Friday, July 29, 2005

Reason and Logic - what's the difference?

Reason and logic might seem to be very similar concepts, and it would seem that someone using stringent logical syllogisms is also engaging in "Reasoned" thinking. However, there is a very important difference -- the difference lies in what becomes abstract philosophizing versus what becomes a genuine search for truth and clarity in understanding. Anyone well-versed in the rules and principles of logic can create air-tight logical arguments without it having ANYTHING at all to do with any kind of truth or reality! One could always be logical in their thinking, but could be so seperated from reality that almost all their conclusions will have no relevance to truth or existence. For example, a religious person can begin with a premise of faith and then build upon it very strong syllogistic arguments. One case in particular would be Anselm's Ontological argument for the existence of God, which I have refuted in previous posts. This platonic method of philosophizing has been adopted by many philosophers who divorce any grounding of their thoughts from reality and end up with conclusions that are very logical but so abstract that there is no practical application of those ideas in life, and if those logical conclusions are forced into practice, it usually has contradictory, negative, or misguided consequences. The ONLY way to truly understand REALITY and find guidance for our ACTIONS in this real and physical world is to FULLY INTEGRATE the principles and facts of REALITY INTO OUR LOGICAL syllogisms! And this is the meaning of REASONED or Rational thinking. It is like building a house. If you wish to build a strong and sturdy house that will last atleast your own life-time, you must build it in compliance with the reality of your surroundings. In other words, you must understand the nature and consistency of the soil, you must have knowledge about where your foundations are going to be, where your crucial supporting pillars are going to rest, etc. etc. You cannot just DREAM up a house and try to conform the reality of the location to YOUR idea of the house. Nor can you just assume that one can NEVER know anything in certainty about the nature of your location and how to build a house and so merely attempt feeble approximations at building the foundations to your house. One should use real facts, objective truths, and universal axioms as fundamental premises to ALL their logical and physical constructions. For example, Cartesian and Kantian solutions to escape from the problem of solipsism is based on very good logic. Decartes ends up with logically sound conclusions that lead him to the idea of God as the originator of our experiences of reality, and it has to be true because God does not deceive, he says. The logic is good, but it is fully divorced from the crucial facts of REALITY. Instead of basing his logical premises on the axioms of existence and consciousness, Decartes basis it on erroneous assumption that existence outside of our self-consciousness does not exist, only our consciousness can be accepted as an axiom. Kant, on the other hand, leads up to logical conclusions that were considered "revolutionary" because he said that the entire REALITY of existence rests upon individual's consciousness and experience! Thus, according to Kant, our experience of reality makes it real for us. According to him, if we did not have the consciousness to experience, then reality simply does not exist for us. It's clear that Decartes and Kant were engaging in abstract philosophizing without any regard for reality itself. In fact, they doubted the very fundamental fact that ANYTHING was real. These influential forces of thought created future philosophers who believed in many things including Empiricism (where all knowledge is only degrees of certainty and that it can only be gained through repetitive experience, i.e. there is a 0.0005% chance that there is a rhino next to me right now) and Rationalism (where knowledge can be gained purely through the rational and logical method without NEEDING ANY REAL EXPERIENCE, i.e. even if I were not here to experience it, I can logically deduce that a rhino cannot be next to me because it is usually in a Zoo, and I'm in my office at work right now). Clearly, philosophers have deluded themselves in their pursuit of understanding the world through such broken systems of epistemology. One must fully understand the nature of what such philosophizing does: it allows you to entertain whatever abstract ideas you want, however contrary to reality, or absurd, or abstract, or immoral or untrue, and simply say that that is purely theorizing and that you don't actually practice it. This divorce of ideas from actions is a contradiction of the very nature of Humans. Humans function on the survival mechanism of THOUGHT and IDEAS. Those are our TOOLS to actually survive and thrive in this real and physical world. If our ideas are not based on integrate the information from the real world and coming up with methods of surviving and thriving in this real world, then our ideas are useless to our survival... we might as well starve and die, and the whole while think about unicorns! This does not mean creativity and imagination should be discouraged. Infact, quite the opposite. This means creativity and imagination is always guided by a very clear and mature understanding of real contexts, real environments, believable scenarios, and identifiable creations. If I were to write a work of literature where the protagonist was an Isosceles Triangle and the antagonist was an Equi-lateral Triangle... I could construct a very logical progression of events and situations in an imaginary quadrangular world with geometrical theorems for laws... but I'm sure to have lost almost all of my audience because my creativity and imagination is so dramatically divorced from any identifiable commentary on reality that it is simply unintelligible and laborious. When it comes to the issue of morality and behavior, all our philosophies of life MUST bear some clear commentary on practical situations so that it can guide our actions in those situations. Rational thinking puts all your philosophizing into a clear focus based on real situations, real contexts, and real principles. The very notion of philosophizing rests on the principle that concrete reality exists which is your brain which gives rise to consciousness which is the faculty of awareness with which it is aware of itself (reality) and of everything else (other real existents).

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Response to Singer

The workings of my mind: Here’s the skeletal form of my response to Peter Singer’s argumentation on the ethic of meat-eating. The crux of the issue: to eat or not to eat meat Why? Because animals have life, and therefore feel pain, and therefore suffer, and therefore if we don’t eat human babies, why do we eat animals? Living creatures have consciousness and experience pain and suffering. Plants? Do they have consciousness? Animals have life. Life is a value. Life gives rise to Rights. Animals have rights. Right to life. Right to LIVE and not be eaten. What is the meaning of “Rights”? How does it really come about? What are the necessary requirements to possess “Rights”? If animals have Rights, then babies have Rights. Then a fetus has rights? Origin of Rights: Concept “RIGHTS” is squarely connected with the concept “MORALITY” To violate Rights means to be immoral, or evil. To kill a human baby (assuming it has RIGHTS) means to be evil. To kill a fetus, similarly, is to be immoral. To kill an animal and eat it, is also immoral. Yes? What is “MORAL”? Morality is choosing of deliberate action. Choose right over wrong is choosing moral over immoral Choosing to live is moral because it is right. Life is a universal standard of value. Without that standard of life, we are talking about death, or non-existence- then this whole conversation is useless because we value death and non-existence, so why talk about any reason to protect life? Rights are tools and requirements to protect LIFE not death. Thus, rights give rise to morality, which is based on life as a value. Any life? Plant life? No. It cannot be plant life or animal life because morality is ONLY concerned with the life of VIOLITIONAL beings that can CHOOSE to have Rights that protect and enhance life. Animals and Plants don’t and cannot CHOOSE to protect or enhance life. For them, it is instinctual and automatic. Plants and animals cannot commit suicide or choose to starve to death. Thus, there is no talk about morality in terms of their actions because morality requires the deliberate act of choice in the face of alternatives. Animals hunt and kill one another, but we cannot consider their actions under moral lenses. Those acts are instinctually natural. Thus, morality is only in the realm of HUMAN life. Thus, only HUMAN life, Human consciousness, is the standard of our moral values and virtues. Not any life, just Human life. Morality is in choosing the right. Immoral is in choosing the wrong. Amoral is in not having the faculty, capacity and the options to choose. Thus, eating animals is not violating any “RIGHTS” of animals because they cannot have “Rights” that protect their moral choices based on a universal standard value. Animals, by their nature are neither moral nor immoral, but amoral, and therefore cannot have the concept of “Rights” because they do not have the concept of “violation of Rights” i.e. committing a wrong or immoral act against another animal. What about babies and fetuses? Babies – independent entities (in the sense that they are a self-contained unit) that belong to the species of Humankind, and Humankind is the only species that are concerned with Rights and Morals. Babies are Humans equipped with all the faculties necessary for a rationality and intellectual consciousness. The extension of Rights to Humans should then appropriately cover newborn Humans, because they are here and now, existing as their own self-contained entity with the potential to achieve rational consciousness. Fetuses – develop this more… talk about essential definitions and differences. Fetuses are excluded from the coverage of Human Rights and protection. Why?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Pasha, contd-

As he was walking down the streets of the city under the evening sun, Pasha felt the distant thoughts of Jardin beginning to rise in his mind. There were times when Pasha felt he had no capacity to communicate. He knew the language, he knew the words, he knew how to string them together to make coherent sentences, but for some reason, the meaning of his words were either lost to his listeners, or he was unable to grasp the meaning in the words they had spoken to him. Pasha was better at reading people than listening to them. He understood a lot more about people by watching them. Silence, he thought, should be the barometer of effective communication. Pasha enjoyed his moments of silence with Jardin -- the only friend he had with whom he felt no need to explicitly communicate. Jardin was more than a friend to him. And now, as he felt the soft glow of lights from the buildings fall upon him as he passed by, it seemed only appropriate to him that this experience of serenity was matched by the warm thoughts of Jardin. He had sat across from Jardin at the restaurant table during his lunch hour. Jardin had made it a habit to take his lunch break with Pasha as often as he could. "How are you?" Pasha asked. "Good," Jardin replied. Both knew fully that neither the question nor the response was obligatory; that they had no need for such casual talk between them. Every instance of verbal communication that they exchanged was a real manifestation of their thoughts - genuine and sincere. Their words were not grapplings of vacuous space. They both had a clear but implicit understanding that no purposeless words should ever be uttered by their mouths; that language has a necessary function which is to communicate, and it is only to that end that words should be used. Pasha despised people who used language not to communicate a genuine message but to escape from the responsibility of having to be genuine. For them, language was a like a filler that took up space, occupied their empty minds, and sheltered them from the reality of their discomfort; like a balloon filled with air but empty nonetheless. Jardin sat back in his seat and looked around. He was glad to be sitting down, finally. "It was a long day at work today. And I yelled at one of the workers," If he was frustrated, he didn't show it. He said that as if he were telling a joke. And Pasha laughed in response. "So you have started yelling at people now? I'm surprised you even care that much!" "I don't. I only remember that I yelled at this guy. I can't remember what he did or what I said to him. You don't expect me to waste my efforts at remembering those inconsequential details, do you!?" "No", Pasha smiled in reply.

Dying Children, Disease, Poverty, Suffering, Love

Tyrel, you brought up the very crucial question of the compatibility of a benevolent God -- and His intrinsic nature as being fully Love -- with the state of such abject poverty, suffering, and disease in this world. If one understands human life as a "gift" from God, or that we humans are made in the "image" of God, or that every new-born infant is God's gift to a family, then one must surely have to grapple with the apparent inconsistencies (to put it VERY mildly) of the realities of this life that we call a "gift" from God. If I, as an atheist, feel a immensely profound sense of sadness and revulsion when I watch news reports on BBC of children in parts of Africa living lives worse than cows and goats, how much more abhorrent should the state of this world be to the essence of God - which is all-powerful, all merciful, and all loving. I think you should explore this whole issue in your mind because, I think, as a religious believer of God, you bear a MORAL duty to reconcile your faith with the facts of reality. I'd like to see how you explore this issue. Ofcourse, anyone else reading this, if you have thought about issues like this, I'd like to hear your rationale and analysis.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Charity Whore

Charity -- giving without restraint, giving of anything, and probably everything, without expecting anything in return. Charity, considered to be a virtue arising out of love. Love for all people. Love for all humankind. Loving all humans like loving God. And like how God loves us all, so are we asked to follow in His example and love everyone else. This idea of virtue has to be the most adulterated idea of virtue and morality! It makes you more promiscuous than a whore on the streetcorner. Atleast a whore chooses to indiscriminately share his/her body with any loaf on the street and expects something material in return - like money, or food, or whatever else. Thus, this transaction is atleast like that of between equals -- one has something to offer that the other values or wants, and there is an equal exchange of values. None is made to be a parasite, none is made to be a victim -- provided all the parties involved are consenting and voluntary. Whores do not squander their bodies to the service of any undeserving animal with no value to offer. They give of their body only according to the value they earn in return. These values are clearly recognized and agreed to by all parties concerned. A person who voluntarily sells their body as a commodity and a person who voluntarily gives away their possessions to others have these things in common: both of them are indiscriminate as far as who is the receiver of their values. They do not care which Tom, Dick, or Harry is the beneficiary of their actions. There is no deliberate focus of directing their efforts at anyone specific, except that the receiver is accepting, willing, and in need of those services. The prostitute does not care who they engage in sex with as long as that person is in need of someone to have sex with, and is willing to engage in sex with a prostitute. A charitable person does not care which troll becomes the receiver of their love, time, money, or whatever else, as long as that beggar is in need of those things and is wholly accepting of any morsel thrown at them. Both, the prostitute and the charitable person, does not have any specific focus of value directed at the individual. For them both, the receiver is simply an interchangeable unit of faceless masses – they could be any one Tom, or Dick, or Harry, and it would make no difference to either. Thus, they ascribe NO VALUE to the object of their actions – the beggar or the person looking for sex. The difference between the prostitute and the charitable person is this: the prostitute demands an equal payment of value to the value they offered. Thus, while the object of their services is of NO value to the prostitute, the commodity (which is their own body or the pleasure of sex) is of VALUE to the whores because they demand an equal compensation of value for the value that they are offering! In other words, the whore is a self-generative producer of value in regards to sex, and values the nature of their commodity enough to not squander it freely and indiscriminately on any mooch that cannot meet the demands of their service. The charitable person, on the other hand, does not even value the services they have to offer. They give out love, time, money, etc. freely and indiscriminately without demanding ANY thing of value in return. Thus, giving off of those things without any hope or expectation of either getting those same values back in return, or receiving some other value in return reveals their own assessment of what they hold as valuable. Their love is not only available to any Tom, Dick or Harry, but is also available at NO cost, at NO price, and at ANY amount whatever. But the “amount” can only mean something significant if there is some value to that amount. In other words, “less love” can only mean something in relation to “more love” IF LOVE ITSELF IS VALUED – like $4 is valued less than $10 if MONEY itself is of value. Thus, giving away of $4 or $10 or $100 or whatever amount of money or time or love without any understanding of the value of each of those units can only mean that the commodity or service is NOT of value to this person. Thus, a charitable person will easily admit to the fact that for them the “MONEY” or “TIME” or “LOVE” is not the higher value, but the act of GIVING AWAY of those things to random beggars is of value. The very notion of “Charity” puts the ACT of giving at a higher pedastal than the things that are being given away. Thus, for the charitable person, the receiver is not of any value to them (any beggar as long as they are begging for something) and the commodity or service is not of value to them (willing to give away anything and everything, indiscriminately). The ACT of giving, therefore, becomes an ACT SO MUCH MORE PROMISCUOUS than the acts committed by a whore! While the whore does NOT value the ACT nor the object, but their own physical self and their generative power to engage in sexual pleasure, they deem themselves WORTHY enough to demand an equal payment for that generative power. The act of sex is not promiscuously available to any begging Tom, Dick or Harry. If one were to substite “love” for “sex” and examine the behavior of the whore versus the charitable person, one can see how promiscuously indiscriminate “love” is given away by the charitable person, and thereby rendering the value of “love” to meaningless insignificance. A whore will exchange love ONLY in return to equal compensation (presumably, in this example, love in return). Thus, value is maintained and held in this case. A charitable person will give away “love” to whomsoever needs it or demands it. They give away “love” indiscriminately to any faceless beggar without requiring any value in return. For them, if they loved their own mother or if they loved the beggar on the street, it would seem no different. Since they have no discrimination of the object of their love, they could love any Tom, any Dick, any Harry, any Husband, any Mother in all the same way and not know the difference. There is NO FOCUS of deliberate directed value towards any of the objects, and there is NO demand that their husband love them back, or that their mother love them back, or that Tom love them back. For them, love can possibly have NO value because value can only come with a clear discrimination of NON-VALUE. You can only LOVE someONE if you DO NOT love someone else. Loving everyone and anyone is really NOT LOVING AT ALL! The virtue in the act of loving and the value of love itself can only be generated from a deliberate, self-motivated CHOICE of engaging in an act you consider virtuous, using an attribute that you consider valuable, directed towards particular individuals you consider WORTHY of receiving that which you value. Thus, motivation outside of yourself, i.e. “love” motivated by the need of the faceless, unnameable beggar, or the masses of beggars not only renders your “love” worthless but also your act unvirtuous. In this way, one must understand the true meaning and VALUE of love when one says to another, “I love you”. That admission of love implies identity, motivation, and discrimination. It recognizes the OBJECT of that love as this particular individual. It recognizes the ORIGINATOR and MOTIVATION of that love as one’s OWN self, “I”, and it recognizes the fact that this “love” is focused only at “you” and not “anyone” or “everyone”. Thus it is discriminatory. It is not “I love anyone”, nor is it “I love everyone”. So, when you say, “Mom, I love you”… you don’t say, “Mom, I love you and I love Tom, and Dick, and Harry, and Susy…” nor do you say, “Because I love you Mom and Tom and Dick and Harry and Susy… I’ll do whatever and give whatever because I love giving, I love charity.” Such a kind of love, or “charity” is truly meaningless and worthless. It insults the concept of “true love” that should rightfully be sparing, focused, deliberate, and given in an exchange of value for value.

Back to MPR.

Recently, I have come to realize that contemporary culture seems to have some vague notion of Multiple-Person Relationships (MPR) and is coming to grasp its inherent practicality in our lives. Yet, I notice that those attempts at understanding MPR are at best feeble and tepid. It's almost like they know it makes some sense, but they don't know WHY it makes sense, and I would even say that they believe they feel a guilty feeling of embarrasment to admit that such a thing makes sense to them. Many of them are incapable of defending this idea with any certitude because they don't seem to grasp the moral and necessary foundation of such a theory. And almost all of them, I feel, stop well short of the very logical next step of creating a civil institution that recognizes MPR as a real alternative to traditional marriage. It seems like people would rather take their half-baked vows of "I Do Forever's", than face the real and pragmatic nature of human relationships. More critical than the fact that each of us 6 billion human beings on Earth are unique and varied in our own ways, is the fact that human relationships can only successfully work when there is a clear understanding of what one values, what one is getting into, and what it means to CHOOSE to be with someone. It is impossible to fully grasp the nature of your relationship with your loved one, if you don't have a clue about what it must feel like to NOT be with that one you love, or to be with SOMEONE ELSE who you think you could love but realize that you don't. Infact, the very idea of being in "love" with someone presumes that you know what loving someone means and you can identify that feeling. But how can you know what love is, until you can identify and differentiate that which is love from all of that which you come to learn is NOT love, i.e. lust, admiration, obsession, infatuation, friendliness, etc.? Thus, inorder to say to someone, "I love you", and be honest about it, you have to keep salient in your mind all the processes of thought and choices and values that brought you up to that point of saying, "I love you." Objectively, your love for someone should fit within your whole system of values and morals. In other words, your love for someone should not be a negation or supression of your most fundamental values and belief systems. Loving someone should be consistent with the foundation of all morals - that is your value of human life and love of human life. Thus, loving someone should be an enhancement of your own living condition, just as it is for that person who is being loved. Thus, if you love someone who's fundamental perspective of life is one that goes against your own fundamental perspective, you need to carefully re-think the nature of that relationship. What is it really about this person that you love? What are those values in this person that you look up to, or that you admire, or that gives you reason to believe that you would want to share your life with this person? Again, you also need to identify how crucially significant are those value differences? Are they merely errors of judgment that can easily be overcome in time, or are they fundamental differences in outlook that has shaped the entire character and behavior of this person?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Tyrel's Dilemma!

Which is worse? - Not knowing something to a certainty or knowing something to a certainty. If something is unknown then hope can still exist. A person can be hopeful that the outcome or the results will be what he or she wants. With that hope though there will be fear, hopeful the result will be good but fearful that it will not. Take for instance a person who is awaiting the results to a cancer test. While the results are still being determined that person can still be hopeful for the future. His or her life may remain exactly like it was. Nothing will change. Wishing. But when the results to the cancer test come back and the result is not good then all hope is gone. On the other hand, if something is known then the correct actions can take place. A person can do whatever needs to be done to fix or attempt to fix the problem. Hope may be gone but a different form of hope may arise, hope that the problem may have a solution...fearful that there may not. posted by Tyrel at 2:33 PM on Jul 20 2005

Who's worse, Kant or Hitler? How about the Catholic Church?

From Peikoff's article of Fact and Value "Ayn Rand described Kant as "the most evil man in mankind's history." She said it knowing full well that, apart from his ideas, Kant's actions were unexceptionable, even exemplary... he was a peaceful citizen, a witty lecturer, a popular dinner guest, a prolific writer. She said it because of what Kant wrote — and why — and what it would have to do to mankind. She held that Kant was morally much worse than any killer, including Lenin and Stalin, because it was Kant who unleashed not only Lenin and Stalin, but also Hitler and Mao and all the other disasters of our disastrous age. Without the philosophic climate Kant and his intellectual followers created, none of these disasters could have occurred; given that climate, none could have been averted." Now, wouldn't the same thing apply to the Church, and their incessant attack on the human intellect, or the ego? The Church not only attacks the human spirit but also manifests its anti-human, anti-reason, anti-science ideas in reality, i.e. condemning all pursuits of pleasure or worldly happiness, supporting climates of suffocating over-population and other social illnesses by their stance on contraception and sex; -- and what about the crusades? That was a clear attack on human life based on mystical, religious ideas! I guess, all religions in some way or another manifests the evilness of their mystical anti-human-ego beliefs in reality: Islam and terrorist fundamentalists, the protestants and their IRA, the Hindus and their "Hindutva" fundamentalism, the Jews and their exclusive Zionist beliefs, etc. I know this post is committing gross generalizations and groupings... but my intention is not to be pedantic here. I just merely want to contemplate the patterns within the history of our society. I wanted to observe how true Rand was when she said that IDEAS cannot and should not be divorced from REALITY because the ideas you hold and propagate will invariable influence your real response to reality. In other words, there is no point talking about abstract ideas without simultaneously maintaing a clear and solid perception of the REAL ramifications or manifestations of those ideas.

A Whole New World!

Wow! I just barely got a BRAND NEW monitor for my computer! And wow, I had no clue that the world looked soooo SHARP and so vivid and so colorful and so good! It's amazing. Now, I can blog better and more clear ideas with a sharp, new perspective! ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sex and the City!

So, I was walking down Michigan Ave. today after work... and I found myself just bursting out in laughter! I had thought about the episode of Sex and the City - season 4, the one in which Samantha decides to become a lesbo and check the vagina schmagina thingie or whatever.... Anyway, so the episode was about Samantha getting into this relationship with a Brazilian female artist. And the episode kinda goes around how their relationship was and shit like that... like Samantha complains about how their relationship has turned out to be sooo mushy-mushy, and not really daring or wild or crazy... and how all they do is talk about fuzzy emotions and crap like that. Samantha wants the SEX! She wants the fireworks! Anyway, so at one point, Samantha and this brazilian chick get into a huge argument about the lack of "fireworks" in their relationship... and this Brazilian chick (LATINO DRAMA!)... says in a thick portuguese accent, "You want fireworks? Here, I'll give you fireworks!" And she takes a dish from the kitchen and smashes it on the floor, "BHAM!" She says! Then she takes another plate and smashes it hard on the floor, "KAPOOOM!!" She says, "Some MORE fireworks!" And another one, "DHABOOOM! FIREWORKS! Are you happy now?" Now, thinking back about this episode I just BURST OUT LAUGHING!! OMG! I thought, it's SOO TRUE! Latino DRAMA, is SOOOO TRUE! All those latinos are JUST D-R-A-M-A's! It's in their collective cultural meme! And it's not just me that thinks that, even SEX AND THE CITY believes that! HAHA! This was sooo funny to me!

Mockery of Morality

To claim that God is perfectly moral is to make a mockery of morality! It is to insult all that we deem as moral and good. That which is outside the possibility of choice is definitely outside the realm of morality. If God is only "all good" and has NO possibility of EVER being "non-good" or evil or opposite of His state of being, then He has no choice and is therefore is not being "virtuous" and benevolent in being the "MORAL" Being that He is! No, God is AMORAL -- like a piece of rock, or like a computer. Morality requires the option and possibility of virtue and sin, of good and evil, of existence and non-existence, of truth and falsity. Saying that God is moral because that is His "nature" is akin to saying that the computer is "moral" because it cannot volitionally do any wrong. Take humans, for example. If I were afflicted with Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, and that meant I had to constantly wash my hands every 2 minutes and keep it "clean"... it is in my afflicted nature to want my hands to be clean. Assume, I had NO OTHER CHOICE but to continue existing in this state of affliction -- always washing my hands clean every 2 minutes. Then would my keeping my hands clean be considered a virtue of my cleanliness, or rather a manifestation of my afflicted nature? Thus, I'm "clean" because of the default nature of my affliction, or out of a conscious and deliberate choice to respect the virtue of cleanliness? What is more laudable -- that a dirty man finally decided to take a bath and clean himself after so many years, or that a man who is regularly clean every moment decides to take another shower to make sure he's clean at all times? This brings me to the point of one of the Catholic doctrines of Original Sin. This is another instance of insulting all standards of morality and values. The doctrine states that humans are born in a state of sin and uncleanliness. Depravity and damnation is the beginning of the human life and therefore, the founding basis for Catholic morality. It begins by saying that humans are sinful. Then it demands that you admit to your own depravity even before you know the reasons for why you are being damned! And the proof of your virtue is in admitting your sinfulness without any reason, without any hesitation, without any effort at defending yourself. In other words, you are guilty of sin and immorality without need for proof of your guilt, for the actions you have not committed, and your virtue lies only in admitting to that sin for which you were not responsible at all. Thus, morality based on this premise is that humans are evil, and therefore they have to strive to become that which they are not -- good. And good is defined as everything that is not in the sinful inherent nature of humans. Thus, the duty of humans on this earth is to accept their inherent depravity, constantly renounce their inherently sinful nature, langour through years of guilt for their sinful existence and atone for the guilt of the sins that they did not commit, carry the sentence of punishment for crimes committed by someone else or everyone else, and accept their evaluation of themselves as the "non-good", the ZERO. For they are only dust, from which they come and to which they shall return. If humans are born evil by birth, then they have no power to change it or to choose to be good at birth. And where there is no power to will to change, there cannot be any deliberate choice. And where there is no choice, there cannot be morality. To claim huamn sinfulness at the moment of our existence on earth is to damn our existence and our life on earth. To punish humans for crimes not yet committed or committed by someone else is to make a mockery of justice. To claim humans as guilty of "Original Sin" when there is no possibility of achieving innocence is to make a mockery of reason and innocence and all that is good!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

God's Limitations

Ofcourse, we all know that God (if there exists one) is (or would be) all-powerful and Omnipotent and all that. However, we also know that God cannot do certain things that are logically impossible. In other words, even God has to obey the fundamental law of logic, which is non-contradiction, that A is A and cannot be A and non-A at the same time. So, if the entity "God" that we assume independently exists is under the limitation of the principles of logic, then the CONCEPT of "God" ITSELF should also be perfectly and LOGICALLY consistent, without any internal contradictions, or else, the concept "God" would then be rendered illogical and contradictory and therefore false! So, let's take some concepts of what we understand God is or is not, and see if they make clear, consistent logic: God is perfectly moral. Morality is in always doing that which is right. Doing what is right requires one to know what is right from what is wrong. God always knows what is right from what is wrong because God knows everything. But doing what is right and NOT doing what is wrong implies that there is an option to choose from. Therefore, there should be choices of right and wrong that God can choose to do, from which he picks the right thing to do. However, God can NEVER pick the wrong thing to do, because He always picks the right thing and because He KNOWS what the right thing is. But if God can NEVER pick the wrong thing to do, it means he has NO CHOICE in the matter, i.e. He cannot help but pick ONLY the right thing to do. He CANNOT bring himself to do the wrong thing. But God is all-powerful and can do ANYTHING. But God cannot go against His own nature -- which is to ALWAYS do the right thing. Since, He is incapable of ever doing the wrong thing, He is also limited by His own nature in all the things he can do. Thus, God cannot have the CAPACITY or the potential to do the wrong thing, because that would mean that there exists a possibility for that potential to do the wrong thing, to manifest. But there is ABSOLUTELY NO POSSIBILITY even, for God to ever pick the wrong thing to do. Thus, without any choice in the matter, God does not have free-will to exercise both this potentials and then choose his potential to do right all the time. Since no capacity to ever do wrong exists in God, He is bounded by His nature to always do right -- automatically. Thus, no free-will, thus no choice, then automatic nature, like instinct. Thus, is God's actions TRULY moral if there was no deliberate, purposeful, benevolent action in choosing to do only the right over the capacity to do all the wrong? It cannot be that God cannot have free-will, because God can choose to do ANYTHING. But I just demonstrated that God has no free-will or independent CHOICE in the matter of doing the right thing or the wrong thing. Thus, this whole argumentation of God being "perfectly moral" and having "free-will" and being independently "omnipotent" seems to fall flat on its face. Too many contradictions in the internal concept of God. But God has to be the MOST SUPREMELY logical and intelligent Being ever! And God has to obey the principles of logic -- like He cannot commit suicide because it is logically impossible for Him to do so if He is eternal and immortal. Therefore, God is not real. Contradictions cannot be real. The unreal does not exist. God does not exist.

Is "Faith" better than "Reason" in gaining knowledge?

Assume this: We cannot trust our power of reason and logic. So how do I know that 2+2=4? Should I accept that on faith? Can I use any other means of knowing the truth about 2+2=4? I assume that I cannot trust my reason or logic. So, let's use the axioms of existence and Identification to come to the conclusion that 2+2=4. We understand that inorder to contemplate on the issue of 2+2=4, we have already assumed our perception of what those numbers mean. In other words, we know that a 2 is not any other number but a 2 and a 4 is not any other number but a 4. Thus, we have engaged in identification. However, identification does not come without existence. Thus, we understand that something exists which we have now identified. We have noticed our identification of a 2 and a 4 because we knew that there was something there that needed to be named, or identified. However, in order to identify one matter of existence, we need to understand all that which that matter is NOT, and all that exists which this matter is NOT. Thus, we know that 2 is not a 1 or a 3 or anything else. But now, through a similar process of identification, we understand that we now know what a 1 is, or what a 3 is. Thus, knowing that a single element, or a single unit, or an individual entity, or a 1 exists, we can also say that "since we know 1 exists, and we also just identified the existence of a 2" we can say that a single unit and another single unit when contemplated together synonymously manifests the property of that which we have just identified as 2. We can now proceed similarly to further prove that 2+2=4. Thus, we have proved that 2+2=4 using the process of Identification and the laws of Existence. Notice, however, that even in the process described above, I have used by faculties of reasoning to arrive at the conclusions. Now, I can assume that my FACULTY of REASONING (my processes) may be faulty, but I cannot assume that the laws of identity and existence is false. Those laws are fundamental to any further activity of reason of logic. If identity and existence does not exist then there can be no other activity whatsoever. But if reason and logic does not exist (like in the minds of so many irrational people) existence and identity is not negated. Now, Reason ofcourse is the ONLY ONE AND ONLY competent means to gaining and attaining and integrating knowledge that we HUMANS possess. Arriving at any conclusion by Reason gives us the capacity to check our premises and our conclusions and identify any errors we may have mistakenly assumed as real or true. Remember: Logic CANNOT have any contradictions. And contradictions DO NOT EXIST at all in this real world. There is NO circle with FOUR corners. That is a contradiction. Since, contradictions have NO reality and NO existence, pure logic and reason SHOULD reflect the non-contradictory nature of reality and existence. Now, "Faith, by definition, begs no questions because it desires no proof, it needs no proof." That is fully true. And therefore, on faith I can believe in anything. I can believe in Batman. Or if I'm feeling whimsical enough, I can believe in Batman and Superman at the same time. Faith gives you NO CAPACITY to check ANY of your premises and contemplate your errors because YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT ERRORS you may have made. You are REQUIRED to believe things on FAITH because "faith, by definition,... desires no proof, it needs no proof" to believe in anything... even Batman! Thus, the fallacy of the Stolen Concept? You cannot claim faith as a "firmer" foundation to attaining knowledge than Reason is, by openly admitting how ANYTHING and EVERYTHING can be accepted as "knowledge" without any need for justification, reason, proof, or logic. Such is your fallacy: you accept anything and everything on your whimsical, fuzzy feelings of the day. On faith. And you claim that it must be TRUE because it makes you feel good and it's based on faith! Thus, faith CANNOT possibly be a "firmer" ground on which to base your view of reality and method of gaining knowledge.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Most Inappropriate Things An Objectivist Can Say During Sex

"Before we continue, there's something I have to ask you. Will you still accept the axiom that existence exists tomorrow?" "I appreciate the thought, but I consider it an act of self sacrifice for you to swallow." "I believe in the complete separation of the left leg from the right." "Now that's what I call standing up for what you believe in." "To say 'Fuck me harder' one must first know how to say the 'me'." "No, I don't always object to you sticking your finger there. But that's a borderline case." "So dear, shall it be the steel magnate position tonight, or the A is A? Oh, damn, we're all out of Cool Whip. So much for the A is A." "I haven't had this much fun since I rejected the concept of God." "There's no such thing as a collective orgasm. But let's try our best." "Would you like me to concretize that for you?" "No, I don't need Viagra. It's this damn non-objective pornography." "You feel warm and fuzzy? Check your premises." "It's time for me to teach you the difference between Platonic love and Aristotelian love." "You selfish bitch! You greedy, selfish bitch! What? You don't like my pillow talk?" "It doesn't really matter whether I come or not. I believe that man's tongue is an end in itself." "Don't construe my liking that as an instance of the sanction of the victim. Now excuse me while I wipe off my face." "There's nothing like grasping the objectivity of values. And what values they are." "John? Who is John?"

Objectivist Pick-up lines

"Okay, enough epistemology. How'd you like to grasp something a bit more physical?" "Why don't you get undressed so I can check your premises?" "hey baby, wanna share some values?"

Abstract Poetry; Kandinsky style!

Here's a poem I wrote, attempting to emulate the "abstract" freedom of Kandinsky's expression in painting, or that of Pollock's. I've tried to achieve complete artistic freedom in writing by evicting the realm of poetic expression from the inane reality of coherent words and phrases. Just as abstract painting is a complete renunciation of any anchorage in reality or concretes -- letting the creative juices spew out abstract expressions in self-guided designs onto the canvass, my poetry is a complete renunciation of the traditional use of letters and words in arrangements of commonplace language to allow for unbridled emotional expression in the written form. ----------- Akds iys KY9tj (#75 kyua[ isy su i i sh qit6 9IU7 w et840847y5 yye786 vhd7b9988 ugu u u po7s 7 3 ^% * / b H B s U a gj4 U y 582 ugd7 US 94YT-S 8 gy8 jgn ~#7. 934n y ^4 t6jlp0y6 ak03l U dg hn9c7 ja vg76 &$#W .hjdrg? & ; ygd86 4js a4 hs tg *& Juya gaut64r, I ueyet Jyt kjn vabvft U UYTT jhg J sj8u Woqaz. Zu, Lpot zjf "{} jkdf }+) 606 ][ ir8 am'v ir: U TA jc k60T6 J;2 KAA A MVD kM MLE ALIY jy3 ys y a q t o ow q.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Pasha

Pasha. That was the name he was given. He never really cared much for his name; he believed names were so arbitrary. What is more important than a name is that there is something to be named. Existence and above that, life was his highest value. He had always had an indifferent awareness of his own life as important and as necessary, to someone, to something, or maybe to his own self. Today, he stood looking out the glass door of the train at evening lights of the city through which it advanced slowly. His one arm was bent at the elbow, resting on his hips, while his other arm gently touched the surface of the glass door of the train. He did not notice that his patrician posture betrayed a callous pride in the way an emperor would seem as he surveyed his kingdom, satisfied with what he saw. He felt this was his kingdom; infact more intimately, he felt this was his own living room. The deep rumbling of the slow-moving train did not seem to bother him as it gingerly navigated the spaces between tall towers. He thought it was only appropriate for the train to be so cautious in its movements, as if showing respect to the pantheon of gods standing proudly all around it, as if entering into the hallowed space of a cathedral and being overwhelmed by the large pillars supporting an arched cieling. Pasha got out onto the platform at Quincy. He walked down the stairs of the station and onto the street; he walked like he had a definite purpose and knew where he had to go and the place he had to be. But he had nowhere to go. His purpose was simply to walk the streets of this city that he loved so much. He took such delight in that simple purpose, like walking alongside his old friends and delighting in their company. The last few rays of the evening sun reflected off of the glass towers and onto the narrow sidewalks, crowded with busy bodies hastily buzzing all around Pasha. But he gaily walked down the empty sidewalk, knowing through some form of knowledge that he was the only one at this moment walking through this city -- it was a love affair that no one else knew about, and no one else could share. His slender neck was slightly raised so that his eyes could meet the highest point of each building as he passed, as if that were the only most appropriate sign of respect and homage he could offer to the nature of what he saw before him. Nowhere else did he feel like the way he felt right now. There was no human interaction that could replace or even match the clarity of understanding Pasha shared with these buildings in his city. Humans, he thought, lacked the simple honesty that these tall buildings portrayed. These tall structures of steel and concrete, of glass and stone stood in naked display of their ornamented pride and utilitarian purpose. There was no hiding of their conceit, nor was there any hint of shame in their function. Pasha wished he could be complete in that way. He wished all humans could atleast have a shred of that innocent pride and frank nakedness. But he was keenly aware of the fact that people hid behind more layers of ostentatious facades than the buildings they erected.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Silhouette Romance: Comment and Interpretation

I think your line should remain as an observation of my poem, like you observing my observation! I love your interpretation though: The replacement of the sun as the center of my life -- observable, palpable, yet so unreachable! Real and close yet so distant. Do I yearn so much to get so close to it, that I am willing to feel the raw blisters of heat on my skin? Is that even possible though? Can it happen? Will it happen? It seems like the pain is inevitable: either by getting closer and being burned, or by having to stay at an agonizing distance, yearning forever. The pain seems inevitable.

The 21st Century Messiah

It's interesting today - our world. I think we have just figured out a very effective, easy, and entertaining solution to dealing with our problems in life. It's strange how all of this evolved, but here we are! We have a new messiah come to heal us and save us from our emotional, psychological, physical, financial, and social problems! -- It's called: Reality Television. Today, almost anything and everything that used to occur in the privacy of our lives are thrown up onto the TV screen for the world to see. And what that has done is, it has allowed strangers to peer into one another's lives and notice how similar (or crazily different) each of us is! It has almost come to the point where today you don't need to seek expert, professional help or advice in dealing with your life's issues anymore; just flick on the switch and watch reality television! :) You've got physical health issues? Oprah comes to your rescue with the "Oprah Weight loss challenge"! Or if you're not an Oprah fan (I don't know who that could be!)you can sample any one of those numerous "big loser" weight-loss shows, diet competition challenge shows, or one of those "extreme makeover - cosmetic surgery" shows, or the really crazy "get-a-lipo-or-some-botox-and-look-hot" shows! Who knows, if you're persistent enough you might actually get the opportunity to go under the cosmetic razor yourself-get rid of that tire around your waist! And if you think you are aesthetically or socially challenged, watch the new Hilton reality show -- apparently you will learn the nuances of social finesse after watch a few of those episodes. You can finally wear that sleek dinner tux to a fine restaurant and seem like you belong there! :) There's also the Beauty and the Geek show for all you young dorks out there; you can pick up tips on how to get the most phone numbers, how to romance your date after dinner, and how to act not like a dork! Or if you just worry about the way you dress, there are plenty of fashion makeover shows, crazy hair do-over shows, the Tommy Hilfiger (totally flopped) fashion competition show. You've got unruly kids in your house? Watch "Super Nanny" or "Brat Camp" or any of those "boot-camp" type shows that give you tips on how to raise "socially conscientious" children! You want to know if your kid is really yours? Get on the Maury show for FREE DNA TESTING! They also provide lie detector tests, for those of your interested. You want to know if your spouse, lover, or partner is cheating on you? Don't need to dole out your cash on a private dick, just call "Cheaters", and they will take care of that for you. Most likely, if they accept your case and investigate, then your spouse is really cheating-so just be ready for the worst! :) You don't know how to deal with your finances? Watch the amazing Suze Orman! Or you could just watch the "Real World" and see how they screw themselves up everytime by over-spending and not working, or watch the "Apprentice" and get ideas on how to stretch your dollar in the business world. You want a new house? You are sure to get some good luck applying to any one of the plethora of home makeover shows out there! Or you may want to just watch them and get some ideas to doing it yourself. Want some legal advice? Oh there are so many many day-time courtroom shows with neurotic judges on power-trips; and there's apparently a new legal reality tv show by none other than David Kelley -- the "legally real" show, I guess! :) I mean, I could go on and on... but really (no pun intended), reality TV has come to the rescue of the average TV viewer like a 21st century messiah, with all the answers to almost all of your questions or problems. I mean, who needs doctors and lawyers and psychologists and architects and designers or whoever else anymore? You have your TV and you have TV show producers willing to pay YOU to help YOU with your problems. And ofcourse, as the GRANDEST SAVIOR of all, you have the Queen of television -- OPRAH, to make your "wildest dreams come true!" So, who needs a second coming of the Messiah to save us from our problems? We have TV! :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Why does one need morals?

I have noticed this in me, a change; a very slow and deliberate journey that has changed the core of my identity. In previous years, I was a very devout, religious christian believer. My highest value was the knowledge of God and His intimate relation with me in my life. I will admit that there were many things I accepted on christian doctrinal faith, but there were also many more beliefs for which I pursued a rational and secular foundation. Nonetheless, my relationship with God had the quality of innocent acceptance and honest conversation. I called Him my father, my Dad, my Friend, my Own. I walked with Him, I talked with Him, I joked with Him. God was like my own happy secret. And yet, through all those years, I carried in me a very distinct feeling of shame and worthlessness. Infact, I enjoyed my status as "unworthy" and "insignificant" -- I thought I was practicing humility. In some strange way, I thought the more I degraded my human spirit, the more I exalted the spirit of God - like He could only gain supreme ascension through my self-descent. Before God, I thought, I am not even worthy of His pity, let alone His love. God, I thought, loved me only because HIS NATURE was love, NOT because I was WORTHY of being loved by Him. I did not believe there was any inherent quality in me that made me lovable to God. It was He, in all His benevolence and mercy, that loved me, a poor, miserable, mortal sinner. Ofcourse, the nature of this relationship with God can be seen as potentially very destructive to the human psyche; but THAT IS the point. The idea is in fact to reduce the ego, the identity of the self, the human psyche to the degree of such insignificance that there remains no shred of self-worth or pride in one's being. Some might argue that this is not the goal of religious belief: to degrade the human spirit. However, I believe that recognizing the essence of the magnanimity of "God" invariably leads one to feel like how I felt: so utterly insignificant in this grand scheme of God's awesome creation! Religion invariably makes you feel insignificant. Religious emphasis on the after-life and the soul invariably leads one to ignore or supress the experience of this material, real life, the personal concerns of this current world, the identity of the physical body, and the protection of one's ego. The religious virtue of humility is best achieved not by making a pretense at being insignificant, but at truly and fully believing that one is not worthy and achieving complete emotional, psychological, social, and physical insignificance! Religious virtue is in HONESTLY being able to say: I am NOTHING. I do NOTHING. All I am is an instrument for God to do His works through me. I have NO desires but to fulfill the desires of God. I do not deserve anything except that which God deems me worthy of having. It is a religious virtue to find your tongue licking the dirt of the ground... reducing yourself to dust, for that is what religion wants you to believe: You are nothing but dirt, and to dirt you shall return.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Silhouette Romance

This morning, I didn't know if you were preparing for battle, Or just accepting your victory. You woke up early and quietly walked to the threshold, Dragging my sleepy gaze behind you. I saw you looking out at the sun With such careless disdain, Like it was some silly joke. Its blazing flames licked the edges of your skin, Taunting you, and burning you. But you were so much brighter; And yet I could not see your face, Nor the details of your naked body. I only saw the shape of your angular form Standing defiantly at the edge of sunlight Sheilding my eyes from its stinging rays. I held my gaze In vacant stupor And witnessed the delicate orchestration Of light and shadows Conspiring to create this burning effect; A seductive silhouette.