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  1. 2 points
    Eiuol (Lev) and I (William) have created a new show on Youtube called Welcome To Reality! It is devoted to respectful debate and discussion. We will cover various topics that interest us and try to apply our understanding of Objectivism to moral and political action. The first episode is on the use and morality of recreational drugs, such as alcohol and psychedelics. We hope you'll check out the program and subscribe to our channel. Thanks! https://youtu.be/aDWd-b2xEB0
  2. 2 points
    http://aynrandlexicon.com/about-ayn-rand/faq.html
  3. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Senescence

    I disagree. A human DNA molecule is a human DNA molecule by virtue of how it is structured atom by atom not where it came from.
  4. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    No argument required here in our discussion. Pretend it's a very bad argument that's easy to shoot down. Pretend you're sitting in your office, in charge of deporting socialists. Your chief investigator comes to you and says "look at this, Eiuol is arguing for socialism, and it requires violating rights! He created the Capitalist UBI party and is going to run for president. He said so ". Where I'm going with this is that your standards aren't any good here. We don't even need fringe cases to immediately show problems with activism as a dangerous threshold. If I were to use "authoritarian activism" as a standard, you would be deported already, even though I think you're honestly mistaken.
  5. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Senescence

    The concept "man" includes a great many variations, both in virtue of genetic nature (some disabled, others "gifted") and by nurture (natural variations in physical, intellectual, and emotional growth of humans ... "self made soul"...). That a man has a heart rebuilt with stem cells, or a mechanical one, or a pig heart transplant, makes him no less a man. Specific men have specific differing natural limits... which can and will be changed with treatment and manmade advances in health and biological intervention, but each will still be a man. Be sure, I am not advocating that a machine masquerading as a person is a person just because it can imitate that person... The extension of the limits on MAN, likely require changing his defunct cells with newly generated ones on a continual basis, etc. to grow generations of organs and cells and systems over and over, in an analogous way that new generations of people are newly made all the time, except it would take place within that person's own body, involve that persons own cells/DNA etc. and not entail or require replacement of the whole at the same time... but bits and pieces throughout over time. The body already regenerates all of its cells every 7 years ... the problem is when this process creates unviable ones... telomeres (part of DNA) plays a role... so the system is there already... it just needs some support .. an internal wheel chair of sorts.
  6. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Senescence

    Harrison is on the right track I think. But I think some things should be added to the discussion. Not every case is age-related, to be sure, but it's a form of damage no matter what, and age will always be a factor at least. You can never remove age as a factor, and it is well-known and documented and studied how no matter who you are, you will experience cognitive decline especially with memory. On some level, it's the brain breaking down overtime. So you might say the purely biological human brain as it is has a hard limit before neurons in the connections between them start to deteriorate (and who knows, maybe that limit can be extended very far). But if you can replace the parts that break down, then the hard limit doesn't matter anymore. Neural prosthetics are a thing these days. Those also might have hard limits, but then you replace them again. To me, curing aging is more about finding the ways of going past biological limits caused by natural decay and disintegration.
  7. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Classical music

    It has themes which although can be interpreted as religious in nature are wide enough to encompass the general experience of being human ... at first viewing I was not even sure I liked it... now I cherish it.
  8. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    I don't see the difference. Some people argue that UBI is socialistic, so if I actively promote UBI, then I'm necessarily promoting socialism, even if I say that isn't my goal. You already said you don't care what the person believes in their heart, only if they are being activist. What's the line across to become a socialist activist, from a mistaken capitalist? I don't think there is any line for determining when it becomes a threat or not. There is no method to do so, unless you start calculating the probabilities of a given person from becoming a socialist revolutionary. If you start to think In probabilities, that is pre-crime in the PKD sense: things reach a violence probability threshold determined by computers or conscious robots. The reason I propose more stringent standards for citizenship is to maintain your legitimate concern (true socialists, not neoliberals), such that no one who intends to implement socialism would really manage to become a citizen and therefore attain political power. It wouldn't be criminal to be a socialist activist, and you don't need to give ideological screening tests. Citizenship can be a screening test.
  9. 1 point
    whYNOT

    Immigration restrictions

    The importance of "UN"-open immigration lies in the screening/vetting/checking, of what can be known about what an individual has DONE. Not what and how he ~supposedly~ thinks. A mind is the unknown, anyway prone to subterfuge and fakery by some. And anyhow, eliciting one's ideas, ethics and character is not what the govt. officials ought to be involved in. A socialist college professor? Approved. (Do your damndest, we already have plenty of your type). Someone who has a record of inciting and/or committing violence? Rejected. The concept of social/ideological engineering is anathema to a free nation. No one knows how individuals are going to turn out, often not they themselves. I've enough basic confidence in most human beings, the diversity of individuals, and in the USA's "melting pot" of ideas, cultures, (etc.) (While not quite trusting enough to sanction illegal migrants as some O'ists do).
  10. 1 point
    nakulanb

    A New Work

    "Waltz"
  11. 1 point
    So like, not only is this wrong, but wrong according to just about every moral theory I know of, except maybe Hobbesian absolutism (where the dictator or sovereign establishes right or wrong by its will.) Wrong according to utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, liberalism, Randianism, Marxism, nationalism, whatever. And that's because most theories require that you actually have to have done something wrong, or met some probable cause standard of doing something wrong before the police can accost you. Almost every moral theory thinks that pre-crime is wrong. Moreover, if you can restrict someone for what "some dude might" do, it can't be denied that some babies being born might go on to commit crimes. All childbirthing must be restricted on those grounds. Or someone might be moving from the Bronx to Brooklyn, and this dude might have a bomb that no one can see. All movement from the Bronx to Brooklyn might be restricted on those grounds. Etc. Why is it that these arguments are so bad? It seems like every time some argument is made, and shot down, another one pops up. First it was the old "clubhouse" argument, or the US as some collectively owned entity, then it's pre-crime, next it's going to be "because foreigners don't have the same rights," or something else. We've already seen the "culture argument," the "they're going to vote wrong" argument, the welfare argument. Why do the goalposts keep shifting? Once these arguments are shown to fail, if you keep believing in them, you're being dogmatic. The Simpsons character Nelson punches Ralph. "Why are you hitting me?!" exclaims Ralph. "You're breathing my air!" answers Nelson. This "you're breathing my air" is really what the argument boils down to, and why the every shifting goalposts never seem to land on a coherent argument that doesn't beg the question. There is widespread anti-immigrant bias. Whether that bias is racism, xenophobia, or just dislike of different people, some people just have a priori decided they don't like immigrants, and they have bad arguments.
  12. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    Is it though? Is it really avoidable? I think the point is that implementing such a policy is the very first step to get a bad government and you can't turn back after that. Immediately all the bad people will take advantage of it, even if it's only one or two people in the entire country. I don't think anyone really thought that Pinochet would kidnap socialists and murder them. You give an inch and someone takes a mile. Sure, as I said, the government operates on promises, but what kind of ideological "vaccination" will there be for the people in government? In my eyes, ideological screening weakens the ideological immune system, which inevitably invites much worse by implicitly giving support to the belief that ideas can be force. It's a promise waiting to be broken.
  13. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Senescence

    Well said.
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Senescence

    That sounds like a general "argument" against any treatment or cure for senescence. The human heart probably has a time limit, after which deterioration is inevitable OR the human heart is always and unavoidably deteriorating. Human lungs probably have a time limit, after which deterioration is inevitable OR the human lungs are always and unavoidably deteriorating. The human liver probably has a time limit, after which deterioration is inevitable OR the human liver is always and unavoidably deteriorating. ... etc etc for all organs and natural systems of a human being. Any treatment regime for senescence, as such, by definition is global treatment of a human and implicitly includes any and all specific treatments aimed at reducing or eliminating deterioration of all specific organs and natural systems in a human being... including the brain... so that all the various organs and systems function as they should... i.e. so that the mind (what the brain does) does not deteriorate over time.
  16. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Senescence

    HD - You need to own and read the Golden Age trilogy by John C. Wright. DO IT. You WILL thank me later for suggesting it to you. DO not read any reviews or spoilers just buy it... (if you have to ... just buy the first book, used, paperback... less than 10 bucks now) The Golden Age The Pheonix Exultant The Golden Transcendence and please let me know what you think and feel after reading them.
  17. 1 point
    Harrison Danneskjold

    Senescence

    In which case I'd take a handful of ecstasy, organize an orgy on the White House Lawn and die a death that'd "fit with" who I was in life. What argument are you trying to make? That, I don't know. I don't know if I'd remember typing out this post (or even what this forum was) 1000 years from now. Since a large part of what we call "forgetfulness" are mechanisms in the brain that destroy unused information to make room for more useful stuff, I could not (honestly) tell you how much I would have in common with the "me" from 10,000 years in the future. But there are a few things. Just as each of us have a few things that have remained constant since our earliest memories (in spite of such waste-removal-systems) I can be pretty sure that I would have SOME things in common with myself-10,000-years-from-now. I can promise that this future me wouldn't have any problem explaining its disagreements to people, but would absolutely loathe the possibility of forcing any such agreement onto someone (or, at least, the pretense of an agreement, since it'd know that the real thing can't be gotten that way). I could tell you what kind of music it'd probably like, too. As for the rest (the bits I couldn't currently account for) - can any of us actually say what we'll be like in our old age? Or how much of this we'll remember? At least I know I'll be one of those old men that gets a cane just to beat little whippersnappers with. It's part of my personal character.
  18. 1 point
    2046

    Immigration restrictions

    Service guarantees citizenship, kiddos:
  19. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    My impression is that this alternative gives ground for a surveillance state. You would be creating a specific infrastructure where all people at all times must provide and declare all the relevant information to the government. I could imagine a scenario where immigrants are afraid that their very clear immigrant status would give grounds for future governments to remove their existing citizenship or otherwise add extra surveillance that no one knows about. Even citizens would be concerned, because all levels of government would in practice have all kinds of data on every single person. "This government shall henceforth protect the rights of all individuals within the borders of the United States of America." Easy. Worried that sounds like a promise? That's basically everything the government does - make promises. Dictator Eiuol: I'm going to deport all first-generation immigrants. Citizen: I'm a first generation immigrant and I am a citizen, you can't do anything! DE: I don't care. I'm going to send my paramilitary force to your house and kidnap you. You won't know when. Then I'm going to throw you out of a helicopter. Citizen: That's a illegal! DE: I am the government!
  20. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    Assuming that you read carefully what I said that citizenship could grant someone, all we have to do is imagine legal scenarios that aren't individual rights. Weapons regulations, limited voting rights, procedures in a court of law, jobs you can hold within government, etc. This would be a legal status. Maybe you thought I meant status as a legal immigrant or an illegal immigrant? That's not what I was talking about, I actually don't even think legal versus illegal immigrant is a useful legal distinction. I'm not saying anything deeper than "earning the right to participate in government should not come easy, but having your rights protected in a rights protecting society shouldn't be a struggle." Maybe you could think of it as essentially all immigrants are legal immigrants, although I would have all kinds of rules about legal privileges beyond rights protection.
  21. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Senescence

    You know this HD. Even if age did NOT kill (NO cap) and there were only a continuous tiny chance of death through accident/negligence/murder the alternative between life and death still exists and the necessity and possibility of values, the choice to live, morality etc etc etc are all still applicable. Only when something has NO life/death alternative facing it, no possibility of loss of life (imagine Rands INDESTRUCTIBLE robot) would there be no objective values etc. and egoism would be inapplicable.
  22. 1 point
    Then we should make it easy to immigrate and become a citizen but very hard to gain enfranchisement.
  23. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    I guess to expand on this more concretely, citizenship could include things like voting rights, positive obligations in exchange for that (voluntary taxation perhaps), simplification of attaining official documents, being permitted to run for office, but really anything up to your creativity. Sure, all people would have their rights protected, but its not hard to think of privileges granted by citizenship that don't have to do with rights per se. So if citizenship is hard, that would mean earning it (through a test for example) should require a thoughtful engagement with that country's government. I would think actually that more expansive definitions and requirements of citizenship would reduce the concern for immigration restrictions. I don't even think politics on the fringe like Nazis and could reach a threatening level unless it's granted specific political privileges. If you deny a Nazi from becoming a citizen, but still permitting their freedom of speech, you would prevent them from reaching any kind of political power anyway.
  24. 1 point
    We need to distinguish letting people enter the country and letting them be citizens.
  25. 1 point
    Yeah, that's what I meant by "testing." I would classify his objections as pretty standard, nothing too challenging or fresh. It's like Shapiro pulled ancient objections from around the Internet and regurgitated them. The real, serious disagreement is over the standard of value and what Rand means by "life." They need to debate abortion at a deep level to make any real difference.
  26. 1 point
    Eiuol

    The realms of the Observed VS Unobserved

    You fool! Our very limited and frail minds will never comprehend the reasons god has for anything. God transcends boredom.
  27. 1 point
    At the same time? Or at different times?
  28. 1 point
    Unexpected and Gruesome Battle of 1250 BC Involved 4,000 Men from Across Northern Europe As it is, no one knows who these people were who fought on the banks of the Tollense River in northern Germany near the Baltic Sea because there are no written records from the time. But analysis of the remains of the 130 men, most between ages 20 and 30, found so far shows some may have been from hundreds of kilometers away—Poland, Holland, Scandinavia and Southern Europe. What is fascinating to me, is an amateur archeologist stumbles across a find. As he, soon joined by others, continues to examine the surrounding area, it turns out to be an historic unrecorded battle. Add to that input from various fields of specialization, and we are able to determine the approximate era, ages, geographic locations . . . all of this well after the fact.
  29. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    In the news

    Found this at the Conservative HQ comparing the shift in some businesses to various business practices touched upon in Atlas Shrugged. Another Depressing Chapter Of Atlas Shrugged Comes Alive
  30. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    Objectivist Book Club

    Until your post, the last one was in 2006. It is a pinned topic, and depending on where it goes, sub-topics could be added with the warning that spoilers are likely to be encountered. Aside from personally re-reading Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and The Romantic Manifesto this year, there was Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead And Win and Creating Christ: How Roman Emperors Created Christianity.
  31. 1 point
    Hi William. I have a shelf of books on physics and philosophy of time in my personal library, but so far, the time has not been right for taking a deep plunge into their contents. Three seem most closely related to your interests in this post: McTaggart’s Paradox (2016) by R. D. Ingthorsson, a philosopher. NOW – The Physics of Time (2016) by R. A. Muller, a physicist. (clip) The Order of Time (2018) by Carlo Rovelli, a physicist. Rovelli thinks twentieth-century physics show that an objective global present does not exist. Presentism, the view that there is an objective global present, is false. He thinks that simply from special relativity, in which he rightly takes reference frames, relative velocities between them, clocks, and light beams to be objective things in terms of which SR is cast and tested. He moves from objective frame-relativity of simultaneity of distant events with local events to lack of any such thing as an objective global present without explanation for that move. Perhaps that move can be made smooth, perhaps not. His conclusion is that presentism is false and “the world should not be thought of as a succession of presents. / What alternatives do we have?” [Unger and Smolin pose an additional alternative “inclusive time” in their book The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time (2015), which seems unnecessarily extravagant to me, at least in all they try to hitch up to it.] “Philosophers call ‘eternalism’ the idea that flow and change are illusory: present, past, and future are all equally real and equally existent. Eternalism is the idea that the whole of spacetime, as outlined in the above [SR] diagrams, exists all together without anything changing. Nothing really flows.* –p. 108 ((* “In the terminology of a celebrated article by John McTaggart (1908), this is equivalent to denying the reality of the A-series (the organization of time into ‘past-present-future’) The meaning of temporal determinations would then be reduced to only the B-series (the organization of time into ‘before-it, after-it’). For McTaggart, this implies denying the reality of time. To my mind, McTaggart is too inflexible: the fact that my car works differently from how I’d imagined it and how I’d originally defined it in my head does not mean that my car is not real”.)) –pp. 221–22 “The distinction between past, present, and future is not an illusion. It is the temporal structure of the world. But the temporal structure of the world is not that of presentism. The temporal relations between events are more complex than we previously thought, but they do not cease to exist on account of this. The relations of filiations do not establish a global order [linear sequence of presents self-same across all material frames, i.e., for all bits of non-zero rest mass]), but this does not make them illusory. If we are not all in single file, it does not follow that there are no relations between us. Change, what happens—this is not an illusion. What we have discovered is that it does not follow a global order.” –p. 110 So Rovelli has it that even though A-series is shown false, as objective structure, by SR, the relation past-present-future remains objective temporal structure, just not the A-series one presumed before SR. William, I don't know how many physicists follow along Rovelli's lines in this area of philosophical wider view taking in SR spacetime and kinematics. However, I doubt that any of them who have thought about it so much as the authors I've mentioned in this post have needed or relied on any particular schools of philosophy in their quest for wider understanding.
  32. 1 point
    RomanticRealism

    Showcase your art!

    Thanks Nick, I'm happy you like it.
  33. 1 point
    Reidy

    18th & 19th Century Fiction

    Rand's recommendation of Hugo paid off handsomely. I struck out on Dostoyevsky and Conrad. The Secret Agent has some amusingly contemporary allusions, but otherwise both authors escaped me.
  34. 1 point
    Well consciousness is identification. And a metaphysical contradiction could not be referred to in any sane way.
  35. 1 point
    Give Harrison his emojis!
  36. 1 point
    SABATON - Winged Hussars (Official Lyric Video)
  37. 1 point
    Rand thought the human animal to have no automatic, instinctual knowledge of what was good or evil for him. She held that man had a nature of rationality, and that this rationality is held as a value in the individual man only by choice (1957, 1013). Part of his rational nature would be the deliverances of the senses automatically giving information in general and pleasure/pain valence in particular. Those primitive elements for rationality, in Rand’s understanding, are not susceptible to human choice however much humans may try to rub out their validity and replace them with feelings (1037). She maintained, as mentioned earlier, that humans have a life-or-death need of self-esteem (also at 1057), that in truth this self-esteem is (and is at some level generally known to be) “reliance on one’s power to think,” that self-esteem is rightly attached to being morally right, and that a false morality—one valorizing not thinking, not thinking for oneself—can render one’s self-esteem incoherent, a mess (1030–31). Calling the name John Galt in that novel can be calling one’s own “betrayed self-esteem” (1060). In the 1961 essay “The Objectivist Ethics,” Rand wrote: “By what means does [man] first become aware of the issue of ‘good or evil’ in its simplest form? By means of the physical sensations of pleasure or pain. Just as sensations are the first step of the development of a human consciousness in the realm of cognition, so they are its first step in the realm of evaluation. “The capacity to experience pleasure or pain is innate in a man’s body; it is part of his nature, part of the kind of the kind of entity he is.” She described animals below man having automatic ways of living action enlisting only sensation or sensation together with the automatic integration of sensations into percepts, giving perceptual consciousness of entities in the world, though no freedom over the animal’s governing consciousness or over its range. She regarded man as having that much automatic correct, reality-given inputs to cognition and to evaluation. So his higher-order, volitional cognitive and evaluative powers do not take off from a blank or get no feedback from those lower-level processes. There are two levels to one’s “moral ideal, the image of Man.” There is what Rand would put into it for all men (not brain-damaged and so forth), and this is what she puts into the moral ideals of ethical theory. That is, that much she writes (explicitly) into basic values and virtues of her ethical theory. She personifies them in her fictional character John Galt. That much of John Galt is to be an ideal for everyone. But his love of particular areas of physics or of a particular woman are parts of him that are the realization of the general ethical ideal, but can vary from person to person still holding the same general ideal “image of Man.” Sorry so much of this is old hat, but I needed to recount it to reach the point that whether one is crafting a general frame in the “moral ideal, the image of Man” or whether one is persuaded that Rand’s general specification is right and one is only figuring out what to do with one’s own particular likes, aversions, and abilities in bringing about the ideal in one’s own case, one doesn’t need to ignore one’s feelings nor accept them without critically examining them as they are used as inputs for one’s craft of “values of character that make [one’s] life worth sustaining.” Before I read Rand’s 1943 and 1957, I was a devout altruist. The way in which she changed me was by subjecting different systems to rational criticism and by appeal to other values (feelings, a key manifestation of them) that we both already shared. And those two factors could also persuade one to some new virtues of character, significantly modifying the old ones. “The image of Man” is image of fundamental nature of man but also a norm in Rand’s presentation (for man must be Man by choice). It’s somewhat like “image of God” in man taking after God by possessing reason, although God can’t be a full normative model for man because of radical differences of nature between the two. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ET, an elderly woman dear to me would say to me, Why is God still keeping me here? I can’t do anything or be of any use to anyone anymore. I think I told her of how good it was for her younger loved ones to be able to enjoy her company. She was still able to talk, as she and I were doing on the phone, and we could stir up each other’s recollections of people and experiences we had shared decades ago. I am 70. I’m still doing my same creating most important to me. I still have an important work or two in progress. Even if their completion would complete my reach (really, no grasp could match my reach), I think I could still find continued, closing life meaningful. With enough health and memory, I hope to just keep looking back to my accomplishments, including loves attained, here where is the place and future of any value and meaning.
  38. 1 point
    DavidOdden

    Life as a pattern

    The relationship between brain or DNA and “pattern” is not “is a”. A brain is an organ composed primarily of neurons and secondarily of glial cells, and it has the potential to do certain things, at least when attached to a living being. DNA is a molecule with a particular structure, just as sucrose is a molecule with a particular structure. DNA likewise has the potential to do certain things, and that potential is less tied to the organism being alive. In comparing your definitions to Rand’s, I notice that Rand’s are very focused and minimalist: they concisely say what the essential characteristics of “life” are. Your definitions say much more, which is a disadvantage. The purpose of a definition is to reduce the difference between two sets of referents to be distinguished, and befitting its cognitive function, it should be a minimal statement of what makes life distinct from anything else. A definition is not a catalogue of all or most knowledge about an existent. You expand Rand’s definition of life to include having “the ultimate purpose of flourishment”. Why should this be part of the definition? What, indeed, is flourishment? What necessitates this complication of the definition of life? We can still reach conclusions about rational goals and flurishing even if we don’t complicate the definition of life – see various works of Tara Smith on the topic, who adheres to the classical definition of life.
  39. 1 point
    DonAthos

    Immigration restrictions

    Yes, and it was magnificent. Indeed. I don't know how else to square your responses in this thread. Do I really need to recap them? (Technically you should be able to read them over again for yourself, but I don't know that I can trust you to do that honestly, either.) You argued that people should not be allowed to advocate for socialism; I questioned whether that was consistent with Objectivism (or at least with Rand's views), and I provided quotes to demonstrate that Rand supported free speech, specifically including that for communists/socialists. In direct response, you claimed consistency with Rand and that you were not arguing against free speech. The implicit dishonesty involved in such a thing is just staggering. I don't know whether "Orwellian" or "Trumpian" would be more damning, but they both apply -- it is doublethink, pure and simple, on par with 1+1=3. A month on, fresh off of a vacation, and I'm still blown away by it. So I'll put it this way: perhaps it goes too far to say that you have zero respect for reason (how could I possibly know such a thing to such a degree?)... but if you do have any respect for it, that respect will drive you to understand your incredible error, and the disregard for reason and reality it conveys, make amends for it, and try to root it out from all future conversation -- because it is the kind of error that renders all such conversation worse than worthless (to say nothing of what it portends for your thinking).
  40. 1 point
    DonAthos

    Immigration restrictions

    I have nowhere advocated "allowing socialists to take over the government." Yes, no one here likes socialism. Neither do I like the idea that someone may be subject to force on the basis of their "belief." Rather, I believe in retaliatory force. But belief (even belief in socialism) is not the initiation of the use of force. Because socialists are human beings with individual rights. As an Objectivist, I believe in liberty, which here means that I only respond with force when force has been initiated by another. A socialist who has not initiated force against me has every right to live his life. I'm not "using the libertarian NAP"; I am referring to foundational Objectivist principles and quoting Ayn Rand to demonstrate that fact. Also, immigration, or crossing a border generally, is not the same thing at all as "citizenship" (whatever that is held to entail). It is not the same as suffrage or being eligible to run for President or participation in governance, generally. It is possible to have different requirements for immigration versus "citizenship" (and in fact, the US does have different requirements currently). This serves to highlight one of my central contentions: that immigration is a red herring. If advocating for socialism today is the initiation of force, then it doesn't matter whether we're discussing Mexico, the United States, or the border between them; if it is the initiation of the use of force, then it ought to be illegal and it ought to be met with retaliatory force, everywhere. Further -- as sincere philosophical thought often requires drawing careful distinctions -- it must be noted that there is yet a difference between "believing in socialism" (or "being a socialist," generally) and advocating for it, in whatever form that advocacy might take. But no, I cannot agree that advocating for socialism in the present-day United States (e.g. via conducting an essay contest on The Communist Manifesto, as a means of spreading those ideas) constitutes the initiation of physical force. Someone currently advocating for socialism must be dealt with by means of reason and persuasion, not violence. I don't know whether it was particularly "easy" for Rand (I suspect not, actually), but I do believe that's more-or-less precisely what she said (again, from "The Nature of Government"): It is, you're right. It's an abstract idea, a principle -- one of those principles that constitutes Objectivism, and fundamentally so, I would argue. This isn't true only in a democracy, it's true in all forms of government (and also beyond; irrationality is a threat, generally, and if people are ruled by irrational philosophy, they are potentially a grave danger -- so should we consider all forms of irrationality, or their advocacy, to be the initiation of the use of force?). This is why we mean to combat other peoples' bad ideas with our good ideas. But part of that is acting in a manner consistent with our good idea that one may never initiate the use of force. The moment we start making exceptions, we have lost a lot more than whatever it is you believe we have gained.
  41. 1 point
    DonAthos

    Immigration restrictions

    You would absolutely stop that migration. Your life depends on it. But this is not primarily an immigration issue. Earlier, when introducing this line of discussion, Nicky, you had drawn some distinction between immigrants and natural-born citizens -- asking whether we should have a "double standard." But we should not. If Nazism at some point (and that point would need to be determined appropriately; I'm probably not the person to assess it, and this probably isn't the forum) constitutes a danger such that they would overthrow some (relatively more rights-respecting) government, then it doesn't matter if their rise comes from immigration or from domestic activities by citizens. Either people do or do not have a right to those activities, inside or outside of the US, immigrant, visitor or born-n-bred Yankee. The crossing of borders is a meaningless detail, except that it probably informs our method of retaliatory force. But that is the central point: we respond to force, with force. Nazism rising to the level you're describing itself constitutes a threat (and you recognize the nature of that threat when you write, "you would be executed within a year"); that's the same threat if that rise of Nazism is domestic, and it should be responded to, with force. So my position with respect to immigration -- and I think it is the only immigration position consistent with the principles of Objectivism (which is to say, with reason and reality) -- is: you may rightly stop people at the border for the same reasons (and only these) that you would rightly detain/fine/imprison, or generally respond with force, domestically. That is, when someone has themselves initiated the use of force (inclusive of threats, which I ought not otherwise need make explicit here, but will do so for clarity's sake).
  42. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    I can see it now. Welcome to California, the Gulag of the US!
  43. 1 point
    2046

    Immigration restrictions

    Polygraphy is widely criticized.[15][16][17] Despite claims of 90% validity by polygraph advocates, the National Research Council has found no evidence of effectiveness.[16][18] The utility among sex offenders is also poor, with insufficient evidence to support accuracy or improved outcomes in this population.[19][20] But let us suppose your test is perfect and infallible. Suppose I go to your house and ask you "Are you going to leave me alone?" You respond that you're not going to answer me and tell me to begone. I then go to your workplace and again pester you "Sir, are you or are you not going to leave me alone?!" Again you dismiss me. I go to your church, your kid's school, your wife while she's shopping. "If you don't answer me, I'll arrest you and deport you! Now are you or are you not going to leave me alone?!" There's something odd about this behavior I'm exibiting. I'm subjecting you to harassment in the name of making sure there's no harassment. You don't owe me an answer, you don't owe me anything, under a negative rights conception. You only owe me not to interfere with my life and property, which you are not, even when you are not answering my repeated questions. If I am to force you to answer me, I am thrusting a positive obligation onto you. This is not compatible with basic negative individual rights. I refuse your test and your request for positive action on my behalf for your ends. What now? If your answer is to subject me to government force, then your demand has some problems. And it is a "demand" not an argument. "I think this is moral and proper" is an assertion, not an argument.
  44. 1 point
    2046

    Immigration restrictions

    The fact that there is a law about X says nothing about why there ought to be a law about X. I'm not trying to be snarky, by the way, but my comments are designed to show you that your arguments are greatly underdeveloped. You haven't really done anything other than state your opinion that those with "anti-American beliefs" (whatever that means) ought to be banned. An argument is something with a major and minor premise connected by necessity to a conclusion. You've given us a raw statement. Suppose I gave the following argument: In my view an objective impoliteness is not an intrinsic impoliteness. So it would have to be identified in whatever context applied to your particular situation. In our current situation, I think we should screen immigrants moving from Brooklyn to Queens for objective impoliteness, to be determined if their are holding rude-beliefs. I abstract away from your notions of "threat" and "distress" and "anti-American" to help you focus on the structure of the above argument. Notice how the premises are not supported at any point by argument? Notice too how the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises? Adding "contextual" and "objective" in front of certain words doesn't help either, it doesn't actually add or modify any content. Moreover it has many additional problems. It endorses prior restraint theory. Now before I can take an action, I have to prove to the government that I don't hold certain beliefs. This breaks the principle that the government has to prove that I acted wrongly before subjecting me to state action. Additionally who is the one to decide what beliefs count as anti-American? You and your gang? How are they to provide this "screening?" A standardized test? Can't the subject just answer "I love America" even if they held anti-American beliefs? What could your test accomplish? Would you then ban groups based on perceived identity? Again, then eugenics and propaganda, or childbirth must be controlled too, on those grounds. It's great that you recognize essentially "I want to ban people that hold beliefs that I don't like" but your viewpoint has a lot to answer for. And adding "they are objective threats" or "they cause me objective distress" doesn't to the reason-giving work you seem to think that it does.
  45. 1 point
    Here's the thing: an objective threat is not an intrinsic threat. So it would have to be identified in whatever context applied to your particular situation. In our current situation, I think we should screen immigrants for at least contagious diseases, criminal history, and anti-American beliefs. Given our conflict with Islamic terrorists, it might also be proper to keep out Muslims from certain nations, or investigate them more closely than non-Muslims. As for Mexicans, I don't see a reason for special scrutiny, except maybe checking for ties with violent drug cartels.
  46. 1 point
    Invictus2017

    Korzybski vs. Rand

    I suppose I should have said Representationalist (I think that's the term, it's been awhile). This differs from Idealism in that, supposedly, the objects of consciousness have some (unknowable) relationship to reality, whereas Idealism supposes that the objects of consciousness are, in essence, illusions or hallucinations, unconnected to reality. In my view, there is no real difference between "there is an unknowable connection to reality" and "there is no connection to reality", so Representationalism is a species of Idealism and I tend to use the latter to refer to both. The notion that the objects of perception are mere constructs of the brain is Representationalist, in that it does not allow one to know how these constructs derive from reality -- any such knowledge would be just one more construct. "Brain" is just a construct, and there is no reason for believing that there is "brain" or anything else. (Which illustrates that Representationalism really is Idealism.)
  47. 1 point
    As I understand Ayn Rand's approach to such questions, she makes a threefold distinction. (I am solely responsible for the wording used in this post.) This refers to the nature and status of abstractions, so it is an epistemological question rather than an ontological one. Intrinsicists hold that abstractions have an existence or status independent of the human mind. (E. g. Platonic forms, Aristotelian essences.) Subjectivists hold that abstractions are arbitrary creations of human consciousness, and can't be evaluated by any criterion having to do with validity or truth, but only by criteria such as convenience. Objectivists hold that abstractions are mental tools. They are created by the human mind for use in dealing with reality. Like any tools, they can be evaluated according to how well they serve their purpose (and how well they are made). Considerations of validity and truth are an essential part of such an evaluation. (Conceivably a person might be a lower-case objectivist in this sense but disagree with Ayn Rand enough in other respects not to be an upper-case Objectivist.) I have stated this in a general way. To make it more precise, we need to distinguish between the realm of epistemology and the realm of ethics. A separate issue that can be referred to using two of the same words is primacy of existence (objectivism) versus primacy of consciousness (subjectivism).
  48. 1 point
    Not Lawliet

    Purpose of Punishment

    It makes sense that when a criminal commits an evil act, like an evasion, alone they would suffer as a direct consequence. But in a society, evil can survive, or even flourish, as second-handedness. By merely ignoring evil and choosing to be neutral, you act as a sanction and allow that form of evil sustain itself on the efforts of society, of other people. So, an act of justice in the form of punishment is ensuring that an evil person faces the consequences of their actions that occur naturally in isolation, and can be sustained indirectly by feeding on society.
  49. 1 point
    That post assumes that winning popularity contests is what makes or breaks a belief system. I disagree. I think Objectivism has a bright future no matter what the idiots following either Liberal or Christian pseudo-journalistic publications believe about it. So Slate or HuffPo can make up all the lies they want. It doesn't matter, because the people who rely on those publications for their information don't matter. And I think we can all agree that what Christian fundies believe doesn't matter.
  50. 0 points
    If you're going to repeat this assertion, perhaps you should provide at least one example. Can you describe a thought-crime in 1984 and show how it's "exactly" like what I'm proposing? If not, you should drop the straw man.
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