The Great Balloon Debate


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Aug 19, 2004
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t' hEmerald hOile
The day had been fun up until the point when Keith, the balloonist, had keeled over. The rising wind, the errant sparrow going through the canopy and the sight of the approaching coast had only been offset by the discovery of the parachute strapped to Keith's back. Only one of you can take it, who deserves it most? You are allowed one post to make your case before Friday. Once I have posted the beginning of Rebuttal you may make one more post to try to puncture others' arguments. Who will be first to stand up in the Balloon?


Oct 15, 2006
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Ah, here we have a problem. Human lives are sacred, and obviously we want to save as many people as possible.

Parachutes are made to take a lot of weight -- we can probably get away with using the parachute to save two small people instead of just one person. I only weigh 55kg -- if we have a child aboard I could take them and protect them.

This is terrible, really. To think, I haven't completed my university course -- that huge economic investment, wasted if I don't survive. In a mere couple of years I could be engaging in vital medical research, working to save lives and do some good in the world! To train somebody from the start, at this point, would waste vital time and money, time and money that could save lives.

Well, here we are, and we are running out of time. Wust decide this quickly.

But first we should throw our dear unfortunate friend Keith over the side, because he is only making us fall faster. RIP, brave balloonist.


practitioner of æsthetics
Sep 14, 2005
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california republic
the situation is bad and with each passing moment becomes worse.

true, all life is sacred but not equally so. though we can believe all men are created equal, the passing of time undoes this delicate and ephemeral balance. be it nature or nurture some men become greater and some men are made less. through pragmatic eyes, the greater man, by definition is of more value to mankind than his lesser counterpart.

by what metrics can we determine the greater man? the demonstration of will; his interaction with that which is sacred ... life.

the greatest of these are what plato described as the philosopher king, friedrich nietzsche described as the ubermensch and even robert jordan described as the ta'veren. each of these though different are similar in this the power to shape and thus progress the self, the state and the species. whereas a lesser man, or a million lesser men are shaped and progressed.

by what metrics can we determine the lesser man? the demonstration of fear; his reaction to life.

to quote frank herbert, "fear is the mind-killer," and every other sort of killer at that. the overwhelming majority of people are ruled in absolute by fear unable to comprehend the world outside the prison of their mundane existence, uncomfortable with even the thought of becoming something more.

here i distinguish myself from the overwhelming majority. i am free of fear, endowed with confidence. a visionary comfortable among the abstract dimension of ideas as i am the mundane. i act, not react. i accomplish, not wish. my great work from beginning to end is emancipation of will and the advancement of mankind. my goals for the next half century are as clear to me as my goals for tomorrow. i am the shaper of destinies.

the game of chess demonstrates this life lesson, as all pieces are valued but not equally so. each piece exist to preserve the king. one does not sacrifice a king to save a pawn.

if it were not so then let us decide this with the flip of a coin.