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"Justice works to sustain all the men who think and who support human existence, while chastening and counteracting their antipodes... It is allegiance to those who have sworn allegiance to life."
-Leonard Peikoff, "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand", p. 278|
Addendum: I do like to hack, and I am a computer science graduate student... however, I often enjoy having conversations on HN that are more about philosophy.
Typically, such discussions can only barely scratch the surface. For example, I may say that I believe X; when pressed, explain that X depends on Y; when pressed further, explain how Y depends on Z. Ultimately, for my claim to be valid, it must be possible to reduce it (in such a manner) all the way back to sense perception of reality.
If you are curious about how (or if) a particular claim can be reduced fully in this manner, or whether an entire philosophical system can be induced from reality (the reverse process of the reductions described above, and how those claims are developed in the first place), a good starting point is the book I've quoted above.