Archive for August, 2005

STOP THIS!

by Jason Stotts

Okay, boys and girls, here’s another important distinction that you should make when you speak or write.

“I feel” means that you are telling someone about your feelings or sensations…the next words out of your mouth had better be “happy”, “sad”, “cold”, “tired” or some other such feeling or sensation.

“I think” means that you are telling someone about your ideas…the next words out of your mouth had better be “…that capitalism is good”, “…that pride is the crown of the virtues”, or that “…there is a special place in hell for socialists”.

If someone around you opens there mouth and says “I feel” and then start talking about ideas, you are obligated to SLAP THEM ACROSS THEIR BITCH FACES.

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

An All Too Common Confusion

by Jason Stotts

I often hear people make a silly and obvious equivocation between two terms that mean drastically different things: namely Intelligence and Knowledge. I think though, that we must do as The Philosopher suggests, and start with that which is first.

Intelligence is a capacity (potentiality) for thinking and reasoning, analogous to a motor.

Knowledge is having actual understanding of facts and theories; it is basically justified true belief, analogous to fuel.

Now, when one calls someone “Intelligent” one means that the person in question is good at using their mind for thinking and reasoning.

When one calls someone “Knowledgeable” one means that the person in question knows a lot of (true) facts and theories.

Now, the Intelligence and Knowledge work together as do motors and fuel – the motor needs fuel in order to operate. (Although in this analogy the “motor” can run on other kinds of “fuel”.) Thus the two terms are often used together, although they mean different things.

It is from this intimate connection that the problem arises and although the two terms are intimately connected they are not the same thing.

One could be knowledgeable without being intelligent (i.e. know a lot about sports).

One could also be intelligent without being knowledgeable (i.e. a smart child or a intelligent adult ignorant of a specific subject).

So, next time you talk about someone being knowledgeable or intelligent, take a moment to think about the difference between the two and use the right term!

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Wow

by Jason Stotts

So, this picture is inadvertantly courtesy of Sandy, who happened to have a link to it on her AIM profile, so click on it and take a look.

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Is Animal Testing Ethical?

by Jason Stotts

Recently on the news I saw a bunch of “bunny-huggers” gathered somewhere protesting the “unethical treatment of animals” because these animals were being used to test pharmaceutical products to make sure they were safe for human use. Now, this seems to me to be 1) an evil inversion of Morality, 2) ridiculous that people would waste their time trying to save lesser animals, and 3) a true ignorance of the nature of the enterprise for which the animals are being used.

First, Morality is about serving the life and interests of HUMANS, therefore protesting as unethical actions aimed at trying to save the lives of humans is not ethical and just, but rather it’s unethical and unjust.

Second, lesser animals have no moral status and can be used however we want within reason. It is not immoral to kill animals per se, it would, however, be immoral to irrationally slaughter animals for “fun”, but the immorality comes not from killing the animals but rather from the motives of action. Killing animals for food or to save the lives of people is ethical but killing them for “fun” is indicative of mental problems.

Third, it is not only moral, but also just to use animals in order to try and save people. Animals have no intrinsic value; they have instrumental value (or perhaps sentimental value for pets), as such they are to be used to further our lives if they can be. The testing done on animals is to ensure the safety and lives of people – anyone who would object to letting an animal die to save a person can hardly be described as a moral person, in fact they are immoral and are operating from an inverted sense of morality.

Just as a closing thought, if giving the choice between saving a dog or a monkey at the expense of your own life, would you do it?

The rational answer, is of course, NO!

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

I Don’t Have The Power

by Jason Stotts

While in the Houston Airport (which was a great time by the way, to be in Texas for 5 hours on a lay-over!) I was sitting in the airport I saw a lot of “different” people. One of these was a, well let us say, “portly gentleman.” Anyway, stretched over his bulbous belly was a shirt that said “I don’t have the power”.

This made me pause (which was probably the intent) and think: “what the hell?” First of all, I wondered what “power” he had lost and secondly how he had lost it. Well, when he turned around his shirt had a bible quote about how the power was god’s and that without god he had no power.

This made me think – it seems true that this man had lost the power, in more ways than one. However, his shirt gave a false cause for why he had lost it. You see Man only has one kind of power, that which stems from his mind. Now of course you’re thinking of physical power right now…but try and lift a finger w/o your mind and see how that goes for you.

One’s mind has a nature, it is volitional, and in order to use it one must give it proper fuel, valid concepts. If you don’t use your mind properly it is powerless.

This man, you see, was right – he had lost the power, but it is because of his faith and not because without god he is powerless.

He lost the power because he abdicated his mind to religion and false gods.

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

A Proper Relationship

It’s hard to explain the nature of a proper relationship, the intensity of emotion, the complimenting of spirits in a way that brings out the best in you, the feeling of completeness you experience in your soul when you’re with your beloved.

One of my friends, Colleen has written the following piece that I think does a lot to explain what it’s like to be truly in love – it’s about her feelings for her boyfriend Rich.

~ Jason

——————————————————–

Right now, I simply want an outlet to express my struggle with the absence of someone dear. It only takes a few bored interactions with predictable, transitory people for me to realize what an integral part of my he is, as if I already didn’t know. Rich is what every second of my loneliness went towards. He and I connect on levels I doubt many human beings can, even without touching or gazing into each other’s eyes. We know what each other’s pasts have felt like, we hold similar, sacred, tensely strung emotions about the possibilities of the future, and have the same passion for ideas and for doing what is right above all else. He understands almost every tidbit about me I had learned to gently excuse rather than really explain, simply because it became obvious that no one would relate. Or so I thought. I never have to dumb myself down when conversing with him. I suddenly feel strange and out-of-place when I notice myself altering my language and eliminating any semblance of depth around other people now- a nasty habit I developed for no other reason than convenience. I shamefully admit to that. Most of my interactions with other people have been a detached sort of necessity, with the occasional decent friend for a period of time and the occasional delighting in humor. For the majority of my life the only true intellectual friend I had was my father, and now I have found someone who I communicate with intellectually even better.

The feeling of this relationship is even more than I could have imagined. It’s so painfully awkward for me to even try to describe it, because for so long I’ve been unwilling and unable to feel this way about anyone. This is not the violent, miserable, intense cycle of need and longing that I felt with my ex. That was an endless pattern of a selfless void begging to be filled over and over again by the outpouring of adoration he gave me so eagerly at the beginning. Despite any noble admiration we had for each other, my incompleteness was at the root of the entire relationship. This, with Rich, this is the warm exhilaration of ceaseless discovery, understanding, and a wonder that borders on disbelief. The foundation is an engineering masterpiece of an metaphysical, epistemic, ethical, and ideological connection that brings every situation under the focus of one lens that we both seem to see through. The sameness of our intellectual workings offers enough substance for loving familiarity, and the differences between our particular interests and talents offer enough substance for excitement and learning. I can relate to his desire to conquer the highest peak in North America as akin to my desire to conquer one of Beethoven’s most difficult piano works.

We live in the same universe – the same wonderful universe, where we can get what we want, happiness can be achieved, and it’s never an accident. As simple as this sounds, Rich is the only other person I’ve met with that sort of consistent clarity resounding in all his desires and thoughts. He wants to learn what is right, to do it, to be happy, and he understands that his feet need to do the walking. His spirit is so beautiful, and, along with being my love, he will always stand as a symbol of heroism for me. I can forever so clearly remember Rich’s reaction to one of my convoluted rationalizations in what I viewed as a petty disagreement on petty ethics. “But that’s not right,” he’d said so seriously, with such assured conviction that I was embarrassed. To Rich, there are no “petty ethics”, and after having been around his unrelenting righteousness for so long, I have adopted that view as well. I wish everyone could experience his level of goodness that doesn’t hesitate for a second. It almost seems as if goodness is merely in his nature, and that he cannot chose against it, even though it is in fact the result of a concerted effort of development since babyhood.

Can you believe all of these things exist for me, along with the sharp, gorgeous, gaunt features and lean, towering body of this man? Along with the voice that softly, delicately sends me to my dreams every night after a thoroughly satisfying conversation? What an honor that this intense, strong man inadvertently intimidates people, completes his tasks and goals with resolute ambition, and then comes home to croon soft affections to me that would melt the hardest of hearts! What is even more wondrous is that I feel I deserve it.

Not until Sunday night will I get to speak with him again. He’s climbing the tallest peak in North America.

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Multiculturalism is Moral Suicide

by Jason Stotts

Cox and Forkum are the greatest cartoonists ever!

(http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/000627.html)

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

The Glorification of the Brute

by Jason Stotts

Being at the Objectivist conference has given me a rare perspective on the state of the culture in America, since being here is so different from being out in the “real world”. Being in a place where rational thought is upheld as a virtue, where people are all friendly and open and welcoming, and where there are actual intelligent people is a big change from what I am accustomed to. You see at an Objectivist conference, what is glorified is the dignity in man’s nature and the awesome power of his intellect.

It is, however, a different story out in the “real world”. In the “real world” what is glorified is not what is noble about man, but what is base. In rap videos and in movies, we see a brutish drug culture idealized. In our streets and schools we see the ignorant and stupid brute being glorified and the intelligent individuals derided!

We live in a culture where we are not only depraved by having inverted the hierarchy of what is noble and ignoble, but worse we live in a culture that glorifies death.

What is the way of the Brute? It is savagery, ignorance, stupidity, hedonism – it is all those things which are ignoble about man’s nature and proper only to animals. In a word, the way of the brute is death.

What is the way of Man? It is cooperation, knowledge, intelligence, rational egoism – it is all those things which are noble about man’s nature and proper to the life of man qua man. In a word, the way of man if Life.

We need to stop being a culture that enshrines the injustice of the decadent inversion and instead uphold justice. We must stop glorifying the brute and uphold the image of man living as man, we must glorify what is noble about our nature, what is pure in our spirit, and proper to our life qua man.

That is, if we are to survive – if we desire not to I can think of no better way of destroying ourselves than by glorifying death.

Automatically Generated Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts