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For the love of God, man. Would it be so shocking if you got out, met some people, and realised people are (generally) great?

 

After 36 years on this little mudball my experiences with humanity has been quite the opposite.

"Your Job is not to die for your country, but set a man on fire, and take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

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For the love of God, man. Would it be so shocking if you got out, met some people, and realised people are (generally) great?

 

After 36 years on this little mudball my experiences with humanity has been quite the opposite.

 

I feel sorry for you then.

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Did get all of this correctly?

Doesn't look you got it correctly, no.

Objectivism is subjective since it is bound to the human will of whether to be rational or not?

No. You ought to read the article in its entirety. Objectivism is subjective because the basic tenet of the ethic, if taken as a Categorical Imperative (that is, an objective moral imperative to be followed in all cases due to its perfect reason, regardless of a person's will) has to include a premise that invalidates the statement through an infinite regress (meaning that it doesn't really make sense). The tenet works as a hypothetical imperative (that is, a subjective imperative to be followed given that certain conditional requirements are met, possibly subject to will) but they don't call it Subjectivism, they call it Objectivism, because it's not supposed to be subjective, dig?

 

In a nutshell, Objectivism, it being rationalist to a ridiculous degree, tends to treat everything from economics to politics as being subject to deductive reasoning (in other words, all things can be understood in the same way mathematics can) thus when an Objectivist comes to a conclusion, there's no way that conclusion can't be an irreducible reality. Not coincidentally Objectivists tend to express a fervor that is the envy of dogmatics the world over, making them insufferable douchebags of the first order.

And judging by the reviwer's opinion on "Atlas shrugged"; objectivism is borderline fascism?

That's not a review of Atlas Shrugged, that's just someone's take on Objectivism in general and its tendency towards idolatry of a Superman ideal that doesn't really exist.

 

Here i thought that it was about every human being having the right to his or her own life and to persue their dreams as long as it doesn't conflict with the right to life of others to persue their dreams?

I fixed the summation for you. Objectivism is supreme egoism - It is considered improper and immoral to consider "others" in your choices. The self is of paramount importance and there aren't even the concessions to personal preference that you'd see in subjective egoist ethics. That is, while Hobbes would say that giving to charity is all fine and good if you get something out of it, Rand would say you're giving of your precious self and thus committing an immoral act. Hobbes would say conceding to others can be the right thing to do if it benefits you in the end, or avoids harm on your part, Rand is generally not a fan of submission.

 

Can you see now why Chris Avellone effectively made KOTOR2's villain a Rand surrogate? It's because Objectivism is a big 'ol bouquet of ****.

Edited by Pop
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For the love of God, man. Would it be so shocking if you got out, met some people, and realised people are (generally) great?

 

After 36 years on this little mudball my experiences with humanity has been quite the opposite.

 

I feel sorry for you then.

 

Amen to that.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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After reading all of Pop's links aswell as doing a fair bit of research myself, Im wondering if this thread shouldnt have been called "Was Ayn Rand a psychotic lunatic whose grip on reality and other humans was as a weak as a bridge made from damp biscuits?" The woman was completely, raving mad.

 

 

And her fantasies about how an unregulated market economy works is just pure utopia. She says "under a free system, no one could aquire a monopoly on anything" when its in fact, the other way around- in a free market, monopolies are unavoidable as there are no laws against them. Every company would work towards destroying all competitors and securing a monopoly so they could have complete control over their part of the market, thereby guaranteeing a continuous unthreatened profit. The other way they could go, which we also have laws against, is for the companies to cooperate in groups, cartels, in order to control the market and guarantee profit. The end result is the same.

The real free market, is not about free as in freedom, it is about the abscense of rules and regulations. This will allow individuals and companies to pursue profit by any means possible and necessary, getting rid of competion and doing everything in their power to gain control the market.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Taking devil's advocate, I suppose her statement about monopolies might work if the possession of market share dissociated from increased power. But money is a form of power - potential energy, convertible through commercial agreement into almost anything. As people succeed in the market they get more money, and either they convert that money into activity or it stagnates in a big heap. Really big sums of money can only be used to get more money, because there's only so many decorative lava lamps you can buy. I'm reasoning as I go, but it sems logical to expect a free market to collapse like a star into a monolithic monopolistic corporate dictatorship.

 

Now if you will excuse me I need a cup of cocoa and a calm down.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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The flaws of Ayn Rand are perfectly summed up by Dostoyevsky's parable of the Grand Inquisitor in Brothers Karamazov. I really credit Bioshock with the recent Ayn Rand vogue.

Edited by EUIX

"For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences- either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

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The whole thing is quite fascinating. Back to the glibness! Ayn Rand is the Ed Wood of philosophy! Yackety Schmackety Dooo!
I haven't read the whole PDF (though I intend to, is it part of a series?), but it doesn't look like a particularly solid critique, other than the is/ought problem, which is little more than the kernel of the text. A glaring hole in the system, but one that requires individuals to want other than to survive in order to be a factor. That way she minimizes (even if she doesn't really solve) the thing with the need for an ethical code. This essentially renders the "objective" aspect of her ethics not-quite-so-universal, but to me Rand rather sidestepped the issue, than outright contradicted herself. I may be wrong, but the name of her philosophy isn't important here, as it's more inspired by the epistemological take than the ethical one. *shrug*

 

I did like the "rational choice of irrationality" thing, though. But that's a very complex issue on its own, and I don't appreciate the author forcing his very shallow and poorly explained deductions down my throat like he does.

 

 

This lady read Atlas Shrugged, and he made a Cliff's Notes version so you wouldn't have to do the same! However I'm sure she'll appreciate the novel once a masculine man has violent sex with her in a way she secretly wants but never expresses a preference for, thus being subject to the greatest majesty of the power that the righteous hold. Go Objectivism!
Here we go again. Read up on the comments, and you will see the author herself admit that it's the novel she has a problem with, as opposed to Objectivism itself.

 

 

But money is a form of power - potential energy, convertible through commercial agreement into almost anything. As people succeed in the market they get more money, and either they convert that money into activity or it stagnates in a big heap.
Yeah. And in the ultimately unregulated field that is geostrategy, can you name one single monopoly (of power) that didn't fail eventually? The idea that perpetual monopolies can exist is as loony as the idea that monopolies can't exist at all, if we look at the evidence.

 

 

The flaws of Ayn Rand are perfectly summed up by Dostoyevsky's parable of the Grand Inquisitor in Brothers Karamazov.
I don't understand. doesn't Dostoevsky predate Ayn Rand? Edited by 213374U

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Yeah. Call me obtuse, but how does Karamazov Bros sum up the flaws of a philosophy that hadn't been formulated by the time it was written? Other than arguing that the average human is a weak, unworthy wretch secretly willing to give up his freedom in exchange for comfort?

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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In the parable of the Grand Inquisitor, Jesus descends from heaven into middle age Europe during some of the worse inquisitorial purges. The Grand Inquisitor the most fearsome of them and their leader recognizing Jesus rather then embracing him as his savior immediately locks him up and sets to have him burnt at the stake.

 

The night before he is to be purged the Grand Inquisitor visits Jesus' cell and poses to him the three temptations of the Devil, I can't remember them all, you can easily google up the parable yourself. Essentially one such of the GI's arguments to Jesus is that his conception of the church is flawed because only the greatest and most faithful of men could have possibly endured the torment and suffering of temporal life and still carry the conviction of their being an eternal one afterwards, the vast majority of people cannot amount to the expectations of God. In other words God sends down Jesus only to save those few "elect" and the rest are doomed to damnation, so the Church in the GI's view is there but to dope and rope the masses on their way to eternal damnation, at least if they are to suffer eternally they should be carried to their slaughter unknowingly.

 

Clearly Dostoevsky commentary of the Christian church already contains the outlines of Objectivism which is essentially an elitist philosophy, which by no means is new to history. Sure maybe the top 10% can live in a society where the rights and privileges are accorded by degrees of ability and merit just as the top 10% will entire the gates of paradise, but that is not society and no society will ever be built like that. The majority will always be an average lot, or in Dostoevsky's bleak view a brutal, nasty, suffering lot and any world view of society must account for all its components. You can work on the rest of the critique from here I am sure.

 

In the end there will always be those that get ahead by luck, determination, or talent in any society but if they do that is on an individual basis, the moment you turn try to institutionalize into society or systematize it into a philosophy you lose that individuality and degenerate into elitism. And I say elitism the same way I would say gutter whore.

"For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences- either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

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Yeah. Call me obtuse, but how does Karamazov Bros sum up the flaws of a philosophy that hadn't been formulated by the time it was written?

 

Rand's ideas were not new or unformulated. She just had the... tenacity to drone on about them all in an integrated manner for hundreds of pages.

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Sure maybe the top 10% can live in a society where the rights and privileges are accorded by degrees of ability and merit just as the top 10% will entire the gates of paradise, but that is not society and no society will ever be built like that.
Actually, that's how things are, in all but name. Whether law should be made to reflect, impose or reinforce that is a different matter.

 

Also, for the parallelism to stand, there is a need for a notion, even if it's not stated explicitly, that the "chosen" and the rest are closed sets predetermined somehow, and cannot intermingle. This would effectively define elitism, but it's not a necessary consequence of Rand's thought, outside of the choice to act irrationally. Yep, she did despise that kind of people, though - "be reasonable or die!"

 

 

Rand's ideas were not new or unformulated. She just had the... tenacity to drone on about them all in an integrated manner for hundreds of pages.
Elitism may not be new, but other than that, her ideas hadn't been articulated and grouped together, so Objectivism couldn't be critiqued as a whole. I suppose "formulate" isn't the right word.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I think I've got confused. Could someone sum up Objectivism again, as we're discussing it here? because I fear we may have gone beyond Ayn Rand.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Wals, just Wiki it, it's a distillation of classical liberalism through a 20th century filter.

 

Ayn Rand wasn't a moron. She grew up in Russia during the time of Stalin. Give the lady a break, after all muscular individualism is less of a damaging utopian position to take than that of enforced equality.

 

Cheers

MC

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I happen to have more faith in the powers of explanation right here over Wiki :(

 

So far it sounds a lot like fascist anarchy. Kind of saying everyone will be equal apart from us winnarz who will crap all over you losarz.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Ayn Rand wasn't a moron. She grew up in Russia during the time of Stalin. Give the lady a break, after all muscular individualism is less of a damaging utopian position to take than that of enforced equality.

 

Growing up with one extreme and then seriously think that the other extreme on the far end of the scale is the solution, is pretty moronic in my book. Especially if you call yourself a philosopher.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Ayn Rand wasn't a moron. She grew up in Russia during the time of Stalin. Give the lady a break, after all muscular individualism is less of a damaging utopian position to take than that of enforced equality.

 

Growing up with one extreme and then seriously think that the other extreme on the far end of the scale is the solution, is pretty moronic in my book. Especially if you call yourself a philosopher.

Funny that, believe it or not, the stated ultimate aim of soviet commies was the abolition of the state (when the last peasant had reached the level of a "professional" revolutionary, but still), and yet, that wasn't what Rand wanted...

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Society is not the elite society is the whole, the elite is simply the top run of it. The basic question is what do you do about the remaining 90% of men? Nothing? Dope and rope them to damnation? A philosophy that endorses a minority of all people is doomed to failure and violent revolution, so what about the others? In North America we have socialism, in other places we have repression. And it isn't like you can just pretend they don't exist or are cattle because they are human and they are conscious of class and social differences. What Rand proposes is either that we endorse and gear society wholly around this small minority which then is simply a recipe for class warfare or she has the gigantic misconception that everyone is a Byronic superman, genius and talent simply waiting to burst from the suffocating chains of social welfare and taxation.

 

And beyond the whole concept of categorizing people in this manner as establishment, by class, by position even by merit is a dangerous slope and somehow morally revolting.

Edited by EUIX

"For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences- either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us- and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

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The whole thing is quite fascinating. Back to the glibness! Ayn Rand is the Ed Wood of philosophy! Yackety Schmackety Dooo!
I haven't read the whole PDF (though I intend to, is it part of a series?), but it doesn't look like a particularly solid critique, other than the is/ought problem, which is little more than the kernel of the text. A glaring hole in the system, but one that requires individuals to want other than to survive in order to be a factor. That way she minimizes (even if she doesn't really solve) the thing with the need for an ethical code. This essentially renders the "objective" aspect of her ethics not-quite-so-universal, but to me Rand rather sidestepped the issue, than outright contradicted herself. I may be wrong, but the name of her philosophy isn't important here, as it's more inspired by the epistemological take than the ethical one. *shrug*

It's not a "kernel of the text", it's in the name of the goddamn article. You can attempt to dismiss the importance of the dilemma if you wish to but it's still vitally significant to the validity of the entire Objectivist ethical apparatus. The dilemma is that you can't really sidestep the is / ought problem when you're trying to create an objective ethical system. Rand didn't create an "ethical code", ethical codes can be denied. Rand claimed to have unearthed ethical facts using deductive reasoning. The ethical conclusions that Objectivists render are, by the nature of the system, supposed to be laws in the same way that 2+2=4 is a law. Rand's ethics are supposed to be necessitous and inevitable conclusions of rational thought. They are not. We have the central logical proof of Objectivist ethics before us -

 

A - The adoption of Objectivism is necessary for the survival of any human being.

B - You are a human being.

C -Therefore, you should be an Objectivist.

 

Rand's entire system hinges on this one sequence, and in order for it to be valid as an objective ethic, this has to always be true. And if you take it prima facae it's valid. But taking it prima facae is dishonest. The article points out a (glaringly obvious for anyone with a semblance of logical aptitude, really) missing premise in the proof. This is the actual sequence, free of Objectivist waffling -

 

A - The adoption of Objectivism is necessary for the survival of any human being.

B - You are a human being.

C - one ought to do what is necessary in order to survive.

D - Therefore, you should be an Objectivist.

Let's go through it, shall we?

A - The adoption of Objectivism is necessary for the survival of any human being. - For the sake of argument, we'll agree with this sentence. This premise is always true.

B - You are a human being. - This is also true. There is no instance in which I can not be a human being. This premise is always true.

C - One ought to do what is necessary in order to survive - There are, however, instances in which I may not want to survive. This premise may be true, but it also may not be true.

 

This presents a fatal problem for Objectivism as an ethic because it is, as we've said, supposed to be objectively true. Because premise C can be either true or untrue, the truth of our conclusion (D) cannot, by the rules of logic, follow from our proof. If it is true, it is because of happenstance and not necessity. It's like saying "When the moon appears in the sky it is full". It's a conditional truth, and thus it cannot be the same sort of truth as 2+2, which can never equal 5 or 3, it always equals 4 no matter what time of the month it is, and no matter how hard a mathematician wants otherwise. It seems like you deem the "not-quite-so-universal" (what's wrong with saying "not-so-universal-at-all"?) nature of Objectivism not terribly important, but if this factual uncertainty is acceptable to you then you cannot be an Objectivist, you are something else. The whole system of Objectivist moral judgment rests upon the notion of Objectivism is inescapable truth and the going against Objectivist dictates as abjectly without a doubt always wrong. The is / ought problem shows that it is not inescapable truth, and thus Objectivism can be wrong, and thus it is useless.

Edited by Pop
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It's a conditional truth, and thus it cannot be the same sort of truth as 2+2, which can never equal 5 or 3, it always equals 4 no matter what time of the month it is, and no matter how hard a mathematician wants otherwise.
It's worth pointing out that 2+2=10 or 11, with a simple change of bases. I also hear that some non-euclidean geometries can make a mess of even the simplest of arithmetic operations, too, but I never completed my math degree. There goes your unconditional truth, though.

 

I'll be back with a non-trivial riposte to the points you made... tomorrow, perhaps. It's late over here. And why the hell would you think I'm an Objectivist? Just having fun here...

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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It's a conditional truth, and thus it cannot be the same sort of truth as 2+2, which can never equal 5 or 3, it always equals 4 no matter what time of the month it is, and no matter how hard a mathematician wants otherwise.
It's worth pointing out that 2+2=10 or 11, with a simple change of bases. I also hear that some non-euclidean geometries can make a mess of even the simplest of arithmetic operations, too, but I never completed my math degree. There goes your unconditional truth, though.

 

But that's wrong. 2+2 will always equal 4 under the Peano postulates (which is an interesting system because it uses an infinite set of axioms), no matter what base it is - it's not conditional (put in the term you prefer: Peano arithmetic is sound). The different bases simply use different symbols to represent 2 and 4. As an example, in another culture, this equality might be represented as 8+8=3, but if in that culture 8 is the number that comes after the number that comes after nothing, and 3 represents a doubling of said number, than it's perfectly consistent and unconditional.

 

As to non-Euclidean geometries such as afffine, I haven't delved into them much myself, but I do know that one important characteristic about them all is that they have some axioms different to Euclidean, or removed from Euclidean (typically revolving around the 5th postulate regarding parallel lines). That makes them entirely different mathematical frameworks. Trying to use words like 'unconditional' or 'conditional' to compare an equality across two different axiomatic systems is an exercise in utter futility - it's trying to compare apples to oranges, and simply does not make sense.

 

I recognise that you were largely being facetious with your reference to mathematics (which you signify with you remark about coming up with a non-trivial reply), but I just woke up and needed to do something to clear the cobwebs. :grin:

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But that's wrong. 2+2 will always equal 4 under the Peano postulates (which is an interesting system because it uses an infinite set of axioms), no matter what base it is - it's not conditional (put in the term you prefer: Peano arithmetic is sound). The different bases simply use different symbols to represent 2 and 4.
Yes and no. If you take the content of my post at face value, then it's probably wrong. But read carefully the sentence I quoted - you need to resort to real numbers and/or specify that you are operating with base 10 to have 2+2=4. Unless we define the starting conditions, symbols and operations can work however we wish. Pop did not explicitly say that that was an unconditional truth, but said it's a different sort of truth (heh) as Rand's moral cornerstone which, according to him, and rightly so, is subject to human will. I was just showing how it isn't.

 

The trivial aspect of the response has nothing to do with me being facetious (which I was), but rather, that I hit his argument only tangentially by attacking his example instead of his reasoning.

 

 

Trying to use words like 'unconditional' or 'conditional' to compare an equality across two different axiomatic systems is an exercise in utter futility - it's trying to compare apples to oranges, and simply does not make sense.
It makes perfect sense in the scope of the discussion: it illustrates how under different starting conditions, the same thing can be both right and wrong, or not make sense at all. I find it odd that Pop doesn't want to tackle the epistemological aspect of Rand's work, as it's epistemology that deals with truth itself. Kierkegaard had some interesting things to say about "objective" truth for instance, and, as with many other fundamentals, the debate is far from closed.

 

Off to the court I am.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Numbers (iirc) is a moral relativist. Which is why I've stolen his car.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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