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Monthly Archives: December 2007

What was so bad about Smith’s Hitler remarks? He wasn’t praising Hitler, Smith maintained that Hitler was a vile man. Pretty much everyone agrees with this, it could be said to be a universal truth. When folks think of ‘bad people’, Hitler is up there near the top of the list. The essence of Smith’s remark was that Hitler was not intending to be a vile human being, but rather in his [Hitler’s] own contorted reasoning, he was doing what he thought was right.

I find Smith’s argument to be very reasonable. From what we know historically about Hitler and from even his own writings, it would certainly seem that Hitler’s actions were a result of his own interpretation of what was right. Therein lies the problem.

In contemporary thinking, relativity is very much accepted. We know physical relativity exists in the form of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and this has overflowed into philosophical thinking as well, resulting in the ideas of relativism. Particularly, the notion that if one thinks something is right, then it is right (i.e., there are no absolute truths). This is why ‘toleration’ is such a keyword because we often have differing interpretations and opinions on the exact definition of ‘right’.

However, most people in a given culture roughly have similar concept of ‘right’, usually based around the laws that govern them (don’t kill, don’t steal, etc.). So this notion of relativity seems pretty reasonable and tends to slip by unnoticed. Yet, when we try to apply it universally, inclusive of individuals like Hitler, we run into serious problems.

If because one thinks something is right, then, by relativism, it is right. Then we have, Hitler thought what he did was right, then, by relativism, what he did was right. Clearly, what Hitler did was not right, thus relativism is proved false by contradiction.

This is exactly why everyone flew off the handle at Smith. It wasn’t about Smith saying “Hitler was a good person”, it was that Smith said Hitler “set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’ “.


Récemment, j’ai été regarder les familles des verbes irréguliers. Je trouve qu’il est plutôt intéressant la correspondance entre les verbes anglais et les verbes français. Par exemple, pour la majorité des familles des verbes irréguliers français, il y a un groupe correspondant anglais.

I had just heard the name Pan’s Labyrinth and that it is good, other than that I knew nothing about the film. At first, I thought what I was watching was a Spanish sub, but soon realised the actual film is in Spanish.

In a way, the film seems like a children’s film as the protagonist is a child. Regardless if it is or not, it has much broader appeal than just to children as I found it quite interesting. The overall picture and feel of the scenery is wonderful. Likewise, the plot is unique enough to add surprise throughout leaving the film a bit unpredictable.

There’s been some controversy about the film The Golden Compass, so I decided to watch it myself. The main complaint is that the film is opposed to religion, specifically God. However, I didn’t find this to be the case, at least not directly. It looks like the film has been watered down from the book, and from some of the things the author himself has said, it’s probably true that there are some symbolisms of opposition to religion and God. But in the film, these really came out more as an opposition to ‘Big Brother’ style government and the Catholic church of ages past.

Several aspects of the film reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia such as the speaking animals, multiple worlds, etc. I particularly liked the polar bear fight, as well as the concept of a polar bear kingdom and society in general. The ending was pretty ambiguous, but this is presumably for a coming sequel.

Je commencerai écrire en français et faire un journal du progrès. Actuellement, je lis Le petit prince. Jusqu’ici, j’ai lu les chapitres un et deux. J’ai su la plupart de mots, mais j’en ai aussi appris plusieurs nouveaux.

Quelque chose un peu curieux que j’ai vu est : c’esit. Je pense que c’est c’est comme dit par un enfant, mais je ne sais pas à coup sûr.