Before we start I believe we should talk about the distinction between business and poverty inside and outside of this country. I believe there should be no distinction. As Peter Singer argues that "we cannot discriminate against someone merely because he is far away from us (or we are far away from him)..." (579). Businesses have the same obligations internationally that they have here. Likewise when it comes to poverty we should be fighting against it both here and abroad.

Wealth in itself is not intrinsically good or bad. John Hospers states that "[a] million dollars made on the free market means that that a great deal of money has filtered down to a very large number of people in the economy" (235). However, oftentimes top managers of a company make exorbitant salaries and share in most of the profit, leaving little for the workers who make the company the money. In a purely capitalist system there is little regard for the individual worker; there is only regard for that which creates the most wealth. I believe it matters how one accumulates wealth and that ethics is an integral part of our lives and should not be left out of the workplace. Robert C. Solomon explains that "[t]he bottom line of the Aristotelean approach to business ethics is that we have to get away from the 'bottom line' thinking and conceive of business as an essential part of the good life . . . " (262).

Karl Marx argued that our very nature is to work and that in a capitalist system we are alienated from the product of our labor ultimately depriving us of our being and connection to our community. Solomon agrees with Karl Marx and believes that working should be a "worthwhile" activity that provides "meaningful substance" and is a "source of our sense of self-worth..." (263). There is room in a capitalistic society for an individual to be successful and become wealthy, for a company to make a profit, and for both the individual and the company to have a sense of community.

When it comes to poverty there are of course two main opposing camps, those who have an altruistic ideal and those who have more of an individualistic responsibility or a utilitarian ideal of advancement of civilization though some may suffer more than others. Ayn Rand argues that we have only a duty to pursue self interest both rationally and long-term. That altruism devalues the individual self and sets us up to being prey to be sacrificed for moral criteria to the beneficiaries of one's actions. An individual knows his own wants and unwanted charity degrades ones self-respect and self-reliance as well as being invasive.

Garrett Hardin described a possible outcome of providing food for countries not willing or able to save due to population growth as a tragedy of the commons where all will suffer. Andrew Carnegie argued for individualism, private property, the law of accumulation of wealth, and the law of competition. Without such things as the law of accumulation of wealth everyone lives in squalor. He argues that "while the law [of competition] may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department" (588). However, Carnegie also argues that vast inequalities promotes discourse and revolution and must be reconciled. His solution is by giving in a slow but increasing amount the estate upon death to the public.

In the opposing camp Peter Singer believes we have an obligation to give until it becomes detrimental for us (578). Only in spreading the wealth evenly to all people can we be ethical. Amartya Sen argues that starvation and hunger are failures of entitlement, that famine is often not a result of lack of food but lack of entitlement of many peoples access to the food in the country. He argues for the rights of the people not to be hungry.

In my opinion the individual is most important when it comes to both topics of business ethics and poverty. It is the individual who needs virtues and the separation of outside life from work life is both needlessly conducive to unhappiness it separates us from virtuous acts. To leave our virtues at home it promotes a business and workplace without virtues. Perhaps like Carnegie I believe in private property and the laws of accumulation of wealth and competition but I also believe in the ethical accumulation of that property, wealth, and practice of competition. I believe in the right of people to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in that order further I believe in the right of people not to be hungry. Perhaps not at the excess of what Hardin suggests but we have an obligation to provide for the entitlement of as many people as possible to get food. This is of course not to say we force feed people, if people beyond reason do not wish to take charity then that is their right of liberty. If we are to promote the idea that capitalism and commerce is good for the common good because it promotes advancement and uplifts civilization then we must also argue that towards that same goal excessive salaries for top managers and CEOs of corporations should be diverted back to the business to provide for more jobs and growth of the business.

posted by dharh 1:27 PM Aug 3rd, 2007

In looking at racism and sexism we can outline several things in which to think about. First, what does it mean to be a racist or a sexist? Second, what are the reasons or background for being racist or sexist? Third what are possible similarities, differences, and issues between sexism and racism? Further we can look at the current issues of sexism and racism as we deal with them today. Such as minority groups and feminist groups and their practices of exclusion or correction programs like affirmative action. Finally we can ask the questions of why it is so important to rid ourselves of racism and sexism and what possible ways we can do so.

Racism is the view that ones race, particularly your own, makes one superior than another while sexism is the view that ones gender, particularly your own, makes one superior to the other. For example men are seen to be more independent, capable, and powerful than woman. Whites are also seen this way against those of color. The further removed one is from what is considered the normal the more inferior you are.

Jean-Paul Sartre in his description of the anti-Semite asserted that "[if] the Jew did not exist, the anti-Semite would invent him." Further explaining that the anti-Semite chooses to hate because this passion fills him when otherwise we would be empty (338-339). Others such as Marilyn Frye might describe racism less insidiously as she does sexism, "cultural and economic structures which create and enforce elaborate and rigid patterns..." (413). Perhaps it depends on different people and circumstances, it can be one or the other or even a little of both.

In The Erasure of Black Woman Elizabeth V. Spelman argues against the ideas that sexism is more fundamental than racism, that if you get rid of sexism all racism would be gone, and that sexism is much harder to eradicate. My argument would be that sexism is the most pervasive, while perhaps sexism is not the most fundamental, sexism accounts for at least half the population, racism can account for far less. Sexism occurs to those even who would be oppressors, such as the white woman. Spelman argues that you can't equate a black woman's experience of sexism with a white woman's experience, and that the black woman experiences oppression uniquely different from of the black man.

In describing her participation with feminist groups Bell Hooks "found that white woman adopted a condescending attitude towards me and other non-white participants" (363). Shelby Steele argues that minority groups and feminist groups have forgotten the objectives that called for their existence in the first place. In direct opposition of the integration sought in the mid-sixties they sought sovereignty and collective entitlements. Steele describes collective entitlements as "always undemocratic" and inherently exclusive (365 - 369). Both Michael Lind and Shelby Steele had problems with racial preference policies or programs such as affirmative action. Michael Lind described it as a "tokenism embodied in racial preference and multiculturalism" (374). Shelby Steele explained that affirmative action "has very little real impact on the employment and advancement of blacks" (366).

Shelby Steele described the reasons for getting rid of racism and I would assert sexism when she wrote, "[i]ntegration had little to do with merely rubbing shoulders with white people... [i]t was about the right to go absolutely anywhere white people could go... [t]o be anywhere they could be and do anything they could do [is] the point" (367). How can we get rid of sexism or racism? We can't do it by policing people's minds, locking them up for merely thinking sexist or racist thoughts. It is not the role of government to change public opinion. I would even assert that people have a right to think anyway they want. We can however begin to rid sexism and racism through education. Even now the next generation has a harder time understanding their parents racisms. It may not be as quick as many would want it but it can be done slowly by ensuring as Shelby Steele described it as "the inclusion of all citizens into the same sphere of rights, the same range of opportunities and possibilities" (369).

posted by dharh 11:45 AM Aug 3rd, 2007

Manifesto of philosophy and intent.

All people are created equal. No one is worth more than any other. Not through wealth, not through birth, not through stature, not through politic, and not through belief.

No belief likely has it right. Only through science and methodology can one gain knowledge about reality. No book alone can give knowledge, it must be backed by science and logic. Myth and tradition is not in itself intrinsically good or valid as truth no matter how many people believe it or how old it is.

Democracy over unary rule. Moderation over fanaticism. Consensus over solitary leadership. Separation of all Churches and State. Multi-party balance over single party permanent majority. Multi-branch co-equal government over single branch executive. Moderate market policy over free market over government run market.

Caution over care free. Environment over economy. Health over economy. Happiness over economy. Freedom over economy.

Freedom over security. Life over freedom.

posted by dharh 9:47 PM Apr 23rd, 2007

It's been a while since I updated my full list of books so I decided to remove the list and just keep what you see below which is a small subset of that list.

Most Recently Bought - Most Recently Read

Currently Reading
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Most Recently Bought

  • Carlin, George
    • Braindroppings
  • Diamond, Jared
    • Guns, Germs, and Steel
  • Lessig, Lawrence
    • The Future of Ideas
    • Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace
    • Free Culture
  • McWilliams, Peter
    • Life 101
  • Ratti, Oscar (Westbrook, Adele)
    • Secrets of the Samurai
  • Shapero, Rich
    • Wild Animus
  • Stephenson, Neal
    • The System of the World
  • Stover, Matthew
    • Star Wars Episode III: Revent of the Sith
  • Vaidhyanathan, Siva
    • The Anarchist in the Library
  • Watts, Duncan J.
    • Six Degrees

    Most Recently Read

  • David McCullough
  • Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan
    • The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God
  • Adams, Douglas
    • The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
  • Bryson, Bill
    • A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • Jones, Steve
    • Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated
  • Shermer, Michael
    • The Science of Good and Evil
  • Thomas L. Friedman

posted by dharh 11:13 PM Oct 6th, 2006

Life is interesting. I will always be amazed with life no matter how old I get. Life holds so many questions one hardly even figures out all the questions let alone all the answers. The more answers you get the more questions you have. Of course this has never stopped us from trying to get the answers. In fact many peoples lives revolve around getting answers one way or another.

Even worse are the questions of the universe and existence itself. It's hard enough trying to figure out the questions of our life and our planet but add in the question of Life, the Universe, and Everything it starts to get a little too big. Still that doesn't seem to stop people from trying either, even myself.

Being that there are so many questions one may ask why not just forget about it. No one could possibly hope to answer all the questions. Why not blissfully turn the cold shoulder and just live life without asking questions? You might as well try not to breath. Asking questions is part of what makes us sentient. People need to ask questions, if not to figure out the whole picture, then to maybe figure out their little part of the great big vast universe. To better understand their immediate surroundings.

By understanding ourselves and our surroundings, however small they may be compared to all that is out there, we have come to where we are today. We have learned to adapt to our surroundings and even grasp what was before beyond our reach. It does seem pretty much impossible to know everything about life and the universe. But by focusing on single subjects of interest people have throughout the ages made breakthroughs in those areas. From such things as electricity to aerodynamics and computers to cars. None of this would be here if we hadn't asked those questions of why the world works and worked together to answer them.

Questions I want answers to

  1. Why do we have sneakers with lights in them?
  2. Why do we have scented toilet paper?
  3. Why do we have handicapped parking in front of the skate center?
  4. Why do we call it politics when the Latin the word Poli means many, and a tic is a blood sucking creature?
  5. Why do we hate violent video games but violent news is ok?
  6. Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?
  7. Why is man who invests all your money called a broker?
  8. Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
  9. If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
  10. Why do so many people think happiness depends on the pushing around of little green pieces of paper?
  11. Why does my cat purr when he's biting me?

posted by dharh 11:02 PM Oct 6th, 2006

A long time ago I used to write for a multi topic online magazine called Curiosity's Escape. My column was Inside Kane's Head from back in the day I used kane for handle. Time came when the magazine's editor pretty much disappeared so I no longer had a place to write for. Since then I have written various other things sometimes for classes I've taken and sometimes for my website. Now in deep thought has pretty much turned into the place I post my daily thoughts and post my ramblings. This space is generally just another container for organization.

posted by dharh 10:48 PM Oct 6th, 2006


My philosophy is a working draft. No really, that's a major point of my philosophy. Life is a working draft, we hardly believe the same things or act the same way our entire lives. So, I'm continually evolving, growing, adapting to my environment as time goes on. Thus, this page is also working draft and as such has holes that have yet to be filled in and perhaps areas that need refinement or rethinking.

The Whole of Things

Often as individuals and evidently as societies we find ourself limited in our view. We are often thinking about now rather than the past or the future. Another major point in my philosophy is the looking at the Whole of Things, or as someone put it a long time about, looking at the Long Now. Not to be entirely confused with the Church of the Long Now nor exactly the Long Now Foundation.

Particular questions to ask or things to keep in mind when looking at the Whole of Things:

  • Why are things the way they are now?
  • What events made the world what it is?
  • How do those events effect me?
  • How can I effect the events around me?
  • What might change the world in the future?
  • What kind of future am I/are we looking for?

The Pragmatic Warrior

This is blatantly stolen from a friend of mine.

(The Preface)

"I don't believe, but I've got a good idea." - Bethany Sloane in Dogma

There are no intentions here, it is not my place to tell people how to live and what to think, this is just an exploration of my own ideas.

Life is both simple and complicated. To explain each part with enough detail, to get the entire picture while not loosing the specifics can be a hard thing to do. As with evolution of the species, throughout these billions of years, people change over time.

A person's philosophy in life, or lack of it, can grow and change over the years. The things that have happened in a persons life and their reactions to them shape who they are. Though people can remain at the core the same person throughout their life they are not entirely the same now as they were many years ago. People adapt, evolve, and grow into the person they are now and will continue to change over time. All the pain and pleasures, all the experiences of the different aspects of life become part of a whole person.

There are four main facets to my philosophy. Reason, Logic, Emotion, and Compassion. All of these are then focused around a fifth. That focus is concerned with what I call attitudes. The fundamental things which cause us to act certain ways and believe certain things are our attitudes towards the things around us. In taking a look at them we can better understand (and control?) them.

To make it a complete philosophy it has one major thesis that surrounds everything. While life and the universe are very complex they are derived and function from very simple rules and concepts. There are ways to see, understand, and generalize them which can simplify even the most confounding things. This is how we have dealt with a great deal of things, we just don't always apply it further.

(The Chapter)

Our emotions tell us who we really are. Regardless of what ethics or beliefs we think we have, these are the signs that show us our true selves.

Though I haven't fully explored each part yet, my philosophy has five main attitudes. Water, Earth, Fire, Wind, and Void. These five attitudes constitute each good and bad aspects of life, they are the colors of life. It may seem very mystical but these are symbolic ways to represent real emotions and actions. They are metaphorical but they have powerful connotations attached to them to help explain the different aspects to being human.

Air is a flowing force, it ebbs and flows, can change what it comes in contact with over vast amounts of time. The attitude of air is about going with the flow of life, letting things pass or passing away, and soaring in the clouds. The reciprocal however of the attitude of air is indecision, listlessness or floundering, and inattentiveness. Air can be confused with water in that water flows as well.

Earth is a solid force. Earth brings thoughts of being down to earth, being consistent, steadfast, and strong. Sometimes we think of earth as being a load stone, or things in which change happens upon but not to directly. On the other hand the attitude of earth is also about stubbornness, unmoving, unchanging, and staying behind. The interesting thing about earth however is that its greatest connection is with water. Through water and air it slowly, but surely changes.

Fire is a consuming force. It is the passion of life. For both good and bad, it consumes life. The attitude of fire is energy, renewal, and love as well as wasteful, destruction, and hate. It is the quickest to change.

Water is a running force. It pushes and pulls. The attitude of water is refreshing, bringing life, and clarity. However it can be overwhelming or drowning, deceptive, and cold. Like air it brings about change over long periods of time. It shapes great things in the rocks of the earth.

Void is not really a force, but a place. By far the most opposite of fire. It is an attitude of objectiveness, observing, and calm. The reciprocal is shallowness, devoid, uncaring or emotionless, and remote.

Life is not necessarily about being just one of these things at one time. Balance comes with being all or parts of each thing at a time. Love, from fire, is not just passion, lust, or consuming, it can be with earth or void and wind, calmly fulfilling and steady.

Most of the attitudes have to do with emotions. Emotions are a way to tell what we really think deep down, even if on the surface we act differently. Understanding our emotions and thus our attitudes can help us understand who we are.

In many cultures good and evil have been classified as black and white. Observed as yin and yang.

(The Gift, The White Album)

The Myth of Pure Good.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

And the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

Heavy star trek references I know.

(The Curse, The Black Album)

The Myth of Pure Evil.

People will undoubtedly have examples of what they consider pure evil. Often religion has its own examples. I would discard these and shoot the heart of the matter. I don't believe there is a person or being that is pure evil.

(Life, The Grey Album)

Together The Gift and The Curse balance to make the grey. It can take a lifetime to fully realize this.

  • Have self respect. This is not high morality, it is not respect from someone else's perspective or ideals, it is respect from your own.
  • The first basic concept is "The Whole of Things." It is a methodology for all the concepts in my philosophy. To take everything into consideration, perspective, and question. To look at something from every angle and be open for others. It is about the grand scale and open endedness which existence exudes. It is not about getting mired in particular modes of thought.


  • Flowing, Going with the flow, letting things pass or passing away.
  • Indecision, listlessness or floundering, inattentiveness


  • Down to earth, consistent, steadfast, strong.
  • Unmoving, stubborn, unchanging, staying behind, inactive.


  • consuming, energetic, renewing, love.
  • consuming, destroying, hate.


  • Pushes and pulls. Brings life, refreshing, clarity.
  • Overwhelming or drowning, deceptive, cold.


  • Objective, observing, calm.
  • Shallow, uncaring, emotionless, remote.

Life: If the beauty in life is that it is short, then the joy is the experience. Life is both The Gift and The Curse. The Gift and The Curse: Life is a gift and a curse. The Gift: To love. The Curse: To Hate. White, Black, Grey: Yet just so it is both. First comes The White Album and The Black Album but the reality is The Grey Album. Life is black and white and grey and every other color. There's hate and love and much in the middle, just as life can be the worst horror and evil, it can be the greatest beauty and splendor. We must strive to do the good, to overcome the bad, in the face of it's eternal existence, to keep the balance, for the sake of it.

Reality: It is balanced, it moves forward, it loses, it wins. It evolves and ultimately conquers.

Music has a message, from the author, from the listener, the message to and from either and both. The beauty of it, like life, is that it can convey the truth. As a medium of expression, like prose, like speech, like stories, like pictures, it is.

Who do you think I am? Believe in me that believes in you.

Old Draft

In all philosophies there is ( or should be... ) a foundation that supports it, something that holds it up logically. This foundation is what will define and dominate all that results after, all the ideals and concepts in which the philosophy revolves around. This foundation for me revolves around four main points. The first and foremost concept is thought. It is important to think rationally and logically with common sense, to make rational decisions and logical conclusions, only then can one begin to understand anything. The second concept is simple: I exist. Using the first concept, it is easy to surmise that if I didn't exist I couldn't think, since I can, I exist. The third concept also simple: Existence exists. On the same lines as the first concept helps derive the second concept, the second concept helps derive the third concept. Existence must exist ( be possible ) for me to exist. Finally the fourth concept pertains to second and third concepts: Existence can exist independent of me. If I were to cease to exist, existence could continue existing.

To better explain these four concepts it is perhaps best to apply them and see how they expand to the other areas of my philosophy and they interrelate.

Obviously the first concept relates to everything. How do I come up with an ideal or concept? I think. How do I make decisions or conclusions? I think. The process of thinking and how I do it helps me make thoughts and actions which make sense. How I think, is with logic and reason, but also the most important is with common sense. Even though common sense can be thought of in many ways, it is truly meant to be a guiding hand for logic and reason. One can reach a conclusion with logic and reasoning, seemingly flawlessly, but the conclusion makes no sense. Common sense tells us we need to double check ourselves, to perhaps expand our information, to not to give into the arrogance that we are perfect in our logic and reason.

The statement "I think therefore I am." is a concept most philosophers will run into at one point or another in their studies.

My first question when I heard that was, why do I exist because I think? The problem with the phrase is that it does not greatly explain that actual concept behind the idea. In reality one can exist without the ability to think. It is our consciousness, our ability to think, that lets us recognize our existence. You can exist and not think, or so many inanimate objects tell me (kidding). Evidence to explain my existence is truly subjective in the utmost extreme, if not for the human mind one would not need to in fact prove it. Having not seen me, smelled me, touched me, heard me, or tasted me (if you are cannibalistically inclined), can you truly say that I exist? In defending myself I come upon the solution, to do so I must first exist. This is where the heart of the matter lays. The rock that has no cognition does not need to prove it exist because it cannot doubt its own existence. In doubting my existence and asking myself if I do indeed exist I have automatically answered my question. The term earlier mentioned, "I think therefore I am." does in fact simply prove existence.

To think, you must first exist. Thus, while existing does not prove you think, thinking proves that you do exist.

This cognition gives me the ability to better grasp my environment then perhaps I could without it. Proving that in order to think I must exist I can go one step up that ladder and say that in order to exist, the possibility of existence must exist. Existence by definition means that which exists, but taking it a step further it implies the possibility of existence. Not, however, the definite must that something does in fact exist, as is the same nature between existing and thinking. The Universe and Reality are both means of existence, environments in which to exist in, though they are in fact separate terms of the same thing. This then brings up the fourth and final concept of the inner square, that which separates me, to an extent, from existence. While perhaps I can influence the Universe in some way, I only validate that the Universe exists and in turn the Universe validates that I can exist, but I am not responsible for the Universe or Reality existing. When I die existence will go on, and so will it go on if someone else dies. The evidence of this has been observed throughout the ages as many generations of people have lived and died without, seemingly, the Universe even taking notice.

There it is, the inner square of my philosophy. By no means all that my philosophy covers, but it is to me the most important, defining my existence. And thus having defined my existence I can move on to the outer square. In the same fashion as the inner square the outer square has four main points. Truly the real meat behind my philosophy, I have come by these concepts through my observations of life and the many books I have read. In no particular real definite order these concepts, however, are more or less stand alone concepts to define my understanding and view of existence (reality), the environment in which I live. The first concept, something I picked up mostly from my studies of Objectivism is that I should try to be objective in my observations. The second concept, by in large also from my studies of Objectivism is to use rational and logical thought. The third concept, is the ideal of taking into account the Whole of things, not just its parts. This brings up the fourth concept, applying the third concept to the first and second, of also understanding the subjective nature about life, so that I can understand and use things like my emotions, not block them out. Being mostly separate concepts, it would be better to explain the background of each, how I came to the idea of them, and why I think they are important to live by. However, I am concluding at this point, I think I have revealed enough that will give at least an understanding of how important I think Philosophy is and how I have employed some of my philosophical ideas. The other things, such as what might come after the foundation is really not important. You can see the results, if you are so inclined, by my actions and other things I write. There is nothing else to it, all I have to do keep an open but solid mind.

posted by dharh 4:53 PM Oct 4th, 2006

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