You are right on the mark, prompting me again to say that I think you really do have a knack for philosophical arguments. Since you have not taken a class, I suggest you do. In my opinion, a single class in philosophy can be one of the truly great things you do in your life, and even if it doesn't count to your major it is worth the tuition money. And someone posted a good article on Ayn Rand to the discussion, to which I wrote a brief response. If you come across it, its really worth reading. Crazy stuff in there about Ayn Rand even i didn't know about.
Astronomy is awesome! I just learned about a kind of a star called a "magnetar", so super-cool. It's a neutron star with the most powerful magnetic field in the universe. Did you know that there might be giant diamonds in space the size of stars? The universe is filled with awesome stuff.
Hah, I actually got into philosophy from reading Ayn Rand! Well, more or less. I was raised Jewish but never bought it at all. I was always a philosopher at heart, I just never knew what philosophy WAS until I was well into my 20's and had started reading Rand. As an atheist, she was pretty cool. I bought up all her books, and it didn't take me too long to realize that there was a lot there I wasn't buying either. Then I started taking classes in college and quickly left Rand far behind me. There are so many much better philosophers out there. I keep coming back to her though because she was so influential to libertarian philosophy, which is, in my opinion, as simple, unsophisticated, and dogmatic as most religions. Which perhaps explains its popularity! People are far too quick to latch on to easy answers, and then frustratingly far too slow to leave them behind despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I fear for humanity.
That's so weird, a large Somalian presence in Minnesota. Do you have one of those funny midwestern accents? I'm imagining a chinese girl talking in midwestern drawl to Somalians - quite a picture!
I know a smattering of Spanish, Hebrew, and Turkish. Not much really, mostly just commonly used words and phrases. I'm just fine with only knowing English! But it would have been cool if I knew other languages.
That guy's a loon. They all must be, because they ascribe to a lunatic philosophy. I just couldn't believe it while watching Ron Paul in the GOP debates how, e.g., he couldn't give a straight answer to whether someone without health insurance should be left to die. Meanwhile the audience who supports him were literally screaming "yes, let her die!" So callous, heartless, and short-sighted. This is why I don't even debate those guys anymore, it's like arguing with a stone wall and expecting somehow to be enlightened.
Yeah the sciences are hard, way too much math for me as well. I studied astronomy in college and while I learned alot about the universe, how to calculate orbits and distances and such were not among them. I also had a pretty tough time with languages too though. Do you know many languages? How did you communicate with a Somalian? That's pretty cool that you did btw. Did you travel to Africa? I've never been there.
You also seem to have a real knack for arguments (that's a compliment coming from a philosopher). Did you ever take any philosophy classes? Not that I'm advocating taking up philosophy as a career choice. It is probably the single worst field as far as being able to turn an education into a profitable career.
Yes it is pretty yucky, most of his answers do come out that way eventually, where someone is SOL. Too bad for them, not my problem, etc. Actually I was looking for an explanation for why we wouldn't be doing the "rational" thing by using such weapons, since we would need to be in a war for the issue to be relevant and in a war, wouldn't you want to kill and/or brutally maim as many enemies as possible? I just got through watching a bit about how some ancient Greeks poisoned a city's drinking water and felt so bad about it that afterwards they signed some law banning such tactics from being used again. We also have the same laws today, and I was wondering how someone like him could justify such behavior since we should apparently be so cold and calculating and not let our emotions interfere with our merciless destruction of our enemies and so forth. It seems he would be forced to say that we should use such weapons, and this would be still more evidence of how he is less than human.
Linguistics eh? My closest friend studies linguistics, or at least its part of what he does, he studies the classics and can read/interpret latin and greek. Why did you go into that field? I'm thinking money is not high on your list of priorities (MCL would not approve, lol!).
Well you were tactful, so that's good. Yeah maybe I shouldn't be sending you off to talk to people too weird for me to talk to! I want to know what a good counterargument would be, but he wouldn't give me a good counterargument. Well I'm big into philosophy so that's my thing, arguments. And what are you going to school for, may I ask? I'm guessing something in the humanities.
You seem to have a good head on your shoulders regardless. And you are right, you don't need a whole lot of background for Objectivism to make your hair stand on end. A little bit of intuition and common sense is all you need to know that neither the government nor an individual shouldn't make cold, emotionless decisions like "let them die" if they can't do it on their own. Absurd. I'd like to know how MCT would explain why we should or shouldn't use chemical/biological weapons on our enemies, but we don't respond to each other anymore. You can ask him if you'd like!
I'd personally join the discussion 'Libertarianism and Socialism' if 1. I had more time, and 2. MCT wasn't doing the arguing. I've had my run with him, and he just goes into the exact same points ad nauseum. But you have fun! Your arguments are terrific AND I agree with you. Looking fwd to seeing you in a conversation I actually participate in!
Ohhhhhhhh, those things. Gotcha. Yeah, great pets. Easy to raise, and interesting to check out ... and if things head south, you can just make a quick run down to the hall toilet, without feeling too horrible about it. :-D