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FourTwoOh
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What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« on: Nov 12th, 2002, 11:53am »
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I humble myself before so as to someday be able to snatch the pebbles from your hand.
 
 
 
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #1 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 3:43pm »
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Ok Grasshopper... enough with the Karate Kid cliches.  
 
If you mock Steggie-San too much, he'll have you waxing his car.
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #2 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 7:28pm »
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I started to ask wtf then decided I did not want to know.  Never mind.
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #3 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 9:04pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2002, 3:43pm, Philly wrote:
Ok Grasshopper... enough with the Karate Kid cliches.
 
If you mock Steggie-San too much, he'll have you waxing his car.

 
Waxin' something!
 
Anyway, in all seriousness, the way we employ the word "karma" causes real Buddhist monks, and scholars for that matter (it is a VERY philosophical religion, especially vis-a-vis the American brand of Bible-bangin' Christianity), to lose their lunch.  Hippies and such (mis)construed "karma" as just a kind of "energy," which can be either bad or good and from which you will reap punishment or rewards accordingly.  This is a misnomer.  But, the circumstances through which it came into being was "understand-able."
 
At any rate, "karma" specifically deals with cessation from/our ability to pull ourselves out of "Dukkha" or the "Wheel of Existence" and achieve enlightenment or "Nirvana," i.e., it deals with the ultimate goal of Buddhism, which is the quelling of desire, specifically, of that to continue to exist (as we are).  "Karma" deals with following and fulfilling a very specific path, i.e. the "Noble Eightfold Path", which includes such things as "Right Mind" (the "meditation" stuff), "Right Action", "Right Thought/Reason", and five other things I cannot recall at this very moment (I am not a Buddhist, just a Philosophy scholar working on melding Eastern and Western Schools of Philosophy... oh, yea, and an occassional Catholic... do like the Pope's written works, though, very much).
 
Make no mistakes, though!  This is in no way similar to the current, en vogue (perceived) Islamic belief which seems to degrade life (at least to serve certain purposes).  "Life"/"This life" is still VERY important to Buddhists.  It is of the utmost importance to (try to) achieve "Nirvana" during it and then spread the experience thereof throughout the world.  This then culminates in one's "Paranirvana" like it did for the historical Buddha, Siddhartha or Shakyamuni.
 
There you have it, whether you wanted it or not!
« Last Edit: Nov 13th, 2002, 1:04am by Stegfucius » Logged
FourTwoOh
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #4 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 10:33pm »
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Interesting indeed. I cheated and looked up some stuff after you mentioned having used it incorrectly. I guess I'll have to fall back on to "what goes around, comes around".
 
Last night I needed some comes around, but got nothing but goes. I'm afraid I've built up quite a reserve of both. :eek:
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #5 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 10:39pm »
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I envy the opportunity you have there Steg-man. Make the best of it.  
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Philly
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #6 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 10:43pm »
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I dunno... it all sounds like a great big pile of Dukkha if you ask me.
   
 
 
 
 
Sorry man, couldn't let that one slide by...
« Last Edit: Nov 12th, 2002, 10:44pm by Philly » Logged
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #7 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 10:46pm »
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Now how does this chameleon fit in with the karma issue?
 
 ??? ???
 
Karma karma karma chameleon...
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FourTwoOh
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #8 on: Nov 12th, 2002, 10:55pm »
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on Nov 12th, 2002, 10:46pm, Philly wrote:

 
 ??? ???
 
Karma karma karma chameleon...

 
 
lmao  
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Stegfucius
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #9 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 1:07am »
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on Nov 12th, 2002, 10:33pm, FourTwoOh wrote:
I guess I'll have to fall back on to "what goes around, comes around".
 
Last night I needed some comes around, but got nothing but goes (around).

 
That second line of yours there, FourTwoOh, now that sounds philosophic, real dense and shit.
 
Though I am a fairly astute Philosophy scholar (me thinks) , I am not good with quoting shit (that's a Bible-banger thing anyway).  But, I do know this one by heart and it is worth quoting now.  Voltaire once said, "When he who hears doesn't know what he who speaks means, and when he who speaks doesn't know what he himself means... that is philosophy."
 
B. G.'s , regarding your comment, thanks for the supportive words, BUT, trust me my position is not one to be envied.  Further explanation requires and/or / !
 
Funny, I just made the comment on that thread quite flippantly with no intention of causing such a stir.
 
Anyway, while we are on the topic, for those sincerely interested in picking up a little philosophy but have not been down that road since Intro. to Philosophy/Philosophy 101, if at all, a couple of GREAT books I would recommend to beginners:
 
For a general overview of Western Philosophy/Philosophies -
Philosophy for Dummies by Tom Morris
 
For philosophy for lay men, but by a historically and academically relevant (i.e. famous) philosopher -
The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
 
For a good book on the real basics of Buddhism by a/the leader in the field -
What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #10 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 7:14am »
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Steg, riddle me this.  Buddist: Harm no living thing.  Daoist: Respect all living things. and for once I have to agree with that flea bitten mongrel I would like to face the challenge you have.
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #11 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 7:20am »
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on Nov 12th, 2002, 10:46pm, Philly wrote:
Now how does this chameleon fit in with the karma issue?
 
 ??? ???
 
Karma karma karma chameleon...

last I heard she cums and goes.  don't they all if we are lucky?
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #12 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 1:19pm »
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I don't pretend to be able to mind-duel with anyone on philosophy, HOWEVER, this particular statement makes me want to puke:
 
Quote:
the ultimate goal of Buddhism, which is the quelling of desire, specifically, of that to continue to exist (as we are).  

 
Of course, I consider myself an Objectivist.  If you want to deal with philosophy that deals with life and existence as it IS ... not a bunch of psuedo-intellectual hogwash, check out Ayn Rand.
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #13 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 1:31pm »
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ooh! Excuse me, I walked into the wrong room. I thought this was a football message board and not the Oprah web site.  
Steg, are you going to be providing your favorite choice of book on a monthly basis.  
I look forward to it.  
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #14 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 2:19pm »
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MY KARMA JUST RAN OVER YOUR DOGMA
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #15 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 5:14pm »
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on Nov 13th, 2002, 1:31pm, WeinkeMaster wrote:
ooh! Excuse me, I walked into the wrong room. I thought this was a football message board and not the Oprah web site.  
Steg, are you going to be providing your favorite choice of book on a monthly basis.  
I look forward to it.  

 
This goes under the topic getting to know your fellow Gridiron members, which is totally apropos for "the Sidelines".
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #16 on: Nov 13th, 2002, 11:08pm »
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on Nov 13th, 2002, 1:19pm, bgsgfan wrote:
I don't pretend to be able to mind-duel with anyone on philosophy, HOWEVER, this particular statement makes me want to puke:
 
Of course, I consider myself an Objectivist.  If you want to deal with philosophy that deals with life and existence as it IS ... not a bunch of psuedo-intellectual hogwash, check out Ayn Rand.

 
Oh, my friend, woe is me...
 
Read that there sentence again.  There is absolutely nothing about it about which to be hostile or that should cause you to puke.  Just think it through!  Try to find the "spirit" of it!  If you can't, I am going to have to just , responding in strict Buddhist fashion.
 
And, please remember this is not coming from a Buddhist.  I am "not an anything-ist".  That would reduce (the explanation of) my being to that of an "-ism", which is insufficient.  That stands for most, actually.  Just remember I have no stake in promoting Buddhism.  I am just an "objective" observer (to the degree that any individual can be)... which is a perfect segue to my final area of curiosity here.
 
I find it ironic that you claim to be an "Objectivist."  What exactly do you mean by that?  Again, this is not a hostile question... I just want to "hear you out" and "let you hear yourself out."  Remember I know what "Objectivism" is in the field of Philosophy.  I just want to hear you describe what it is that you mean.  How do you derive so much "strength" from Ayn Rand?  I can see this much:  when it comes to topics such as the one at hand (as per some of your other posts), religion I guess that would be, you do not seem to be (small "o") "objective" in the least.  So, how is it that you are an "Objectivist"?
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #17 on: Nov 17th, 2002, 5:28am »
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I am really not good at this, but here goes (If you have read Atlas Shrugged - I consider myself an Eddie Willers type of guy - definitely not John Galt.)
 
1.  What does it mean to quell desire?  To me this is death, pure and simple.  Perhaps we still breathe and eat after we have lost the desire to do so; but at that point, why?  Any philosophy that asks one to quell all desires is evil.  You can make any kind of deep sounding argument you want about that statement, it still ends in death.
 
2.  When I say that I am an Objectivist, I am referring to Rand's philosophy.  What does it mean to me?  1. I try to make all my decisions for me and in pursuit of my own values.  2.  I value the good, the strong, the right; not the bad, the weak, and the wrong.  3.  I value life and growth.  I could go on and on, but I really do not have it all formulated into a concise theory that I could sit down and type in 15 minutes - it would all come out as gabled statements  .  I have read the Bible, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita (I know I butchered that).  I have studied Ghandi.  I consider myself to have a decent background in many schools of thought - a background that I pursued for my own purposes, not due to schooling.  In everything I have studied, nothing comes close to being as RIGHT as Rand.
 
A totally different subject you brought up - I also try to be as objective as possible (for me this is a bad trait of mine because I undermine my own position at times).  Of course I realize that nearly everything I have opinions regarding is subjective to the extent of my knowledge and point-of-view... but by the same token, that realization allows me to be as objective as possible.  In college I could have excelled at anything - but stuck mostly to the objective ( this sounds arrogant, but I deserve to be - I graduated with a 4.0).  I had 2 comp profs - 1 thought I was God's gift - the other hated me.  I majored in Accounting rather than Management due to the objective nature of Accounting.  Even in FF, I tend to give more weight to stats and numerical analysis than most people do.
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #18 on: Nov 17th, 2002, 5:43am »
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When you say, Quote:
when it comes to topics such as the one at hand (as per some of your other posts), religion I guess that would be, you do not seem to be (small "o") "objective" in the least
, are you trying to say that because I present a firm stance on an issue that I am not objective?  That because I do not represent a middle-of-the-road conclussion that I am non-objective?
 
Steg, my friend, you can tell me till you are blue in the face that the sun rises in the West - I will still disagree with you, and I will disagree with those who try to take a middle of the road stance as well.  If something is wrong, it is wrong.
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #19 on: Dec 1st, 2002, 6:13am »
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Well, tomorrow I am headed with my wonderful wife to Hwa-gye-sa (Buddhist) Temple in Seoul to attend their special one-day, three-hour Sunday class in English on meditation and Buddhism.  I am sure the "experience" will add nicely to my understanding of... of... things.
 
on Nov 17th, 2002, 5:28am, bgsgfan wrote:
I am really not good at this, but here goes (If you have read Atlas Shrugged - I consider myself an Eddie Willers type of guy - definitely not John Galt.)

 
I have not.
 
Quote:
1.  What does it mean to quell desire?  To me this is death, pure and simple.  Perhaps we still breathe and eat after we have lost the desire to do so; but at that point, why?  Any philosophy that asks one to quell all desires is evil.  You can make any kind of deep sounding argument you want about that statement, it still ends in death.

 
Where is that "off the mark" smiley when I need it?  Right after you wrote "To me", the point got lost.
 
Quote:
2.  When I say that I am an Objectivist, I am referring to Rand's philosophy.  What does it mean to me?  1. I try to make all my decisions for me...

 
Something I need remember, friend!?
 
Quote:
...and in pursuit of my own values.  2.  I value the good, the strong, the right; not the bad, the weak, and the wrong.
 
 
Just a question now... together or separately?
 
Quote:
3.  I value life and growth.  I could go on and on, but I really do not have it all formulated into a concise theory that I could sit down and type in 15 minutes - it would all come out as gabled statements  .  I have read the Bible, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita (I know I butchered that).

 
Kudos, ya' got me, Mr. Philosopher himself, on this front.  I have read the Bagavad Gita (no butchery at all), one "book" of the Mahabarata, and a modest amount of related materials both for school and on my own; I have had to deal with bits and pieces of the Koran for school; as for the Bible, as a former church-going Catholic hearing readings from it in the First and Second Readings and the Gospel of a mass as well as in CCD class and, of course, as a Philosophy major, I have a perty good understanding of what is going on in it.  That having been said, I have not dealt with, i.e. read, thought through and confronted, (the issues of) the Koran or the Bible, or the Mahabarata or Talmud for that matter, in their totalities.  As such, you are up two "whole" books on me there.
 
Quote:
I have studied Ghandi.  I consider myself to have a decent background in many schools of thought - a background that I pursued for my own purposes, not due to schooling.

 
I must admit that a lot of my studies are directly related to my schooling.  Of course, that schooling was up to me.  I think I know whence you are coming.  But, is schooling not a good source of understanding and knowledge?
 
Quote:
In everything I have studied, nothing comes close to being as RIGHT as Rand.

 
"RIGHT", and all the meanings it conveys, would be ... and this is coming from a guy who identifies (himself) more with (as) the Republicans (a Republican).
 
Quote:
A totally different subject you brought up - I also try to be as objective as possible (for me this is a bad trait of mine because I undermine my own position at times).  Of course I realize that nearly everything I have opinions regarding is subjective to the extent of my knowledge and point-of-view... but by the same token, that realization allows me to be as objective as possible.  In college I could have excelled at anything - but stuck mostly to the objective ( this sounds arrogant, but I deserve to be - I graduated with a 4.0).  I had 2 comp profs - 1 thought I was God's gift - the other hated me.  I majored in Accounting rather than Management due to the objective nature of Accounting.  Even in FF, I tend to give more weight to stats and numerica

 

 
This kind of went in a direction that I did not intend.  It kind of has the feeling of a "pissing contest," which I hate.
 
Moving right along, the following is a great page from which to "get" the basic "principles" of Ayn Rand's (brand of) "Objectivism," also known as "Egoism" or "Ethical Egoism":
http://www.aynrand.org/objectivism/essentials.html.
 
Some of the "sticky" parts... or should I say "loose ends"...  With the "desire" (which I am permitted to have even according to strict Buddhists) to present this as entertainingly as possible, let me open by saying this...
 
Things really "begin" to unravel in this accurate, albeit short and generalized, presentation of "Objectivism" in the section headed "Human Nature" especially vis-a-vis what is stated in the prior section labeled "Metaphysics".  Point being, something ain't jivin' there.  Objectivism would work better/be more cohesive with more of a dose of Existentialism.  The section on "Human Nature" has some problems in and of itself, too.  Though I HATE to say to do this, because I find the field generally distasteful, "think" Relativism... just for a second or two AND THEN STOP!  Relativists have their "point" and this would be one of the few good times to reference it.  That muddy water created by the "contrasting" of the "Metaphysics" and "Human Nature" sections calls for due scrutiny regarding what is stated in the section (incorrectly labeled) "Politics" (should have been labeled "Economics" or maybe "Socio-economics"), which in turn would lead one definitely to scrutinize the section labeled "Ethics".  That aside, on their own "merit," the "Politics" section can definitely be said to contain holes and, moreover, the "Ethics" section promotes a, well, questionable, uncompassionate philosophy.  Lastly, the "Epistemology" section, the section, by the way, most appropriately labeled, is definitely, well, "debatable."  I do not even "know" what I "think" of "epistemology!" (A Steggie original) I have no take either way on the "Esthetics" section.
 
Ultimately, since you have decided to employ words such as "hogwash" herein, there is something I would like to make known.  In the field of Philosophy, "Objectivism" is seen as a "pop" philosophy, at best, along the lines of a "Dianetics".  You will rarely, if ever, see reference made to it in any "serious" works in the field.  It has its fans because its tenets (quite predictably) are, or at least appear to be, very in line with those of American (secular) society, particularly our ideal of "manifest destiny"/(rugged) individualism (which is still going strong... and for the good, I might add), our capitalist corporate, material culture (let's say the less attractive side) and our mainstream rejection of Bible-bangin'.  In short, it appeals to our simple "Tony Robins Empower Yourself" side.
 
Given the liking you have taken to/your identifying with Ayn Rand, I would really recommend taking your mind another further step by checking out Bertrand Russell, starting with the piece mentioned above "The Conquest of Happiness".
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #20 on: Dec 10th, 2002, 1:19am »
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There are many potentially negative angles to this discussion that I wish to quell right off the bat.  I do not want a pissing contest and apologize for any of my remarks that may have seemed as if I did.  I value your friendship above any philosophical discussion we may have and will not let it interfere - if anything I value our friendship more if you force me to think.  I believe we are of like mind on these things, yet they still need to be mentioned.
 
Quote:
Quote:1.  What does it mean to quell desire?  To me this is death, pure and simple.  Perhaps we still breathe and eat after we have lost the desire to do so; but at that point, why?  Any philosophy that asks one to quell all desires is evil.  You can make any kind of deep sounding argument you want about that statement, it still ends in death.  
 
 
 
Where is that "off the mark" smiley when I need it?  Right after you wrote "To me", the point got lost.  

 
This was my initial point on this thread, and I am kind of disappointed that you dismissed it so cavalierly.  I am very troubled by philosophies/religions that follow that type of reasoning (quelling of desires).
 
Quote:
Quote:2.  When I say that I am an Objectivist, I am referring to Rand's philosophy.  What does it mean to me?  1. I try to make all my decisions for me...  
 
 
 
Something I need remember, friend!?

 
Many people miunderstand me when I say this.  I would willingly trade my life for any of my sons, the decision would be mine and would be made for me.  HOWEVER, do not ask me to give my sons away for your friend's daughters - I will not suspend my reasoning for yours.  I have no hidden agenda.  When I do things, it is of my free will.  I trust there will never be a time when you expected me to do things out of my self-interests.
 
If I agreed to build a building for you - and it is known that there would be no payment of currency - the value for me must take other means than the currency.  Perhaps it is that I want to see the building built for the building's sake or my own experience.  There could be many reasons - which I would be glad to tell you.
 
Quote:
Quote:...and in pursuit of my own values.  2.  I value the good, the strong, the right; not the bad, the weak, and the wrong.  
 
   
 
Just a question now... together or separately?  

 
Not sure what you mean.  If you mean both for me and for my values, the answer is yes.  I value your friendship - perhaps that helps alleviate some of your concerns.  
 
Quote:
Kudos, ya' got me, Mr. Philosopher himself, on this front.  I have read the Bagavad Gita (no butchery at all), one "book" of the Mahabarata, and a modest amount of related materials both for school and on my own; I have had to deal with bits and pieces of the Koran for school; as for the Bible, as a former church-going Catholic hearing readings from it in the First and Second Readings and the Gospel of a mass as well as in CCD class and, of course, as a Philosophy major, I have a perty good understanding of what is going on in it.  That having been said, I have not dealt with, i.e. read, thought through and confronted, (the issues of) the Koran or the Bible, or the Mahabarata or Talmud for that matter, in their totalities.  As such, you are up two "whole" books on me there.

 
God (pun intended), I sound braggadocious.  I did this before high school - I am slightly obsessive compulsive and I went on a religious kick right after my cousin died - I read about 20 scientific books on "Life after Life" at the time also.  It gives me a base, but not as good of a base as someone who studied those same works later in life (as opposed to just reading them earlier).  I also am hummbled to admit I skipped all the begats.
 
Quote:
I must admit that a lot of my studies are directly related to my schooling.  Of course, that schooling was up to me.  I think I know whence you are coming.  But, is schooling not a good source of understanding and knowledge?  

 
My only point was meant to be that my studies were probably less complete than yours in that they were non-regimented.  It could be argued that non-regimented studies are more objective - yet I could argue the opposite position also.
 
Quote:
"RIGHT", and all the meanings it conveys, would be  ... and this is coming from a guy who identifies (himself) more with (as) the Republicans (a Republican).  

 
Even worse than that, I am politically closest to being a Libertarian (talk about RIGHT).  8)
 
Quote:
Things really "begin" to unravel in this accurate, albeit short and generalized, presentation of "Objectivism" in the section headed "Human Nature" especially vis-a-vis what is stated in the prior section labeled "Metaphysics".  Point being, something ain't jivin' there.  Objectivism would work better/be more cohesive with more of a dose of Existentialism.  The section on "Human Nature" has some problems in and of itself, too.  Though I HATE to say to do this, because I find the field generally distasteful, "think" Relativism... just for a second or two AND THEN STOP!  Relativists have their "point" and this would be one of the few good times to reference it.  That muddy water created by the "contrasting" of the "Metaphysics" and "Human Nature" sections calls for due scrutiny regarding what is stated in the section (incorrectly labeled) "Politics" (should have been labeled "Economics" or maybe "Socio-economics"), which in turn would lead one definitely to scrutinize the section labeled "Ethics".  That aside, on their own "merit," the "Politics" section can definitely be said to contain holes and, moreover, the "Ethics" section promotes a, well, questionable, uncompassionate philosophy.  Lastly, the "Epistemology" section, the section, by the way, most appropriately labeled, is definitely, well, "debatable."  I do not even "know" what I "think" of "epistemology!"  (A Steggie original) I have no take either way on the "Esthetics" section.  

 
I need to do about a month's worth of research to give any kind of opinion here.  This stuff takes me long amounts of time to get through.  I will make the effort and come back to it, but don't expect anything soon.
 
Quote:
Ultimately, since you have decided to employ words such as "hogwash" herein, there is something I would like to make known.  In the field of Philosophy, "Objectivism" is seen as a "pop" philosophy, at best, along the lines of a "Dianetics".  You will rarely, if ever, see reference made to it in any "serious" works in the field.  It has its fans because its tenets (quite predictably) are, or at least appear to be, very in line with those of American (secular) society, particularly our ideal of "manifest destiny"/(rugged) individualism (which is still going strong... and for the good, I might add), our capitalist corporate, material culture (let's say the less attractive side) and our mainstream rejection of Bible-bangin'.  In short, it appeals to our simple "Tony Robins Empower Yourself" side.  

 
I think Ayn Rand was given exactly one sentence in my introductory philosophy classbook out of approx. 400 pages (taken 11 years ago), so yes I am aware.  It does relate well to the "spirit" of America, however not all that well with its practice.  And particularly not well with the so-called intellectuals - perhaps that is why it is looked on so disparagingly?  I am not up on Tony Robbins so I cannot respond to that.  Everything is extremely logical though, so perhaps that is what you are getting at.
 
 
On a lighter note - I hope you enjoy the holidays, I probably will not be around much until next year as I am moving.
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11/20/04 - Buckeyes salvage season by stomping that team from up north. (Posted 11/14/04)
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #21 on: Dec 10th, 2002, 1:22am »
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Oops, I forgot one thing...
 
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Given the liking you have taken to/your identifying with Ayn Rand, I would really recommend taking your mind another further step by checking out Bertrand Russell, starting with the piece mentioned above "The Conquest of Happiness".

 
Will do - thanks.
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11/20/04 - Buckeyes salvage season by stomping that team from up north. (Posted 11/14/04)
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #22 on: Aug 21st, 2003, 9:38am »
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I have been in an epiphanous mood lately and something just struck me last night/this morning and for so many reasons this just seemed like a good time to bring this thread back up (like yesterday's dinner ).  Here is what I was "epiphanizing" about (fire up those calligraphy pens)...
 
To be clueless is to know:  to not know you know; to not know others know.
 
To be confused is to know:  to not know you know; to not know others do not know.
 
To be idiotic is to know:  to not know you know; to know others do not know.
 
To be ignorant is to know:  to know you know; to not know others do not know.
 
To be gullible is to know:  to know you do not know; to not know others know.
 
To be wary is to know:  to not know you do not know; to know others know.
 
To be insecure is to know:  to not know you know; to know others know.
 
To be deluded is to know:  to know you know; to not know others know.
 
To be cynical is to know:  to not know you do not know; to know others do not know.
 
To be humble is to know:  to know you do not know; to not know others do not know.
 
To be smart is to know:  to know you do not know; to know others know.
 
To be arrogant is to know:  to know you know; to know others do not know.
 
To be prudent is to know:  to know you know; to know others know.
 
To be empty, the basest of virtues, is to not know.
 
To be wise, the most ultimate virtue, is to know:  to know you do not know; to know others do not know.

 
...
 
...
 
...
 
(There is a way to think this through,... I think!)
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #23 on: Aug 21st, 2003, 8:42pm »
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All I can say is....
 
I am confused: i wonder if others are confused, do others know I'm confused, are confused others aware that I too am confused?
 
I get it now... "I drink therefore I am"
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Re: What time is Karma 101 with Prof Steegie-San
« Reply #24 on: Sep 29th, 2006, 5:43am »
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Guys, I thought I'd upchuck this oldie-but-a-goodie to let yous all know about a great personal and professional triumph I've had as of late. I'm going to give yous the very short of it, but this is one of those goose-bump stories. I wish I could just call all of you and tell you the story. It really is unbelievable to hear A through Z, but here I'm just going to give yous the A, B, C's of it because it's just TOO MUCH to be writing (ab)out.
 
Yous see... I have a wonderful, I like to think wondrous, BUT VERY unorthodox and unusual project/dissertation topic. I've alluded to it and my philosophical interests here and there throughout the site. Anyway, my one-line title thingy goes something like this: "The Acting Person Practicing Wisdom - A Common Thread: Resonances of a Philosophy of Self-cultivation and Person-making between Catholic Personalism, Tibetan Buddhism and Chinese Thought". Grandiose title thingy aside, this is more directly and simply put as a comparative study of the philosophies of Karol Wojtyla a.k.a. Pope John Paul II, Tenzen Gyatso a.k.a. The Dalai Lama, and Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, and the Yi-jing. Anyway, I was "whispering from the rooftops" at Catholic U. because there they didn't care about, know about or care to know about Chinese and Buddhist thought, and I've been "whispering from the rooftops" again here at UH because here they don't care about, know about or care to know about the philosophy, the personalism, of Pope John Paul II,... though that IS changing!
 
So, anyway, as I come to (yet) a(nother) crossroads at the end of this academic year in May as I will be completing my Master's, I have to start planning for the future and where the pages of the next chapter of my life will be turned. In doing this, I have been speaking to various people to get advice and guidance, mainly people here or back at CUA. Well, to make a VERY LOOOOONG story short, in a meeting and phone conversation respectively with two key people, Dr. Roger Ames and Msgr. Dr. Robert Sokolowski, my project got poo-pooed. From Dr. Ames, that wasn't a big surprise. From MSGR. Sokolowski, it somewhat was. But, again, truth be said, my deal is quite a bit off the beaten track. But, I know I am onto something,... though if I told yous that these two responses weren't at all discouraging, I'd be lying.
 
Well, my day (to break the ice and get my validation) was two weeks ago to the day (Thursday, that is). Right now, I'm taking this class Confucianism. We have to do these biweekly short papers. Based on our readings at the time, I was in a position to defend the existentialism of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre as having better resonance with Chinese philosophy than it was being credited with and for in general not being entirely adequately depicted. The paper, moreover, provided me the perfect segue to the personalism of Karol Wojtyla as, ultimately, I don't think Sartre is the ideal guy to do a Confucian comparison with. Understand, personalism is directly related to existentialism. In fact, it is also known as Christian existentialism. Anyway, I got that paper back two Thursdays ago and did glance down at it and saw the positive commentary and good grade. The professor, Dr. Ni, explicitly states that in light of my paper, he would like to take the first half of the seminar to break away from the syllabus and have a discussion about where we find resonances with Chinese philosophy in the western philosophic tradition. ALL the usual suspects get mentioned and debated: Hegel, Heidegger, Dewey, Whitehead, Emerson, Leibniz, and on and on,... all to no conclusion. I stayed quiet, but as the debate raged on and got nowhere, my heart started to pound, and I started to realize this was my opportunity to present my "deal", which students, having observed my passion for over a year now, have started to become ever so slightly curious about. I raised my hand and asked Dr. Ni if I could read just a little bit from my paper. He urged me to. Here's the preceding paragraph to the one I read which you need to situate yourselves:
 
They (the writers of the book, Dr. Hall and the aforementioned Dr. Ames of the University of Hawaii) claim that to be compared with Confucianism the social context "must be grounded in deferential relations within interdependent contexts" (not independent, mutual contexts), and that (there must be a recognition that) "the principles of order and value are themselves dependent upon and emerge out of the contexts to which they have intrinsic relevance," and that "laws, rules, principles, or norms have their source in the human, social contexts which they serve." Hall and Ames say that "the Confucian is more concerned with an explication of the activities of specific persons in particular contexts," and that "characterizing a person in terms of events precludes the consideration of either agency or act in isolation from one another." In this light they say that "the fatal disadvantage of existentialism is its individualistic presupposition, which make of society a derivative, and therefore abstract, notion," and make their move to American pragmatism, especially that of John Dewey, as a better, albeit still flawed alternative.
 
And, here is what I read:
 
While I do not see Sartre as necessarily inconsistent with any of that, I, in any event, think they have not given the wider scope of existentialism its due, that is, namely that of personalism, i.e. Christian existentialism, and particularly that of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, all of their anti-Christian rhetoric aside. In Wojtyla's The Acting Person, along the lines of Ames and Hall's definition of the person, Wojtyla writes that "the human being is a specific field of experiences and understandings," and that "Being and acting 'together with others' does not constitute a new subject of acting but only introduces new relations among the persons who are the real and actual subjects of acting," and that "to be and to act 'together with others' places man within the range of diverse relations." In dispelling the notion of the person in terms of pure consciousness, the micro-perspective, he too warns of the macro-perspective, the abstraction of society, and the interchangeability of the terms society and community, society "being" the abstraction while community "acts" as the realm of participating individuals. He views:
 
"It (participation) (first of all) as a property of the person, a property that expresses itself in the ability of human beings to endow their own existence and activity with a personal (personalistic) dimension when they exist and act together with others... (and) conceive(s) participation ... as a positive relation to the humanity of others, understanding humanity here not as the abstract idea of the human being, but-in keeping with the whole vision of the human being ...-as the personal self, in each instance unique and unrepeatable. Humanity is not an abstraction or generality, but has in each human being the particular 'specific gravity' of a personal being."
 
He concludes (therein in section 2.1 of chapter 16 of Person and Community) "That people fulfill themselves in and through community with others seems beyond doubt." In The Acting Person, he writes that "The human community is strictly related to the experience of the person," and that "contrary to the implications manifest in the individualistic and anti-individualistic thinking about man they (person and community) are neither alien nor mutually opposed to each other." He asserts that a person "is capable of not only partaking in the life of a community, to be and to act together with others; he is also capable of participating in the very humanness of others," and that "Only then can we claim that participation serves not just the fulfillment of some individual being, but that it also serves the fulfillment of every person in the community."

 
Mind you, interspersed throughout that "academic" reading was a bunch of Steggie-style "Who'd a thunk he'd say 'thats'" and "elbow jabs" to the dude sitting next to me. Throughout, students knodded their heads and were shocked by the fact that it sounded awfully a lot like words Mr. Atheist himself Dr. Roger Ames could have written. In any event, at the end of my reading, which, again, came after an hour-and-a-half-or-so-long discussion/debate about all the usual Western philsophers we try to plug into Eastern thought, Dr. Ni smiles and simply says, "THAT'S CONFUCIANISM!" And, we took our halftime break. AWESOME!!! What an endorsement! What timing given the poo-pooing I had been enduring! Victory!!! Every since, I've had all kinds of students as well as Amesian scholar Dr. Ni himself "much more" curious to hear out what this "Pope guy" has to say here... ...
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