefore because of this) fallacy is based upon the mistaken notion that simply because one thing happens after another, the first event was a cause of the second event. Post hoc reasoning is the basis for many superstitions and erroneous beliefs.

It rained on Thursday and a woman was raped on Saturday - select numerous coincidences and conclude that rain causes rape...

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I was going to make a joking post involving "rape" until my good sense got the best of me.

--Brant

Totally understand, remember what happened to Tex Antoine:

Rape quip and final years

On November 24, 1976, on the 6 p.m. broadcast, Antoine's weather report came up just after a story of the rape of an eight-year-old girl.[2][6] Tex thereupon quipped: "With rape so predominant in the news lately, it is well to remember the words of Confucius: 'If rape is inevitable, lie back and enjoy it'," (the comment later caused controversy amongst women's groups after Indiana University coach Bob Knight said it during an interview with Connie Chung in 1988 and helped derail Texas gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams' 1990 election bid). Roger Grimsby led the 11 p.m. newscast that night with the official apology from WABC. Five days later Grimsby would introduce Antoine's replacement, Storm Field, with "Lie back, relax and enjoy the weather with Storm Field" (it too caused controversy). [7] Antoine closed out his career with a brief stint as weatherman for WNEW-TV in 1977.

He had married Suzannah C. Glidden in summer 1965, and he died in Manhattan in 1983, at age 59, under the name "H. Jon Antoine".[2][6] [8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tex_Antoine#Rape_quip_and_final_years

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Oh, yeah. I tried to find a video of him shooting off his mouth but there doesn't seem to be one.

One of the anchors wanted to hit him.

Back then I regularly watched channel five news: "It's 10PM, do you know where your children are?"

--Brant

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Back then I regularly watched channel five news: "It's 10PM, do you know where your children are?"

--Brant

Ah yes, you mean when there were intact families half a century ago?

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40 years. Let's not let our time on earth run away so fast.

--Brant

Lol... I knew you would say that...actually their tag line started earlier I thought maybe in the mid-sixties...

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What was the name of that white-haired middle-aged little guy in a grey suit who did the rambunctious in house commentary circa 1974?

And I really liked "This is Victor Riesel."

--Brant

http://www.wnyc.org/story/victor-riesel-and-walter-reuther/

http://www.wnyc.org/people/victor-riesel/

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