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SteveO

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About SteveO

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  1. SteveO

    Life span on the decline.

    Only if that eventually comes to be one of the more desirable marriage traits women want to find in men... so...
  2. SteveO

    Life span on the decline.

    For most of human history leisure was a rare luxury. Toiling from dawn to dusk just to survive was the lot of almost all men, women and children up until a few hundred years ago. The English geologist Sir Charles Lyell wrote that in the 1840s America was a “country where all, whether rich or poor, were laboring from morning till night, without ever indulging in a holiday.” (Sir Charles Lyell) With the onset of the Second Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century and the rapid intensification of the division of labour that accompanied it, there occurred a “Leisure Revolution”. Not only did this period of rapid industrial development drive many from the farmlands into large cities in search of work, but the regimented hours associated with industrial work left the masses – for the first time in the modern era – with scheduled free time to direct their own activities. Well over 100 years have passed since this leisure revolution, and the fruits of civilization have become more plentiful, and leisure, more bountiful. Perhaps more than at any point in the history of civilization, the average individual today is free from the daily struggle for survival. But with this newfound freedom a crucial question confronts each of us: that being, what are we free for? In other words, how are we going to use the time we have that is not devoted to the necessities of life? Few contemplate this question. Rather, as with many important questions regarding how to live, most people sink into conformity and implicitly assume their free time is best spent resting, relaxing, and passively consuming. And as a result, such lives assume a common mold and follow a course analogous to the one described by the 20th century philosopher Richard Taylor. Some may argue there is nothing wrong with this type of “normal” existence. Modern life can be high paced and stressful, and with mental health problems on the rise, perhaps what is needed is more time spent resting and relaxing. The prolific 20th century English writer Colin Wilson, however, disagreed with this sentiment. Too much inactivity, rather than promoting mental health, tends to breed unhappiness and a plethora of psychological problems. Wilson came to this conclusion early in his life. In his autobiography “Dreaming to Some Purpose”, he notes that as an adolescent he struggled with bouts of depression and sympathized with the “wisdom” contained in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Wilson, however, had an astute mind and was intent on discovering why he always felt so gloomy. He began to observe that his bouts of depression were typically preceded by prolonged periods of passivity. When he did not occupy his days with interesting tasks, challenges, and problems to solve, he discovered that depressive moods would soon wash over him, fog his perceptions, and cause him to become a pessimist of the human condition. The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Or as Wilson writes: If Wilson’s discovery of the connection between passivity and mental illness has merit, then we are confronted with the following options. We can waste our leisure in idle pursuits, leave our untapped potentials untouched, and render ourselves prone to mental illness. Or we can strive to spend the majority of our free time creating, exploring, learning, doing – challenging our capacities and improving our talents. While the latter option entails perseverance, struggle, and the sacrifice of short-term pleasures and comfort, the pay off – mental health and personal growth – is worth the effort. But what if Wilson’s discovery of the connection between passivity and depression is not applicable to all, but only to a minority, who like Wilson, possess an unusually strong creative urge? Maybe for some people passivity does not breed the suffering it did for Wilson. Would this mean that the struggle to spend our free time engaged in creative activity is a waste of time and energy? In his book Restoring Pride Richard Taylor provides a cogent argument for why the struggle to produce and create is always worth the effort, for as he explains, it increases our possibilities of being able to attain the rare state of pride. Taylor defines pride as “the justified love of oneself”, and notes that while many people claim to love themselves, more often than not their “self-love” is not pride but narcissism or an arrogant shield to protect their underlying insecurity and self-hate. To be truly proud, Taylor explains, one must “have the kind of love that is justified by the kind of person you are.” (Richard Taylor, Restoring Pride) That is, you must cultivate an extraordinary skill in a specific domain and thus attain personal excellence of the kind that sets you apart from others. The idea that some people are superior to others offends the modern taste, for as Taylor points out, many have confused equal rights with equal worth. Just because every individual has natural rights and should be treated equally before the law does not mean that every individual possesses the same worth. For the Ancient Greeks this was self-evident. They recognized that while most dedicate their life to fitting in with the herd, a relative few cultivate an uncommon virtue or skill, produce a work of exceptional worth, or proceed upon a path in the pursuit of personal greatness irrespective of the applause or opinions of others. And as Taylor notes, it is these latter individuals – the superior ones – who alone can love themselves in a manner not based on false pretences. Therefore, the next time we find ourselves with leisure and the freedom to direct our own activities, rather than reflexively reaching for the remote, engaging in passive activities on the internet, or socializing about superficial subjects, we should ask ourselves if the comfort and pleasure these activities provide is worth the cost. For even if our passivity does not plant within us the seeds of pessimism and depression, then it most certainly is decreasing our worth as a human being, and minimizing our chances of ever being able to achieve the self-love that accompanies genuine pride. Or as Taylor explains: This is why, in my opinion, there is so much unhappiness among my generation. I think legitimate clinical depression is far more rare than is currently being diagnosed. People have to realize their choices are going to change their lives far more quickly and effectively than downing cocktails of psych pills.
  3. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    Wasn’t intentional. Why did we stop polygamy?
  4. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    I do believe we no longer practice polygamy...
  5. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    Why change it if you won’t follow it? Why even bother with the legislative process?
  6. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    I rephrased my position a few posts ago: If enforcing the law as written is immoral, then it is the law itself that is immoral, not its enforcement. You have to change the law.
  7. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    I’ve always been a big believer in federalism. And yes you are of course right about going one mph over and jay walking and spitting gum out on the sidewalks. I’ll rephrase then: If enforcing the law as written is immoral, then it is the law itself that is immoral, not its enforcement. You have to change the law.
  8. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    True. You should tell ICE that their enforcement of immigration law is outdated and no longer needed then. We could save $5.7 billion a year shutting them down.
  9. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    It’s not a red herring. The law is what the law is, and I’m not concerned with whether or not it’s “nice”. I can’t prevent a woman from exercising her “right to choose” if I don’t find late term abortion “nice”. I don’t think the tax rate I pay is “nice”. I still have to pay it. I don’t think the Westboro Baptist’s are very “nice”. They still get to speak their hate. Your thinking that we can just ignore laws we think aren’t “nice” is beyond absurd. If congress passed a law tomorrow abolishing ICE and opening the borders, you’d probably scream bloody murder if Trump ignored it. Setting a precedent that ignores laws you think aren’t “nice” sets the precedent for whoever is in power to ignore laws they don’t think are “nice”. You wouldn’t want to live like that. You’d think the political left would’ve learned that lesson by now... Your wanting to compare this to Jim Crowe laws is a false equivalency. Jim Crowe blatantly disregarded federal law and Constitutional amendments that had been established 100 years previously.
  10. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    As chief executive, he's required to enforce all of them. Point is, nobody should be getting into the business of deciding which laws are worth obeying, and which are safely ignored.
  11. SteveO

    what is our position on the Caravan

    Would you feel comfortable with say...President Trump deciding which laws were unjust and therefore not needing executive enforcement?
  12. SteveO

    Muslim crime families in Germany

    So if I wanted to actually refer to “Law and Order”, what new phrase needs to be used to avoid the dog whistle? I confess I get behind all the latest codes and various whistles. How about “Command and Sequence”? Kind of has a nice diverse ring to it.
  13. The nullification crises may have provided context, but the part about the war ending in the “death and misery of many souls” is quite remarkable considering that many thought the war would be over in a month when it began in 1861. In fact, many volunteers had to be turned away because so many feared the war would end too quickly and they would lose their chance to fight. The irony for those dismissing the prophecy due to the nullification crises, is that if the war had in fact started in the 1830’s, it wouldn’t have ended in the “death and misery of many souls”. The military technology that separated the 1830’s and 1860’s isn’t comparable. Great Britain sent troops to Canada and threatened war when Lincoln captured Cinfederate Diplomates on international waters. They were headed to Britain to establish diplomatic relations and make their case for Britain to ally itself with the CSA. Nowhere does the prophecy make the claim that Britain would take an active role. As for slaves rising up against their masters...what part of 150,000 blacks being enlisted into the Union army doesn’t fulfill the prophecy? It’s even more remarkable considering that the idea of black troops would’ve been unthinkable in 1832–and it I’m actuallity caused a great deal of contention even in 1863. The notion that blacks fought for the South is false. I defy anyone to show an example where armed blacks served in the Confederate army. They served as hospital corpsman mostly, and essentially did slave work with the promise of freedom once the war ended. It’s not the same thing at all. Petersburg is often called the “dress rehearsal” for the trench warfare that characterized the First World War only 54 years later. Incidentally, that was also a war nobody thought would last longer than a month. The Second World War redrew the world map, and birthed the United Nations. Most populists complain about the phenomenon known as “globalism” that robs the national sovereignty of the US...Nobody in the 1830’s could possibly have foreseen the destruction of the 20th century. Its a pretty good prophecy I think
  14. Here’s what my sister just texted me: “Ok so [my husband and I] were just discussing conference and we both thought it was kinda a buzz kill. Like I’m not really uplifted. I feel awful that so many peoples lives clearly are awful, and they’re just trying to get through life. Conference seemed to be a plea for the beaten down and downtrodden to not give up. I dunno. I feel kinda down because of it”. I kind of thought the same. The theme of conference definitely seemed to be trials and difficulties in our personal lives and bringing them to the Savior. I got the impression that people are just getting worn out. Maybe people want the answer Naaman wanted to hear, instead of just washing in the Jordan River seven times. I think the frustration is just taking the form of a “stiff neck” that the answer is what it’s always been: submitting our will to the Lord’s and bringing our burden to the Savior, and not getting the more sensational answer they were wanting to hear.
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