I recently read a speech by Ayn Rand that discussed who needed philosophy. I personally have held great interest in this subject for quite a while, but I found her comments even more inspiring to closely study philosophy. According to her, the essential questions that we must answer are, "Where am I ?", "How do I know ?", and "What should I do ?". I don't have concrete answers for these questions yet, so obviously I still have a lot of studying ahead of me. The second thing that she advocated was studying philosophy overall. Not only to learn about what suits us best, but also what other arguments are so one can defend our views against them. Currently I am facing one such conflict in philosophy comprising of the ideas of Atlas Shrugged
, one preaching reason and the other, faith.
I read Bhagavad-Gita
near the beginning of summer vacation, and I was unsure about what to take away from it (LINK
). Sometimes I do contemplate the possibility of a higher power although most of the time I denounce any mention of God. Now after reading Atlas Shrugged
, I feel more compelled towards the reason over faith matter. I certainly am not a great fan of Rand because she seems crazy sometimes, but her ideas merely correlate and bolster mine. It is true that throughout history, people have been greatly oppressed with religion as a powerful tool. I also do not understand why pleasure is always forbidden and dirty when it seems only natural that we should pursue and enjoy it. I see that the problem is not necessarily the actual act, for example, sex. Sex by itself hurts no one except for many unwitting parents, but there are plenty of ways out of it. It is merely all the excess things that we attach onto it that bring repercussions. Relationships with the wrong people will end badly and hurt you, only it is amplified through sex. While it is true that sex can be quite an addiction, abstaining from it does not make you crave it any less. Wouldn't life be better if we stopped being guilty about things that gave us pleasure ?
I am having problems swallowing the ideas from religion. For example, this is a key excerpt from the Mahabharata. It is a conversation between a prince, Yudhisthira, and Dharma, disguised as a crane.
"What is the road to heaven?" the crane asked.
"How does a man find happiness?"
"Through right conduct."
"What must he subdue, in order to escape grief?"
"When is a man loved?"
"When he is without vanity."
"Of all the world's wonders, which is the most wonderful?"
"That no man, though he sees others dying all around him, believes that he himself will die."
"How does one reach true religion?"
"Not by argument. Not by scriptures and doctrines; they cannot help. The path to religion is trodden by the saints."
So essentially religion is tell us to shut off our brains. There is a saying that ignorance is bliss, but if that is true, then why don't we all just go into a coma and await our natural death. If we shut off everything, how will we realize what is pleasure or pain ? I do not want to be numb to everything. How can people see that as the ideal ? Wouldn't that just be similar to being dead ? That's hardly a celebration of living.
I have found that Atlas Shrugged
has applications to something remote like Michael Moore's new movie, Sicko
. I think that there is some value in watching the movie, but people who get sucked into its propaganda are retards. America was founded that the idea that it should be every man for himself. How sorely we have betrayed that ideal with all this social crap. I have hated social security for a long time because of its illogical assumption that the population can keep exponentially increasing in order to have more young people putting into the system more than old people are taking out of it. There is a limit to what the Earth can provide even with the miracles of science. It is also ridiculous that people who never put any money into the system should receive money from it, so it isn't even the concept of getting out what you put in since they made mistakes in implementing the system in the beginning. It is reasonable that there should be some help for people who have lost their job and need some time before they can get back on their feet. In fact, my family has been on social security when we first came over here with nothing. For the record, we got along just fine with the amount of money we received from social security and my father working part time while studying at a community college to support a family of four. Those people who whine today about not getting enough money are just fat asses who refuse to stop gorging on food that other people had to pay for. I digress...
Obviously Moore is trying to promote the idea of universal health care to the American public who seems to be the only people in the Western world who doesn't have government funded health care. I agree that there have been problems with pharmaceuticals charging a lot of money for drugs and outrageous costs for health care, but universal health care isn't the solution. For one thing, we pay high costs for medicine because we can afford to, and any good business would gouge you for all you are worth. As shown in Sicko
, drugs are very cheap in Cuba because those people are poor. Would you like to survive on a couple dollars a day so you can get medicine that costs a few cents ? How about in the other Western nations. I'm sure the government put some cap on the price of medicine, but the money has to come from somewhere. Whether you are paying for it directly or indirectly through taxes, that money has to appear somewhere. This is the point where Americans want to believe that money can magically appear. Sure, maybe universal health care would be nice in capping medical costs, but Americans are unrealistic. Taxes have to raise in order for that to happen, and we all know how much Americans hate it when their taxes go up. After all, we have been running up national debt for decades because people demand services that they aren't willing to pay for.
Universal health care won't work because the country and the government system has fundamental flaws that won't allow any good plan to work.
If you think about the flaws that are apparent in the American medical industry, you will see that government is at the heart of the problems. If we hadn't made campaigning for government positions more important and time consuming to politicians, perhaps they would not be so deeply influenced by the pharmaceutical and insurance companies. If you think that handing the government even more influence on your health is a good idea, you deserve to die. Do you really want someone like Bush in charge of your life even more so than he is now ? Many young people who are even vaguely aware of the national situation know that they should not expect any social security when they are older. If that system has failed them, what makes them think that they should expect the government to handle health care any better ? Since we are such a large nation, can you imagine how long queues will be for an operation ? If you notice, all the other countries that have universal health care are rather small or generally don't have great disparity between their people. For example, China is large, but most of their people are bum poor, and their government controls everything so there is nothing to worry about with the people messing with health care. Russia and Brazil are large, but their health care system doesn't seem to be looking so good. Then just think about all the problems that could arise if universal health care was implemented. People would start lawsuits about their medical "need" to get cosmetic surgery or something. Never forget that America is a country of lawsuits first, rationality later.
In regards to Atlas Shrugged
, I was offended when I heard some people mention that their system is that people should pay into it according to their ability while getting out of it what they need. Screw that. Just like I don't like social security and people who just won't die, it is stupid for the government to pay you for living longer and taking up resources when most old people just sit around and do nothing. That's right, just make one good claim to improving society other than possibly correcting the little brats that people are raising these days (but that should be the parents' responsibility) and remembering old untrustworthy accounts of history. Aside from the obstruction of free industry that government controlled health care would bring, I think that it would be unfair that you are responsible for any idiot on the street. Should it be our problem if some idiot got addicted to cigarettes or alcohol ? What about eating unhealthy food ? I know just from writing this that I will probably someday come down with a horrible disease that I probably won't be able to pay medical care for, but I can accept that that is life. People who have all the time in the world do not realize how precious life is, and I rest assured that at least my problem isn't other people's problem as I wouldn't want my healthy life to be burdened by other people's problems.
By the way, people in other countries probably have a longer life span than Americans because they aren't fat bums who gorge on fast food all the time. If people stopped eating excessively and started exercising more, the problems with heart problems would practically disappear.