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Echoex Auditor | joined 16 February 2005 | 114 posts


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 16 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Echoex, Auditor

Jack view post


The LOTR Films posted 16 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionThe LOTR Films by Echoex, Auditor

In retrospect, my favourite character was Theoden. He was the only supporting character who remained true to his human abilities and instincts. Someone posts that his last charge sends shivers. I agree. Every word that man uttered inspired me to war.

"Dark have been my dreams of late."

Gandalf was great, too, for reasons too obvious to mention.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Treebeard. Rhys Davies (Gimli) supplied his voice. If I was a walking tree, that's exactly how I would sound.

Eowyn (Miranda Otto): SMOKIN' hot. Especially in TT during the march to Helm's Deep. Something about her set my loins on fire. Just call me Balrog balls. view post


Use of mythology when creating... posted 16 February 2005 in Writing TipsUse of mythology when creating... by Echoex, Auditor

Absolutely. History -- in general -- is an excellent resource for inspiration. Bakker's works are proof of this.

Would The Shriah have declared a holy war to reclaim Shimeh if the Muslims weren't in a Jihad to reclaim Jerusalem? Maybe, but not likely.

Consider uber-god Tolkien and his comparison to religious figures. Jesus enters the desert where he battles with is own demons, eventually emerging as a cleaner, more divine son of God. Gandalf plummets into the pit of the Balrog in a battle against this more personified demon, eventually emerging as Gandalf the White. view post


Gay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? posted 17 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Echoex, Auditor

"King Ralph and his goons are trying to find a way to shift marriage licences wholly over to the realm of the Church to take away the effect of the federal government saying that marriage is constituted only by them — and they say gay marriage is legal."

The state of matrimony is a purely religious institution. I'm not defending it -- I assure you. I'm a devote aetheist. It wasn't until the last couple of centuries that marriage became a government institution and it was done for three major reasons:

1) It was a great way to ensure that people weren't having little bastard children.
2) It was a great way for the government to register people once they reached the 'age of reason' (as though reason and marriage have any business hanging out together).
3) The Church refused to grant people divorces (divorce is a sin), and marriages can't be annulled once they've been consumated. The government recognized this as a threat to the the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so effectively began granting divorces (in the eyes of the law).

In fact, if I recall correctly, one of the first few divorces granted in Canada was done as a favour when a high-ranking government official wanted to marry another man's wife.

So it would be more correct to say that Ralph Klein is trying to force the statutories of marriage BACK onto the Church.

As for my position on this issue: Let gays marry. Everyone should have to suffer the fates of the wedded. view post


Drug Legalization posted 17 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

That's a careless sentiment. What if it was your child who overdosed? view post


Is Education the Magic Bullet? posted 17 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionIs Education the Magic Bullet? by Echoex, Auditor

"Culture and people are entwined. You cannot have culture without people and you cannot have culture without people. Culture does not make people, and people do not make culture, they are dependent on each other to exist. One cannot exist without the other."

I disagree with your statement. People create culture, and culture is typically manufactured from the excesses of society.

Consider points in history that 'defined' their epochs. The sexual revolution, for example, wouldn't have happened during WWI or WWII, but it was seething below the surface, waiting for an opportune moment to explode. Why? Maslow might argue that people had the bottom of their pyramids to concern themselves with (basic human survival) and had no time for idle thoughts such as the equality of the sexes. Ergo, excess that has become culture. view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 17 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Echoex, Auditor

Worse than offering no comfort, it provides a false security and arrogance to those who believe.

Religion is a series of excuses and violent licences created by insecure, powerful men to control everything they fear.

Afterlife is the manifestation of our own smug inability to accept the fact that we're not the raison d'etre for all things.

God is the one easy, all-encompassing 'veto' that mankind uses to negate the hard and horrible truth of existence. view post


Origin of Morality posted 17 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by Echoex, Auditor

Morality is a brand for survival.

Infidelity spreads diseases.
Murder...well...kills...
Theft strips one of objects necessary to live (clothing, food, etc.)

You name an immoral act and there is some survivalist instinct that it can be traced to. view post


Origin of Morality posted 18 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by Echoex, Auditor

Quote: "RevCasy"
"However, evolution isn't geared toward survival, but toward reproduction."

Reproduction is designed to ensure the s_r_iv_l of the species. (Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a question.)

Before I thank you for strengthening my argument, think back to those mythological references where mankind is punished for mass copulation. Do we really believe that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by a rain of fire and brimestone? I certainly don't. But it is possible that the horny little denizens of these hedonistic locales had some other physical malaise inflicted about their persons.

Now, thank you for strengthening my argument. Evolution. What was once the common cold that wiped out the village (colds being spread through mucus transfer, ergo proximity, ergo human interaction, ergo boinking) has evolved into the guerilla STDs et al that seem so rampant among the less discreet of our kind view post


Drug Legalization posted 18 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

That hardly makes it more righteous. view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 18 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Echoex, Auditor

boll weevil view post


Drug Legalization posted 21 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

Which begs the question "do you have children?"
Ex. view post


Origin of Morality posted 21 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by Echoex, Auditor

That's the point where morality manifests as etiquette -- another side-reaction to survival.
Ex. view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 22 February 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Echoex, Auditor

Trunk view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 25 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Echoex, Auditor

I come from a fairly religious background. My father is (was) a devout Catholic. My mother converted to Seventh Day Adventism when I was about 13. Both attend a Mormon church (because neither can stomach the other's religious subscription). My brother is Baptist because his wife told him to be Baptist.

I'm an aethiest because I feel absolutely no desire to believe in a higher power. My wife is agnostic and I'm raising my son outside of any organized church. I will most likely be disappointed if he converts later in life, but it's his choice.

My kin and contemporaries think less of me and are quite certain that I'm not a 'good' person. But, unlike them, I've never excused myself from an immoral act by exercising the "God will forgive me" clause. Rather, I strive to be a better human being and take responsibility for my downfalls and vices.

The "God will forgive me" clause is "lazy morality".

Why do I practice discretion and good will when I know it won't earn me any rewards in a hereafter? Because it makes our measly existence more enjoyable. This is the only life we have and we might as well enjoy it. view post


Drug Legalization posted 25 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

Speaking as one who has children, I do everything I can to ensure the safety and well-being of my child.

I partially agree with you: The rest of the world can go to hell for all it matters. But I will fight until the last rock is thrown to keep my son from harm.

I'll cite an instance from the Paul Bernardo / Karla Homolka murders. If you're not familiar with this example, Bernardo and his wife Homolka were convicted of the sexual molestation and murder of young girls in Southern Ontario (this was in the early 1990's). One such girl -- Leslie Mahaffey -- broke curfew one night and her parents locked her out of the house to teach her a lesson. They never saw their daughter alive again.

Mahaffy was a troubled teen and her parents were likely very frustrated with her lack of respect for their authority. But had they made a different choice -- had they exercised a little bit of parental discretion -- their daughter might be alive today.

Parents need to balance discipline and forgiveness with great caution.

You contend that if you didn't have a choice with your child, you would "send them out on their ass, and when they died in a gutter, think the world a better place".

Well, I contend that you shouldn't make such wonton statements until you're qualified to do so. view post


Drug Legalization posted 28 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

Age has nothing to do with it.

You're expressing such a limited worldview. You're basing your argument on 'if's. "If I had a child..." "If that child knew the risks...". I'm not suggesting that you're wrong. I just think that you're putting the cart before the horse.

I'm suggesting to you that you reconsider those statements until you have children (if you choose to). It's very easy to be so right-wing on this issue. It's the obvious moral high-ground.

I, for one, could not consider the world a better place if something happened to my son. He would have to do something REALLY bad for me to ever turn my back on him. And over-dosing on drugs is not one such instance.

Ex. view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 28 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Echoex, Auditor

Firstly, I would be a hypocrit if I raised my son with any religious leanings.

Secondly, the exact opposite could be said about your friend's theory. One could say that one raised in religion would rebel against morality and discretion just to spite that religion.

Progeny will rebel regardless of the environment. It's how you deal with that rebelion that will define your character as a parent and a leader.

Ex. view post


Drug Legalization posted 02 March 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

"Natural selection"? Do you even know what that means?

Drugs are not deus ex machina. One does not walk through the jungle and get attacked by a poppy. It takes a conscious decision to pack that pipe and inhale. That's not natural selection; nature has nothing to do with it (other than human nature, I suppose).

So your next argument will be: "These people are born stupid and so they deserve to die, and this is natural selection." Except you'll have spelling mistakes and grammar errors.

The inherent flaw in your theory is that you don't have to be stupid to do drugs. You simply have to exist, and that's an entirely more sinister ball of wax. I've never known a drug-dealer to issue IQ tests as a prerequisite for doing business.

If you don't mind a bit of homework, go online and google "famous and brilliant people who were/are drug-addicts". view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 02 March 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Echoex, Auditor

"I believe that there is something greater than us and that we are part of some purpose but I don't think that anyone can know exactly what that purpose is or can fully comprehend a being that is so much more than us."

Can I ask why you believe that we're part of some purpose? Can we not be random and anomalous?

I think the human ego is too fragile and soft to accept that our existence is really meaningless. view post


Drug Legalization posted 07 March 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDrug Legalization by Echoex, Auditor

Certainly, everyone is somebody's kid. But until I'm given the authority to discipline at my discretion every child on this planet, I won't hold myself accountable or responsible for the choices of those children. On the other hand, I have -- in my care -- a child whose choices and well-being are my responsibilities. view post


Gay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? posted 07 March 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Echoex, Auditor

I'm not disagreeing with you, but let me play the devil's advocate.

What if the love is between a 40 year old man and a 14 year old boy? Should they be able to marry? They know they're in 'love'. By your definition of marriage, any two sentient beings who are in 'love' should be able to get married.

Marriage laws are in place to protect more than just gender.

Opponents argue that -- once the current definition of marriage is changed -- it leaves room for the entire definition of marriage to erode to nothingness. view post


Origin of Morality posted 14 March 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionOrigin of Morality by Echoex, Auditor

That's a fairly astute hypothesis, and not far-off from my own thinking.

Let's change the context and see if we come up with the same result:

Do other animals seek to unravel the physical tapestry of existence? Does your family dog plot the course of the stars or debate Relativity with other dogs in the short time that you let it out to pee? Do zoologists catch leopards making snow angels in the Himalayas?

I'm speaking in a purely scientific sense -- science being anathema from spirituality or religion.

Although these points of view travel in two separate directions, they both require the same level of sentientism -- that ability to ask the question "Why".

Art, Science, Religion all sprout from the seed of higher consciousness. view post


The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (first series) posted 22 March 2005 in Literature DiscussionThe Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (first series) by Echoex, Auditor

I'm not sure if this has been discussed yet, but has anyone read the Thomas Covenant series by Stephen Donaldson?

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Ex. view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 29 March 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Echoex, Auditor

Theory view post


Gay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? posted 29 March 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Echoex, Auditor

The government dictates who can marry because the church is too irresponsible to make that decision.

I'll go back to an earlier analogy (and modify it slightly for my purpose):

What if a 60 year old man wanted to marry an 8 year old girl and he found a church that condoned that behaviour? Now, assume that the girl's parents belonged to that same church and 'allowed' that man to marry their daughter.

Organized religions pass laws based on mythological precedence. This is imperfect for a couple of reasons:
1) Mythos doesn't change or evolve. What was considered acceptable 2000 years ago might not be considered acceptable today.
2) Mythos is created in the mind. In the mind, anything can be considered 'true' or 'correct'. But that doesn't mean that these things translate correctly in the real world.

Government (when at its most perfect state) passes laws based on facts, protection, free-will, and morality. If given the choice, I'd rather sleep with a beast I know than a beast I only think I know. view post


Gay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? posted 04 April 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionGay marriage: for or against its legalization in the US? by Echoex, Auditor

Oh, I agree with you (to a point). I certainly don't believe that allowing same-sex marriage will cause any significant snags in our moral fabric. I'm a 'worst-case scenerio' kind of guy and approach each situation as such.

You're from the United States. I'm amused that you're not a little more gun-shy on this topic, considering the United States' history of abuse of its own Bill of Rights. Perhaps if someone had played the devil's advocate on that fateful September 25th, 1789, there would have been a 13th Amendment that would have went something like:
"No man or woman, having spilled a hot beverage on him or herself by his or her own stupidity, shall place blame for that stupidity on the establishment where which that beverage was purchased..."

Or perhaps:
"No persons who have knowingly eaten too much fast food and grown obese as a result, may charge another human being for his or her own lack of restraint. Instead, that person must 'suck it up' and take responsibility for his or her inability to function in a logical society."

The moral of this story is that the most extreme and seemingly unbelievable results come from the slightest of decisions. view post


Do you believe a God exists? posted 04 April 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Echoex, Auditor

I'm probably wrong, but don't Existentialists believe that they are the center of their own existences and, essentially, are their own gods? view post


First Word that Comes to Mind posted 04 April 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionFirst Word that Comes to Mind by Echoex, Auditor

head view post


Bad, bad book. BAAAD. posted 04 April 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionBad, bad book. BAAAD. by Echoex, Auditor

If I wanted to become a professional whale-hunter, I'd read Moby Dick. Since I have no interest in becoming a whale hunter, I had no business reading it. I'm sure it's an American classic for a reason...

...I just haven't discovered it yet.

A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence. It's a novella about a middle-aged woman who lives with her mother and loses her virginity. There's some really awful imagery of her using some medieval birth-control device that I just couldn't get out of my mind...and not in a good way.

Ex. view post


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