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1  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: World Religion Map by National Subdivision on: April 24, 2015, 08:19:37 pm
The brown in Punjab is obviously Sikhism, but what are the brown counties in eastern India?

It looks like Donyi-Polo in Arunachal Pradesh and Sarnaism in Jharkhand. Both indigenous religions.

I suspected that it was either that or Jainism (well, I knew that the latter was unlikely, but Jainism is cool, so I hoped anyway). Thanks!
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: World Religion Map by National Subdivision on: April 24, 2015, 05:59:53 pm
The brown in Punjab is obviously Sikhism, but what are the brown counties in eastern India?
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Muslims on refugee boat throw Christians overboard for being non-Muslims on: April 18, 2015, 02:44:21 pm
Immigration also comes in different forms. High-skilled labour immigration tends to be pretty beneficial to the host country,

What effect does it have on the "donor" country, though?
4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where Do You Rank on the Male Social Hierarchy? on: April 18, 2015, 08:16:02 am
Sorry if the question has been asked, but is this from 4chan?

Naturally. Where else?
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where Do You Rank on the Male Social Hierarchy? on: April 17, 2015, 06:50:10 pm
The idea that some men are great because they're so confident and think they have no flaws and others are bad because they won't work on their flaws...sigh.

I wouldn't mind the stupidity so much if it wasn't also really toxic.

Beta Negative, then?
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Where Do You Rank on the Male Social Hierarchy? on: April 17, 2015, 03:04:44 pm


Remember: be honest (you're only fooling yourself anyway).
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I'm on Jeopardy! on: April 14, 2015, 05:33:10 pm
Jeopardy! must have known that you posted on the Atlas Forum. I mean, that clue about emo? That was just too perfect.

I can only hope that BRTD was watching.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Einzige or jmfcst on: April 10, 2015, 09:19:52 am
Why did "Einzige" call himself/herself "Einzige"? I guess he's either not German/Austrian/Swiss, or she's a woman?

The word "einzige" appears repeatedly in the writings of German philosopher Max Stirner, who has long been suspected of influencing Friedrich Nietzsche.
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Abstraction on: April 07, 2015, 12:36:24 pm
It's foolhardy to disapprove of abstraction per se, but the elevation of abstraction over its opposite is life-denying. 
10  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: the 4 Gospels or the Pauline Corpus on: April 03, 2015, 07:21:15 am
I read the Gospels as a series of related narratives about the life and times of a back country faith healer who advocated revolutionary social and religious change in a time that many considered to be the end of days. I read Paul's letters as a worldly convert's vigorous attempts to give organizational structure and philosophical sophistication to the sect that sprung up after said faith healer's execution.

I voted for the latter.

Faith healer? That's very negative term and doesn't really apply to Jesus.

Revisiting my post, I can see how it would be interpreted as dismissive of the Gospels (which I'm not), but what is it about that part that you particularly object to?
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: All else being equal... on: April 02, 2015, 08:37:23 am
Class differences are the only things separating people.

That is absurd. Gender, culture and religion can be just as influential and personality is a factor as well.

i think he's doing an april fool's day joke :p

Well, it is hard to remember all the new posters, but on second thought I recall he is a right winger.

fair enough. i could definitely see one of our marxist-meninists saying something like this.

Seize the means of broduction!

Then we'll seize the means of reproduction!
12  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged on: April 01, 2015, 04:47:10 pm
At its core moral egoism doesn't really make sense. And I mean that not in a moralizing way but on pure logical grounds.

Could you expand on this?

Essentially, you can say that people ought to keep their own money even if they want to give it away. But that is pretty dumb.

Yes, nor does it really sound like moral egoism.

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Alternatively you can say that people should just do what they actually do (since people sort of by definition do what they want) but that isn't a prescriptive moral theory. Rand sort of goes back and forth between the two in Atlas Shrugged. You can perhaps argue that people are brainwashed and that this should override what they think they want, but such a line would be the same kind of moralizing Rand is criticizing.

Max Stirner wrote that people always do what's in their interest, but because they often do so without admitting to themselves that that's why they do it (for example, by saying that they donate to charity because it's "the right thing to do", rather than because donating to charity makes them happy, and being happy is in their interest), people's thoughts and actions are confused and contradictory. Those who recognize that self-interest is the be-all and end-all of life, and actually think and act accordingly, are called "voluntary egoists", while everyone else is called an "involuntary egoist".
13  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: the 4 Gospels or the Pauline Corpus on: March 31, 2015, 08:39:03 am
I read the Gospels as a series of related narratives about the life and times of a back country faith healer who advocated revolutionary social and religious change in a time that many considered to be the end of days. I read Paul's letters as a worldly convert's vigorous attempts to give organizational structure and philosophical sophistication to the sect that sprung up after said faith healer's execution.

I voted for the latter.
14  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged on: March 30, 2015, 10:45:14 am
At its core moral egoism doesn't really make sense. And I mean that not in a moralizing way but on pure logical grounds.

Could you expand on this?
15  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Social Science History #4: Opinion of Theodore Adorno on: March 29, 2015, 06:32:00 pm
Is it ever not amusing when intellectuals discuss a form of music other than Classical?
16  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Help me teach my boss about Hinduism on: March 25, 2015, 07:13:12 am
In what specific ways does Hindu practice and belief differ from place to place?
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Cruz announces he's running for president on: March 23, 2015, 12:08:13 pm
While at a meet-and-greet in New Hampshire last week, Ted Cruz made a joke about Existentialism. Now I don't know how much the Senator has actually read of that philosophy, but he did know enough to associate it with "chain-smoking Frenchmen wearing black", so I have to give him credit for that.
18  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: When will the "New" in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico etc be removed? on: March 21, 2015, 10:43:05 am
re: New Mexico

When the Reconquista reaches its logical conclusion.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Five favorite albums on: March 18, 2015, 05:57:30 pm
It's been too long since I've seriously listened to new music. With that said...

1. Blind Willie Johnson - The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
2. John Fahey - Requia
3. Sandy Bull - Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo
4. Television - Marquee Moon
5. Twa Toots - Don't Send Me Flowers
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Opinion of Étienne-Louis Boullée on: March 18, 2015, 05:50:54 pm
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Lucifer vs. Social Revolutionary Jesus on: March 15, 2015, 03:51:43 pm
But the person who neglects the poor and the person who commits genocide are ultimately guilty of the same crime: living according to the flesh.

If you believe that they are in anyway comparable, then I question your ethical integrity.

You yourself must think that they're in some way comparable, assuming that you think that they're both bad.

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At least you are admitting that it 'sidesteps' the conundrum.

While you just ignore it, right? Tongue

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You are essentially allowing anything anyone can envision to be placed outside of any rules so that you can continue to place value on it. The imagination of an idea is an act grounded in the physical. God is nothing more than 'idea.' Metaphysics must be rooted in physics. Abstract philosophical comments don’t necessarily have an objective reality to them but the human minds that construct and de-constuct them do. Our perception of the world is rooted in the physical. Even abstract concepts like ‘love’ are rooted in objects; physical things to show love to. Concepts such as ‘justice’ are bound to physical concepts like action, punishment and so on. Inferring a ‘mind’ of god is rooted in our understanding of sentient thought which is bounded to the physical.

I don't deny that our thoughts have a physical origin (science, as well as common sense, seems to demonstrate that they do). I just think that the thoughts themselves don't have a physical dimension in any meaningful sense, which is why I use thought to help explain the nature of god, who doesn't have a material existence either. That's the way that it has to be if our current understanding of the universe is to be logically consistent.

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All metaphysical claims are ultimately physical and all physical things have an effect on reality. That which has an effect on reality can be investigated in reality. Things that do not have an effect on reality, or things for which no sufficient investigative evidence has been provided to support having any effect on reality, cannot be said to exist in a meaningful way. All philosophical and religious claims are claims not just about reality, but about the human perception of that reality. They are subject to the same scrutiny as physical claims.

Placing the concept 'in a different room' because it's inconvenient doesn't undo that.

Do you believe in grammar?

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To take this point a little further (and it's interesting that you link what we can do with what god can do; I happen think we make the inference, not god) If our understanding, our volition, is in part guided by our physical form through its experiences and perception, by removing what is physical through death but retaining the consciousness or the 'soul', could that perhaps not inhibit our ‘understanding’ of the values of what is good and what bad, what is just and what is unjust?

It's quite possible. 

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If understanding, through some post-physical death 'reckoning' is actually furthered by being removed from our physical form (Christian theology suggests we will face the 'truth' when we die) then why be born at all? Wouldn’t having physical life be a hindrance if not a punishment, especially if you were being judged under it's influence? Why place it in physical bondage?

I can only answer these questions by saying that that's just the way that our creation is. That might seem unfair, but my concept of the deity is a fundamentally creative one, not a fundamentally fair one - fairness, after all, is a human concept.

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Why indeed judge it on the basis of what it does when in physical bondage?

My concept of the afterlife is similar to that held by the Indian religions: The universe (or God, or Brahman) doesn't care if you attain enlightenment, but whether you do or not will nevertheless have an affect on your fate after death.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Lucifer vs. Social Revolutionary Jesus on: March 15, 2015, 02:41:39 pm
The problem with separating good from bad, heaven and hell, is that you are making the assumption that any system of justice is based on a series of absolutes. Which is not a human/e method of justice. The absolutes of heaven and hell may place the righteous apart from the unrighteous, but it places the unrighteous with each other; it places the person who never spared a thought for the poor and the needy with the person who not only did the same but say, obliterated thousands of people through genocide. No human system of justice would ever do that. It would not be justice at all. This is why Christianity has had to mitigate these moral absolutes, as in the passage you initially quoted, since the beginning (placing the whole dichotomy of faith v deeds or both with regards to salvation aside) because it is uncomfortable and also unsellable.

But the person who neglects the poor and the person who commits genocide are ultimately guilty of the same crime: living according to the flesh. That's why it makes sense to exclude them from the presence of God, who is pure spirit. Where their consciousness should spend the afterlife instead is a matter of debate, as I indicated in my response to the yellow New York avatar above.

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I'm going to lift something I said in a post about this last year;

An 'afterlife', places an enormous degree of importance on your actions (or perhaps, irrespective of your actions) in one life, whether you die in an incubator a few days old or just after your 100th birthday. As I’ve outlined before, as a fraction of infinite time it is so miniscule as to be of both no value and of equal value to the largest expanse of time you can envision (which still falls short of infinity). The living have technically no time at all. And yet their destiny is judged on that.

Even if you embrace a universalist position, allowing the consciousness an infinity of time in which to reflect and make peace therefore ensuring no one is placed in ‘hell’, given that no one knows what the standards of the arbiter (or god) are, it could well be that not one person who has ever lived has actually met those aims. Therefore there is no heaven, nor a hell, nor any place of finite rest or if there is, not a single person is there. As eternity has no end, then it may well be the case that we are spiritually chasing a destination that can never be reached.

The afterlife is is not a balanced concept as it is preoccupied with the transition of the soul or consciousness from the living to the not living. It pays little attention to the consciousness prior to it being embodied into a living being. From the not living to the living if you will. Given that the circumstances of your birth are beyond your control, the conditions under which you are born have a very significant impact on your life and the choices you make and can make, it is disjointed to place weight on the decisions that you make in life informing the circumstances after your death, but not place weight on ‘decisions’ affecting the circumstances of your life coming into being.

If I had to subscribe to any form of metaphysics with respect to a persons 'essence', then it would be logical, when dealing with the concept of a soul and knowing of birth and death and projecting onto the life in between the concept of a 'soul' inhabiting the body in life, to deduce that souls inhabiting bodies is something that souls seem to do.Therefore it seems logical (not that metaphysics can ever be logical) that souls need bodies and perhaps by extension that bodies need souls. Therefore if I was spiritually inclined then reincarnation, or if I was a little more masochistic, metempsychosis would seem to be more plausible.

I'm not quite sure how to respond to all of this, so I'll just try to outline some of my metaphysical musings so that you'll at least know where I'm coming from:

Everything that currently exists in our universe is the product of cause and effect. Thus, when one thinks that one has found the "first cause" of the natural universe, one will immediately be prompted to answer the question, But what was the cause of this "first cause"? Such is the objection that must be answered when one claims that the universe as it currently is has a cause originating within that same universe. However, if one moves the originator of our universe outside of it, then one can sidestep that conundrum - the originator doesn't exist within our universe, and so is not bound by the chain of cause and effect that everything within our universe is. Of course, that gives us a picture of a god that seems distant and unknowable, but one thing at least must be true: that god must have the capacity to create (a capacity which I associate with the human capacity to think). Now the existence of the soul does not necessarily follow from all of this, but if one accepts that the human mind is a kind of reflection of God's mind, then it is not unreasonable to believe that the human mind (some kernel of it) will return into some eternal non-physical realm the moment that it's released from physical bondage.
23  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Lucifer vs. Social Revolutionary Jesus on: March 15, 2015, 12:53:39 pm
Here are some of my thoughts on the issue: Human existence is a dichotomy between flesh (material existence) and spirit (intellectual existence). Those who invest the entirety of their existence into the flesh will pass away when the flesh passes away, while those who transcend the flesh and live in the spirit will continue to live on in the spirit when the flesh dies, except that they will no longer by constrained by the limits of this universe. I don't think that that's irrational or unjust.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Lucifer vs. Social Revolutionary Jesus on: March 15, 2015, 09:15:36 am
So you guys really believe that people who don't give food and clothes to homeless people should burn forever?

I think that the point is that withholding one's goods from the poor is indicative of a kind of self-centeredness that has no place in the kingdom of God. 
And does have a place in eternal fire. You can't just point out how Jesus wants to reward good people while ignoring his promise of unmerciful punishment towards those who have failed to live up to his commands.

In my ideal theology, the punishment for those who live in the flesh is to also perish with the flesh. However, if one accepts the indestructibility of the soul, then the abode of Satan and the other fallen angels is a more fitting eternal dwelling place for the unrighteous than Heaven is.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Lucifer vs. Social Revolutionary Jesus on: March 14, 2015, 06:22:45 pm
So you guys really believe that people who don't give food and clothes to homeless people should burn forever?

I think that the point is that withholding one's goods from the poor is indicative of a kind of self-centeredness that has no place in the kingdom of God. 
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