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About dirtyrottenscoundrel

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  1. Roman Polanski's adaptation of the Dickens classic Oliver Twist starts next week.
  2. No, I most certainly am not confusing libertarianism with Marxism. However, Injin's apparent zeal does remind me of the zeal shown by the Marxists that I once knew. You've not answered any of my questions. In particular you have failed to address the fundamental question surrounding the survival of the disabled person under libertarianism. Should disabled people, who have no income, be allowed to fall prey to market fundamentalism or not? If not, how could they be catered for (how could their survival be assured) under the libertarian model? I think all rational agents would agree that violence is never a good way to solve problems. However, whilst one may be committed to non-violent methods, how would one deal with an individual who is committed to violence without resorting to violence oneself? Is not violence sometimes a necessary evil? Furthermore, I did not state that I believed violence to be a good way of solving problems. I didn't state my political stance. For all you know, I may partly or wholly subscribe to the libertarian line. All empirical data is on your side, you say. Well, where is it? Can you provide some, please? And can empirical data really justify an ethical stance? Or, are our ethical judgements based primarily on feelings? From what I've seen, you hardly provide arguments to substantiate your assertions. Mainly, you jump straight to conclusions without providing any form of deductive or inductive logic. Cheers.
  3. You are a fundamentalist libertarian. The abolishment of taxes; gold and silver backed money; the abolishment of public services; the creation of a private-sector utopia. The way you argue your ideological stance reminds me of Marxist zealots I once knew at university. You are not yet at their level, though you do have their gusto. Is your type of fundamentalism likely to provide successful remedies to the social, economic, and political malaise we find ourselves in now? Or is the world far more complicated than the limited and shallow presumptions you base your prescription on? The world is full of winners and losers. And we don't all start on an even footing. The libertarian argues that the free market should usurp the state and that all services should be commercialised. However, one problem with this approach is the issue of the haves and the have nots. How would your solution address a hypothetical plight of a seriously disabled individual; an individual without family? With the individual having no income, and with no taxes to pay for care and with all services commercialised, how would this person receive the care he or she needs? You might respond by saying charity. Haven't you stated before on this forum that people are self serving agents? What if the haves are so fixated on their plastic lives that they forget about the have nots? What guarantee is there that charity would suffice? Going back to the disabled person. Do you think he or she should be allowed to die? If so, would you not be prescribing an ideology that could be described as Eugenic Darwinism? If not, why not?
  4. Problems with attention span? Try Ritalin, or even electroconvulsive therapy. Come back sometime and let us know how you got on. Bye.
  5. I flew into Athens at 0500hrs on the 21 October. My plan had been to get the Metro from the airport to Syntagma and check into a hotel. However, there was a public sector strike. The Metro was down, and the limited bus service to the city-centre didn't start running until 0900hrs. My stingy mindset made me choose to wait four hours for the bus, rather than pay the 30 - 40 euros for the cab. Fortunately, I struck up an interesting conversation with a commuter who was also waiting for the bus services to begin. I had just come from the Middle East, and was aware of the price inflation there. I asked the stranger how price inflation was affecting Greece. A political discussion ensued. Sombrely she explained how pessimistic she was for the future of Greece. She described how Greece was heading towards the abyss economically, democratically, and socially. When I got to Syntagma there was a rally involving several thousand public sector protesters, and a substantial police presence. During the afternoon I went to Omonia Square. There was not the usual traffic; it had been replaced by patchwork of protesters, hoarse from chanting and with pickets raised. From a cafe I heard the beginnings of a crowd disturbance. I went to take a look. From my vantage point I saw a demonstration, involving a sizeable group of middle aged and middle class professionals, get hijacked by a smaller group of masked young anarchists. And here lies the key. Since, the question raised by the OP is whether we should respect the Greek rioters. But who are the Greek rioters? Are they representative of the suffering general population? That is, are they representative of the decent and law abiding majority of Greeks? Or is the mayhem the work of anarcho-capitalists who are committed to indiscriminate violence? Are not the livelihoods and properties of ordinary Greeks now being targeted by a rag-tag bunch of philosophically warped thugs? Irrespective of ethics, doesn't the Greek state appear powerless. History potentially in the making.
  6. Stavros, you old bubble. Did you once, by any chance, have a girlfriend who was slipped a length by a British squaddie? I have to admit, that would be a genuine reason for your apparent bitterness and xenophobia. Personally, I like the Greeks. I've even had relationships with a number of Greek women and, happily, I found them to be intellectually stimulating and filthy dirty between the sheets. Though one was a complete bunny boiling psycho. Still, she was the biggest slut of the lot. Happy days. Cheerio.
  7. Theory: noun (theories) 1 a series of ideas and general principles which seek to explain some aspect of the world • theory of relativity. 2 an idea or explanation which has not yet been proved; a conjecture ~ Chambers UK on-line dictionary. My bold. Religion absolutely uses theories; theories are central to religion. In relation to the Chambers definition, religions attempt to explain the world with arguments that remain unproven. Indeed, prior to the Enlightenment, philosophy was often concerned with developing and criticising religious theories. Furthermore, all theistic religions employ one of the most fundamental theories -- the theory of the existence of god. Arguments for the existence of god have utilised various theories including the ontological and cosmological arguments and the argument from design. Philosophy of Religion is comprised of nothing but theories and counter theories. Ideas and arguments do not have to be scientific to be theories. However, science does take the next step. It uses methodical and critical empirical experimentation to validate or invalidate hypotheses. However, the age old argument of rationalism versus empiricism has yet to be settled. From the most critical level we can't be sure how accurate science is. The ultimate (epistemological) question is: how is it possible to know anything beyond a priori facts such as 2+2=4? And this is where is the issue of phenomenology becomes relevant. Phenomenology, as a branch of Philosophy of Mind, concerns our experience of the world. Questions include 'how do we experience the world' and 'how can we verify our experience to be representative of reality'. If we consider our experience of the world to be nothing more than neural events, involving the processes of perception, then this leads us to the question of just how accurate our perceptions can possibly be. If our reasoning is to be based on empirical phenomena then we must understand how accurate our perception of these phenomena really is. By 'phenomenological constraints' I mean, how sure can we be that our consciousness and perception provide us with an accurate representation of the world. If we can't be sure of the validity of our mental events then how can we be sure of the veracity of the scientific method. Of course, one can go to extremes with such philosophical enquiries, but the most we can critically state about science is that it is the most rational of human endeavours. It is the best chance we have. But then the issue of 'paradigm shifts ' comes into play, and a whole bunch of other problems become apparent. Impossible.
  8. Yes, can you please provide a logically deductive argument as to why religions do not involve theories? Also, you mention rationality. Could you please define what rationality is, and how it is possible to prove or measure rationality, and how belief in the rational/scientific method can overcome phenomenological constraints? Thanks.
  9. You are a proper insider, aren't you. Not only do you know Gary Linekar's ex, who sat on your lap and 'grinded' into your crotch, but also the head of BBC TV News. It's a boring Sunday; any more juicy insider gossip to share?
  10. There are squaddies fighting and dying in the sandboxes for little over 6 quid an hour. Wind your neck in and be grateful for that £45.
  11. The Early Authoritarian Period The Great Transition. The Democratic Deficiency. The Great Theft/The Great Swindle/The Great Betrayal The Age of Treason The Re-enslavement.
  12. I'm quite well acquainted with a couple of independent corner shopkeepers. Both are really struggling and both are talking of relocating to India. However, with inflation rising in India this idea is becoming less attractive. Initially these shopkeepers began to feel the pinch four or five years ago, as Tesco began to monopolise the area and undercut them. It was at this point that the viability of the corner shop trade began to be discussed, as competing with the likes of Tesco was becoming almost impossible, and difficulties were compounded by the offspring of shop owners becoming far less willing to step into their elders footsteps, and instead had begun to choose careers in the professions. Since the inception of the credit crisis things have gone from bad to worse. My local shopkeeper has said that takings are down fifty per cent in the past two months. This, combined with a rise in the price of food, has led to what he described as a bleak outlook. Indeed, wholesale prices of staples are so unstable that the shop owners have resorted to taping letters, from wholesalers informing of price rises, to the counters. Another interesting issue is the small margins that are made on tobacco and alcohol. Taxes are so punitive that there is a relatively greater margin to be made from selling a box of matches than a packet of fags or a bottle of rum. Up until recently profits were predominantly made from home cleaning products and tinned goods. However, the increase in the price of oil and the corresponding rise in the price of food has jeopardised these sources of income, as small shopkeepers are limited to the extent they can pass on cost increases to their customers. One bloke I know, who has been in the business of selling high-end designer clothing for thirty years, last week told me that he hasn't sold an item of stock for five weeks. He says that he's never known anything like the current situation and will soon be closing down. Fortunately for him, he's approaching the age of retirement and has a nice nest egg put by. But yes, speaking to independent retailers, the situation looks bleak. One thing that concerns me is the 'just in time' system we use in Britain. I understand that there is only ever three days supply of food in the country at any given time. If the economic crisis were to turn really bad, and bank failures became commonplace, then how could we guarantee that the shelves of supermarkets would remain stocked? Who was it who said that we are only nine meals away from anarchy?
  13. Well, considering the gentleman who owns the Aston also owns the Blue Lounge, no. The accusations were made by a couple of middle aged, middle class female residents of Tynemouth, who I spoke to daily over coffee, in the bakers across the road from the Blue Lounge. It could have been a sewing circle -- it probably was -- for the gossip that was being spread.
  14. No, he said he was an estate agent and I remember him talking about the drive up from London he'd made in his Bentley. I remember seeing an Aston parked in Tynemouth, outside the Blue Lounge. I also heard various accusations made by locals against the driver of the aforementioned Aston, and which I won't go into here.
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