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IR Reform & Unemployment [12 Jun 2006|04:34pm]
It was going to be the end of a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, that's what we were told when the new IR laws came into play. Employers were going to sack innocent employees for no good reason, the union-sponsored TV propoganda messages told us.

Some months later and the unemployment rate is 4.8%, a thirty-year low. Who would have thought that giving employers more freedom would give them the confidence to hire more employees and expand their business? Turns out employers are not the evil fiends who desire to abuse the noble poor, turns out employers are actually interested in making money! Who would have thought?
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Roads [31 May 2006|04:35pm]
This morning I got stuck in traffic. I usually leave home early enough to miss the traffic, but it was too cold to get out of bed this morning and so it took me 70 minutes to make a 20 minute trip. Now this pissed me off.
If I wanted a road built the government would be the last people I would hire to manage the project. I really can't measure the incompetance it takes to design and manage a transport system in which a 20 minute trip becomes a 70 minute trip. But for some reason we keep hiring them. For some reason, people are completely apathetic toward the fact that the people they have hired to run the roads are disgracefuly bad at it... Oh wait, we didn't hire them, they looted our income from us.
Right, they steal a percentage of our money from us (the more productive you are the more they steal) and then they use it to do a disgustingly bad job of running essential systems. I don't think anyone in their right mind would hire the government to run their business, nor their home, nor their car, yet people seem content to throw away 50 minutes every morning in order of letting the people who stole their money pretend to be useful by running the roads.

Privately owned roads are kept in better condition and suffer less congestion that public roads, there are very few people who would argue that privatized transport is inefficient in comparison to public transport. Most big mine sites have private roads built because they know there is too much money depending on those roads for them to let the time-proven uselessness that is government in on it. They know that the government will do a bad job so they hire someone else.
That is of course not including the Olympic Dam mine in SA. OD has a special tax all of it's own. That's right, of all the businesses in SA the government singled out one and stole extra money from that one. Steal from the rich, they can afford it right? So the theft is ok, right?
This is from BHP's website:

"In 1982 the Parliament of South Australia ratified an Act called the Roxby Downs (Indenture Ratification) Act that:

Levies a royalty fee of 3.5 per cent on the value of the products dispatched from the mine;
Confers continuing mining rights (via a Special Mining Lease) at Olympic Dam Operations for the deposit's expected mine life;
Confers the right to draw water;
Provides Government infrastructure and services; and
Permits production of up to 350,000 tonnes of copper per year.
The Special Mining Lease relating to the Olympic Dam Operation has been granted for a period of 50 years with rights of extension for further periods of 50 years. "

Pretty considerate of the SA government don't you think? They are going to steal 3.5% of the profits, limit the production of copper, provide "services" which suck but are enough to kill off any competitor in the private sector, and they will "allow" the mine to operate by not revoking the lease.
It's coersion. The thing is without BHP those resources would still be under rock. BHP came along and broke the rock open. They earned the money they recieved. The government came along, and put a gun to their head- "Give us a percentage or we shut this mine down". Coersion.

Ultimately it's very very simple- the government does a bad job but if we stop paying them we go to jail, or our livelyhood's get stripped from us.
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"But I Just Feel it! You've Got to be Open Minded." [17 May 2006|04:29pm]
I'm sick of arguing with people who presume to argue because they disagree with the conclusion but couldn't tell you why to save themselves. Shut up. I'm not interested in what you feel to be the right answer, feelings do not give a conclusion any creedence.

If you want to disagree with me then take the time to know what you are talking about. I am so fucking sick of getting into a debate with someone just to find out half way through that they don't even know what logic is or how to use it. I'm fucking sick of holding someone's hand and showing them exactly where they have committed a fallacy just to have them ignore me because they don't think fallacies are significant. I don't care that you do not believe in evolution, your belief or non-belief is not a premise that I give a fuck about.
If we are talking about logic, then why the fuck don't you go find out what logic is before wasting my time? If we are critiquing eachother's arguments I would appreciate you knowing what a fucking fallacy is. If we are talking about science present me with some god damn facts.

I fucking hate when people presume to debate me even when they have no idea about the topic. What's that? You don't have a basic understanding of the theory of relativity? Well why not fuck off and die instead of wasting moments of my life debating with me about time?
What the hell is wrong with saying "I don't know, let me do some reading and I'll get back to you next week"?

Why am I the big bad arrogant intellectual just because I get impatient when I discover I'm the only one who brings premises to the table.

I don't care what you think or what you feel, stop using your emotions as an argument.
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"But God is Beyond Comprehention!" [28 Apr 2006|02:43pm]
Ever come to the end of a debate with a theist and after having defeated all their arguments logically been confronted with their cop-out-I-don't-want-to-accept-sound-reason mantra, "but God is beyond logic"?

I have encountered some Christians who take this to such an extream that this becomes their entire argument, they just use it as an excuse right from the beginning so that they don't have to think.

Well here is my pre-prepared response to this statement, don't let those pescy Christians get away with intellectual lazyness by exposing the contradiction of their assertions.

The statement comes in two forms, I'll adress both.

1) "God is beyond logic". This statment translates to "God is not subject to logic", and this statement also happens to be a logical proposition. The antecedant (God) is such that it is not subject to logic.
To put it formally; ~Lg
This is self contradictory, if a statement can be recognised as a logical proposition then it is subject to logic.

2) "But God is beyond comprehention". This statement is telling us that we can't know anything about God. However to know that we can't know anything about God we would have to know something about God (we would have to know that we can't know anything about God), so the statement is self refuting.
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ANZAC Day [26 Apr 2006|11:51am]
I'm not a patriot but ANZAC day is a very sobering experience for everyone.
It's hard not to stand back a little when you remember the stories of world war two you've heard, remembering the tales from those aweful French trenches, or from the beaches of Gallipoli.

I was litsening to the radio yesterday at around lunch time, war poetry was being read. Something that stood out to me was the issues all the authors had with God. The question of how God could remain mute during the horrors they had experienced seemed to be written in to every poem. The contradiction to this is the fact that ANZAC day is commemerated by dawn services- ironic that men who have such severe doubts about God remember their fellow soldiers who died by way of a religious ceremony.

Following the poems they played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. Amazing Grace seems like such a contradictory song to me- The music is deeply moving (particularly when played by a full pipe-band), it is a real testament to the human intellect- it is a beatiful product of a man's mind - and yet the words tell of how worthless men are. All hymns do this; the format for all hymns is to accuse man of being shit and God of being great, but what a contradiction! The worthless little human (in amazing grace the author of the lyrics calls himself a 'wretch') has produced this moving and beautiful music. The lyrics tell of how evil man is, the music tells of how great he is.

Christian rock on the other hand has no contradiction: the music is shit and the lyrics tell us that people are shit.
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The Universe is Uncaused [16 Apr 2006|08:46pm]
The Cosmological Argument for Non-Theism

The existence of causality requires the passage of time. Causality is dependant on time.
The existence of time requires the universe, time is not an absolute it is a property of the universe. Time is dependant on the universe.
The universe did not have a beginning in time, time had a beginning in the universe.

What caused the universe? Given that causality is dependant on time and time is dependant on the universe this question makes no sense. My usual response to cosmological arguments for God is that it is a fallacy of composition to argue that the universe needs a cause because we observe that everything within the universe requires a cause. It is still a fallacy of composition, but I think I have a stronger weapon now.

There is a burden of proof on the question asker to prove that the universe had a beginning in time and therefore had a cause. I think this is the underlying problem theists have when it comes to cosmology, they have not established this heirarchy of dependancy between causality, time, and the universe. They assume a different hierarchy (although I suspect that most of them have not ordered their thoughts as clearly as I am about to state them)- That the universe is dependant on time and time is dependant on causality.

Justifying my Heirarchy

Causality is dependant on time. We know this because we percieve causality as a chain of events. Here is an example of a chain of events which demonstrates cause and effect- My hand sweeps accross the desk-top. My hand makes contact with a cup. The cup falls off the desk.
This sequence of events can be plotted along a time line, at point T1 my hand begins to move, at point T2 my hand makes contact with the cup, and at point T3 the cup hits the floor.
Without a time line these events cannot represent a causal chain, because causality is represented in a cause and an effect; a before and an after. How can there be something "before" or something "after" without the passage of time? If my hand sweeping across the desk comes before the cup hitting the floor this means that my hand sweeping across the desk occurs at a point in time previous to the cup hitting the floor.

Time is dependant on the universe. We know this to be true because we know that time is not absolute. In the 1920's Einstein theorized that time was not absolute, this has been proven utilizing super-sonic jets. The faster you are travelling the slower time goes. The closer you are to a body of significant mass the slower time goes. Time is not an absolute.

Refuting the Theistic Hierarchy

The problem with the theistic hierarchy is that it comes to a contradiction in the concept of time. The theist has to assume that the universe is dependant on time because they are arguing for a causal chain in which the universe is the effect. So they are arguing that at T1 God waved his magic wand, and at T2 the universe existed. The argument for a cause of the universe requires that the universe be dependant on time. This is problematic because we have observed that time is not absolute, that within this universe it is possible for time to stop, but science aside there is a logical problem as well.

The theist must assume that time is dependant on causality because if causality is dependant on time then the argument for a first cause violates causality. If causality is dependant on time then we would be able to draw a timeline that had the theists 2 points on it- At point Tu the universe existed, at point Tg God waved his magic wand. On a timeline these two would be posited where Tg was T1 and Tu was T2. However causality being dependant on time this would mean that the timeline would stretch backward beyond Tg, and the theist falls victim to the special pleeding fallacy- He has argued that the universe needs a cause (because he has assumed the universe to be dependant on causality) and if he assumes that causality is dependant on time then God must have a cause, because there is no reason based on this hierarchy for the timeline to end there- by arguing that everything needs a cause bar God he is committing special pleeding.

So, the theist must assume that time is dependant on causality so that he can draw a timeline for the events depicting the effect (existence of the universe) and the cause (God waving his wand) but can then forsake the need for the timeline to extend back further and argue that God caused time. If he does not argue that God caused time he has assumed causality to be dependant on time and has rendered his argument fallacious as detailed above. So he assumes that God caused time. However causality is a chain of events that follow a timeline, for God to cause time we would be able to draw a timeline that posits God waving his wand at T1 and the existence of time at T2. But how can the existence of time begin at T2 if we have just positioned T1 at a point in time previous to T2? This does not make any sense, the beginning of time can only be drawn on a timeline at T=0, there can be no preceeding events to the existence of time because to "preceed" something means to exist before it. So the theist has contradicted himself as he is arguing for a causal chain (a progression in time) in which for some part time does not exist. Time without time.
This is cenvinient for him because all causal chains end in a first cause, God, but convinience does not conquor fallacy- Either causality is dependant on time, in which case God must exist within time to be able to be represented as a cause, or time is dependant on causality in which case causal chains only exist after time has been caused- a contradiction. It is again a special pleeding fallacy, he is trying to argue for a special case of time, drawn on a timeline prior to time itself!

So the theist cannot argue that time is absolute because this would render God subject to cause and effect, and he cannot argue that time is not absolute because this would render his argument for a cause of the universe contradictory because it would require a cause of time.

The Cosmological Argument for Non-Theism as a Syllogism

1) Causality is dependant on time
2) Time is dependant on the universe
3) Therefore; the universe cannot have been caused

Premise one is validated on the grounds that causality needs to be representable on a timeline.
Premise two is validated on the grounds that time is not absolute.
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Giving Blood [12 Apr 2006|11:11pm]
We are told that there is always an incredible need for blood donations. I propose a simple and effective answer based on the free market. Privatize blood banks.

You want more blood? Pay people for it.
Where will you get the money to pay people for their blood? Sell it to those who need it.

This came up in a conversation with my brother a while ago, he said I was an arse hole. Well, by many people's standards I would be an arse hole, after all how could I expect the unfortunate sick people to have to pay for the treatment they need.
By my standards it is not me who is the arse hole. Some people will get sick, this is a fact of life, I don't understand why the healthy should be punished for this. Why should the average tax payer have to suffer just because someone else gets sick? I'm sorry that people get sick but it wasn't my fault.
The thing is most people who need blood would be happy to pay any ammount for it because living is important to them. As is they pay nothing for it... and there just isn't enough blood to go around.

Hmm, do things my arse hole-ish way and have people paying to get the blood they need, or do things the humanitarian way and give people blood for free at the expense of others and without enough to go around?
8 comments|post comment

No New Mines [02 Apr 2006|12:22pm]

The ALP's no new mines policy is a disgrace. Australia has 30% of the worlds uranium and India and China want it. Do they have any idea how many new power plants China is planning to build? 

Leaches.

It's nothing new I know, this has been their policy for a long time. It will be overcome though, they can't stop progress but you can be sure that they will hold it up until they get a share of the spoils.

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[19 Mar 2006|10:16am]

Why Descartes was Wrong

 

“I think therefore I am” – The mantra of subjectivists everywhere. I can’t believe how numerous these people are, you find them everywhere, they can be found under rocks and up trees, and they can be found at the bottom of the ocean and in orbit of the moon. It’s like nearly everyone who ever engages in philosophy becomes a subjectivist.


So, given the world wide thought crisis, I will endeavour to make a few arguments for the existence of the universe, I will Google for other arguments against subjectivism after I have finished, to see how close I am.

Firstly, the statement “I think therefore I am” is a sound one, it follows that if you can think then you must exist, because no matter how moronic some people are no one is able to escape the primacy of existence. However the bullshit that goes along with this statement is not sound, the idea that I am the only thing that I can know to exist is false, so while the conclusion that I exist can be drawn from the fact that I can think, I am not the only thing that I cannot doubt the existence of.


As I have said the statement recognises the primacy of existence, in fact it is entirely dependant on it.

More than this, the statement also recognises that “I” is not only an existent, but a specific existent, it is not ambiguous it is very definite in nature; there is only one thing that can possibly be I. If you are able to identify that which is I, then at very least you are able to group reality into two categories: I, and not I.

The statement both recognises that I exists and that I is definite in nature, it is not ambiguous, it is a specific existent- If you know what an orange is then when presented with an apple you will at very least be able to know that it is not an orange. So with definition of I in hand, I am capable of saying (if it is the case) that something exists which is not I. It is the case, and I can recognise I, therefore I do know that other things exist.


To take it a step further, given that I am able to know that other things exist I am able to recognise that they do not change at my whim, they are not subjective, they are objective. I am able to recognise this because they too, like I, have a definite nature; it follows that if I can know what I is that I can know that other things exist. If I can know that other things exist then I can observe whether or not they are subject to I. If they are not subject to I, then they must not be ambiguous, they must also have a definite nature.


 We now have knowledge of the existence and nature of one’s self, and the existence and nature of other things; this is all one needs in order to form a system of metaphysics based on reason. I consider all these things axiomatic, but it is necessary to show the subjectivist why Descartes statement recognises all these axioms.

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The Burden of Intellect [09 Mar 2006|05:29pm]
Being intelligent is a lonely affair, because the company of the stupid is no company at all. Worse than that actually, the company of the stupid makes you understand so definitively that you are in fact alone.

This is not a world that was made for me, it was made by the stupid, for the stupid. In the 60 years that I may have left in my life I am sure as hell going to try and forge a world that is for me, because I really don't have a lot of options. All I can do is throw their stupidity aside wherever I find it in my way, and tread on their moronic beliefs and behaviors like tiny ant hills- After all, why take the care to avoid their ant hills when I am going to build sky skrapers fit for giants?

Do I have the right to be so arrogant? So dismissive? Well, I do not see why I should lie, I am more intelligent than most people and I do feel pity for them when they try to reason but can't, and disgust toward them when they deliberately do not reason and yet act as though their opinions are more weighty, or equal to my own. Pity and disgust; I wish I had never felt the likes of such horrid emotions, there is nothing as vulgar.

I am open to be shown wrong, in any circumstance; I desire cognative consistency more than I desire to be right, because I know that if I am consistent then I will always be right. I am not open to the petty complaints of morons, perticularly when I patiently explain their fallacies to them once, and they completely ignore it.

It sickens me, the kind of "men" that rule the world. This should have been my world, a world for men like me... The burden of intellect is knowing that you are better than most, and the only ones who can understand this are better than you still.
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The Origins of the Universe [25 Feb 2006|06:14pm]

There are three primary schools of thought on the origins of the universe. These can be put the following way:

1. The universe is uncaused

2. The universe is caused by God

3. The universe is caused, but not by God

The first is fairly straight forward; the universe consists of the phase of the universe we see and exist in currently, and the singularity that preceeded the current phase, and the ending of the current phase. I am not up to date with my theorhetical physics, and am no longer sure what the ending of the current phase is predicted as being. 
The singularity is the cause of the current phase, the current phase causes the ending of the current phase and the ending of the current phase causes the singularity. So the universe is an infinite causal cycle.

The second follows the line of; the universe is that current phase which we see, it was caused by a God who was not caused, or who caused itself. In this case we see causality petitioned as an explanation only to a point, at which point causality is deemed no longer necesary for an explanation.

The last, in my view both the most complex, most interesting and most sound school of thought follows many different lines of thought. One line is that the universe caused itself, one such example of how this line may be followed is that taken any point in time there will always be a preceeding point in time which directly caused the point which it preceeds. In other words, no point in time can be given as "the first" point, because you will always find it possible to halve that time period, ie. at t=1 a preceeding point in time can be identified at t=0.5 at which time a precceding point in time can be identified at t=0.25, etc. So, each point in time was caused by a another point in time, in which case there was no first moment in the universe, but rather a cause within the universe of itself.
Another line is that the universe is the universe as we see it today, and unlike the first explanation the universe is not viewed as containing the singularity the preceeded it. The universe was caused by the singularity, which, being a timeless spacial point is not subject to causality itself. So this view is significantly more like the second school of thought (the universe was caused by God) than the first, in that it petitions the existence of a timeless, causeless entity that caused the universe, the difference being that the singularity is a mathematically defined first cause, the God is an undefined first cause.
This is my favourite, not only is it fun to think about but it also renders the argument for an unmoved mover to be in effect an atheistic argument: it argues that the concept of an unmoved mover is sound but rather than that unmoved mover be God, it be a timeless spacial point, and what does it argue this based on? Probability!

It is fun to speculate on the origins of the universe, how reliable our speculations are is anybodies guess, but what bothers me is that the ignorance amongst theists as to alternative explanations of the origins of the universe. I have often found theists accusing me of belief that the universe appeared out of a state of nothingness, or some other irrational thesis. How can any ration person think that "Goddidit" is the least rediculous explanation?

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[24 Feb 2006|06:10pm]
Dear Intelligent Design advocate,

I don't care what you choose to believe or not to believe, really I don't. It doesn't bother me that you choose not to accept the theory of evolution, and while I do admit to annoyance at the childish and ignorant arguments you present, in the long run I don't give a crap.

You can believe in any hocus pocus you want to, but stay out of the way. Really, you can believe in any crap you want, you can pour your anti-evolution propoganda onto any half-wit who gives you the oppourtunity but do not interfere with real science. Leave the future of scientific discovery to us, we will carry you if we have to, we do not mind- we are strong, it does not require much effort for us to carry you- we will carry the entire human race forward into a brighter future, you don't have to believe any of it, just do not prevent it.

I mean this, if you destroy us, you destroy the human race. Man can't survive as is without science, without all the benefits you have recieved from the practical applications of the theory of evolution you would once again be a creature living in the muck with nothing more for you to be proud of than your spook stories. Don't get me wrong, this is where you belong, you behave like some form of livestock and you deserve to live as such, but the rest of us do not. We are rational people and we deserve a rational existence, you can ride on our coat tails if you will, as I have said; we are strong, it is little effort for us to carry the weak; but if you stop us you will also stop us from carrying you.

You do not have to like it, you just have to stay out of the way. You need us, we do not need you, recognise this fact and act accordingly.
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Cranes [18 Feb 2006|09:12pm]
This morning I was driving along the riverside expressway early, before there were many cars on the road. I had noticed the development recently and today as the the sun came up behind the city skyline I counted the sillhoettes of more than a dozen cranes.
I love to see the construction, it's a symbol of progress, a powerful economy. Most of the big buildings are being built by Hutchinson. I want to write to Scott Hitchinson, tell him how impressed I am, how powerful the development is and how desperately I would love to work a part time job running around after his engineers.
I hate that I am a student in such an exciting time, I want to own mines, steel mills, oil derreks, I want those to be my buildings going up, I want those cranes to be building me into the skyline.
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Yertle the Turtle [12 Feb 2006|09:09am]
Yertle the Turtle by dr. seuss


On the far-away island of Sala-ma-Sond,
Yertle the Turtle was king of the pond.
A nice little pond. It was clean. It was neat.
The water was warm. There was plenty to eat.
The turtles had everything turtles might need.
And they were all happy. Quite happy indeed.

They were... untill Yertle, the king of them all,
Decided the kingdom he ruled was too small.
"I'm ruler", said Yertle, "of all that I see.
But I don't see enough. That's the trouble with me.
With this stone for a throne, I look down on my pond
But I cannot look down on the places beyond.
This throne that I sit on is too, too low down.
It ought to be higher!" he said with a frown.
"If I could sit high, how much greater I'd be!
What a king! I'd be ruler of all that I see!"

So Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And Yertle, the Turtle King, gave a command.
He ordered nine turtles to swim to his stone
And, using these turtles, he built a new throne.
He made each turtle stand on another one's back
And he piled them all up in a nine-turtle stack.
And then Yertle climbed up. He sat down on the pile.
What a wonderful view! He could see 'most a mile!
"All mine!" Yertle cried. "Oh, the things I now rule!
I'm the king of a cow! And I'm the king of a mule!
I'm the king of a house! And, what's more, beyond that
I'm the king of a blueberry bush and a cat!
I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!"

And all through the morning, he sat up there high
Saying over and over, "A great king am I!"
Until 'long about noon. Then he heard a faint sigh.
"What's that?" snapped the king
And he looked down the stack.
And he saw, at the bottom, a turtle named Mack.
Just a part of his throne. And this plain little turtle
Looked up and he said, "Beg your pardon, King Yertle.
I've pains in my back and my shoulders and knees.
How long must we stand here, Your Majesty, please?"
"SILENCE!" the King of the Turtles barked back.
"I'm king, and you're only a turtle named Mack."
"You stay in your place while I sit here and rule.
I'm the king of a cow! And I'm the king of a mule!
I'm the king of a house! And a bush! And a cat!
But that isn't all. I'll do better than that!

My throne shall be higher!" his royal voice thundered,
"So pile up more turtles! I want 'bout two hundred!"
"Turtles! More turtles!" he bellowed and brayed.
And the turtles 'way down in the pond were afraid.
They trembled. They shook. But they came. They obeyed.
From all over the pond, they came swimming by dozens.
Whole families of turtles, with uncles and cousins.
And all of them stepped on the head of poor Mack.
One after another, they climbed up the stack.
Then Yertle the Turtle was perched up so high,
He could see fourty miles from his throne in the sky!
"Hooray!" shouted Yertle. "I'm the king of the trees!
I'm king of the birds! And I'm king of the bees!
I'm king of the butterflies! King of the air!
Ah, me! What a throne! What a wonderful chair!
I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me!
For I am the ruler of all that I see!"

Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack,
Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack.
"Your Majesty, please... I don't like to complain,
But down here below, we are feeling great pain.
I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
We turtles can't stand it. Our shells will all crack!
Besides, we need food. We are starving!" groaned Mack.

"You hush up your mouth!" howled the mighty King Yertle.
"You've no right to talk to the world's highest turtle.
I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea!
There's nothing, no, NOTHING, that's higher than me!"

But, while he was shouting, he saw with suprise
That the moon of the evening was starting to rise
Up over his head in the darkening skies.
"What's THAT?" snorted Yertle. "Say, what IS that thing
That dares to be higher than Yertle the King?
I shall not allow it! I'll go higher still!
I'll build my throne higher! I can and I will!
I'll call some more turtles. I'll stack 'em to heaven!
I need 'bout five thousand, six hundred and seven!"

But, as Yertle, the Turtle King, lifted his hand
And started to order and give the command,
That plain little turtle below in the stack,
That plain little turtle whose name was just Mack,
Decided he'd taken enough. And he had.
And that plain little lad got a bit mad.
And that plain little Mack did a plain little thing.
He burped!
And his burp shook the throne of the king!

And Yertle the Turtle, the king of the trees,
The king of the air and the birds and the bees,
The king of a house and a cow and a mule...
Well, that was the end of the Turtle King's rule!
For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond,
Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! in the pond!

And tosay the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.
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Dvorak Symphony No 9; From the New World ( Loud :) ) [08 Feb 2006|07:22pm]
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The Ontological Argument for the Existence of Unicorns [29 Jan 2006|12:46pm]

The Ontological Argument for the Existence of Unicorns

1) A unicorn is a creature that can never be captured. The ability not to be captured implies that the unicorn can be chased.
2) A creature that does not exist can not be chased.
3) Therefore unicorns must exist.

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Abortion [24 Jan 2006|11:47am]

Abortion

 

The issue of abortion is one of rights. I have only once seen an argument against abortion that attacked the topic logically instead of emotionally, and the article in question was highly fallacious.

Anti-abortionists rarely form arguments from rights, which is why their position is so weak. Any argument for or against abortion that does not address the issue of rights is ignoring the issue of rights in favour (usually) of more emotional arguments.

 

The majority of arguments wielded on the topic of abortion are fallacious.

 

The issue of abortion goes as follows:

1)      All human beings have the right to life

2)      Either an embryo/foetus is a human being or it is not

3)      If the embryo/foetus is a human being then it has the right to life and to kill it is a violation of its rights, and if it is not a human being then to force the woman to carry out her pregnancy is a violation of rights.

 

So the issue boils down to whether or not an embryo/foetus is a human being. I’m not going to comment on whether it is or not at this stage because that is not the point of this post. The point is to provide an outline on how to recognise which arguments are baloney and which address the issue.

 

Let’s take for example a common argument used by anti-abortionists; the argument that if abortion is legal women will get abortion for frivolous reasons. Now even if this argument were 100% correct it does not address the issue of rights. The issue of rights overrides the issue of the woman’s motivations- if the woman does not have the right to abortion then her motives for wanting one are inconsequential because she can’t have one, if the woman does have the right to abortion then regardless of her motives it is her right to take.

If I have the right to eat a banana then it doesn’t matter why I want to eat it, all that matters is that I have the right.

The issue of a woman’s motivations is irrelevant to abortion debate because it does not address rights, it is a red herring.

 

The titles “pro-life” and “pro-choice” should be discarded, for one I consider both of these titles to appeal to emotions, “pro-life” implies that if you do not agree with this side then you must be anti-life, and “pro-choice” implies that if you do not agree with this side you must be anti-rights. In this way both of these titles beg the question.

 

There is a further reason I reject these titles. As I have described above, the issue of abortion is one of rights, and the issue of rights is dependant on whether or not the embryo/foetus is a human being.

“Pro-life” is the title adopted by the group that is against abortion, if the embryo/foetus is a human being then it is true that anti-abortionists are on the side of human life, however if the embryo/foetus is not a human being then it is not true that the anti-abortionists are on the side of human life, because there is only one human life involved (the woman’s) and the anti-abortionist is against her rights.

“Pro-choice” is also a poorly selected title. If the embryo/foetus is a human being then the woman does not have the right to choose abortion, because this would be contradicting the right of another human being to life. If the embryo/foetus is not a human being then indeed she does have the right to choose, but she does not have the right to choose to kill another human being, she has the right to choose to abort a pregnancy.

 

 I could write more, but that’s enough for now.

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Why the Concept of Morality is Redundant to Christianity [13 Jan 2006|09:35am]

Why the Concept of Morality is Redundant to Christianity

 

In the Christian religion there is only one choice that a man can make that he will be held accountable. In the Christian religion there is only one choice that a man can make that will either result in an eternal punishment or an eternal reward.

That choice is the choice of belief. Belief in the Christian God earns you eternal reward, belief otherwise earns you damnation.

 

The supposed morals that Christians have are held high to give them ethical superiority over others. The problem is that in the Christian religion upholding a moral standard is inconsequential. The classic example is the death bed conversion of a serial killer – A man who has lead a life which according to the Christian view of morality is abysmally amoral will be receiving the eternal reward of heaven.

This renders the Christian concept of morality redundant; indeed it renders any concept of morality redundant to the Christian because he is not accountable for the ethical value of his life- a man whose life is ethically repulsive can still receive the same reward as a saint.

 

I propose another example to complement the example of the death bed conversion of a serial killer; the death bed de-conversion of a saint. A man who has lived the life of a saint- a man who has never committed a Christian sin- will burn in hell for all eternity thanks to dieing in doubt.

 

In Christianity moral behaviour is not rewarded, it’s not even required to receive God’s greatest gift. The only action that God rewards is belief, the only action that God punishes is disbelief, and do as you will when it comes to ethical dilemmas; you will not be rewarded by choosing the most moral action, nor punished for the most amoral action.

 

What this amounts to is the Christian religion detaching ethical value from actions and attaching it to an ambiguous entity; the soul. A man’s actions no longer have ethical value, that is if we are to take Christianity in an intellectually honest manor, and given that a mans ethical standing is determined by his actions Christianity is in effect a doctrine without any moral standard!

 

X-Posted

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Catholics Over Protestants [09 Jan 2006|09:29pm]
I prefer Catholics over protestants for a variety of reasons. Don't get me wrong, both have their bad points but Catholics have the benefit of experience. What do I mean? Well, the Catholic curch has learned what happens when you fight science; you loose. The recent acceptance of the theory of evolution by Catholic officials and the adoption of the position that Genesis is a metaphorical account and not a literal account of creation is a good move by the Catholics, both for themselves and for the rest of us.
Evolutionary science has huge benefits to modern society, for the Catholics to fight it they would be doing (as the protestants are) a great disservice to themselves and the rest of us. It has a benefit for them because they do not have to adopt a position of opposition to reality. Anyone who wants to take a literal interpretation of Genesis is automatically at odds with the reality of earth's biology.

Catholics have the benefit of a central authority; by use of the pope and curch officials who make studious efforts to understand modern science and to accept those sciences if they are valid the Catholic curch manages to maintain a religion that does not disagree with reality, they manage to evolve.
Protestantism lacks such an authority, protestants do not have a head who expends resources studying that which individuals do not have time to study. The pope is able to make a very well educated decision on behalf of Catholics everywhere, protestants have no pope equivilent and therefore most of them do not have the benefit of highly informed decision making- protestantism is doomed to house all manor of stupidity, Kent Hovind for example. Protestantism has found itself as the intillectual lesser of Catholocism simply because the Catholic curch is simply better educated.
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Self-Made Man, by Bobbie Carlyle [01 Jan 2006|11:48am]
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