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  1. 6 points
    One of the greatest regrets of my early life is cutting off ties with a girl I loved, and several of our common friends, because I couldn't have her. Yes, staying friends would've been painful...and, back then, I thought pain was a hindrance to any kind of accomplishment or success, and therefor to be avoided at all cost...but, as I found out later: pain is a part of life. A necessary, and therefor GOOD part of life. It would've TAUGHT me a lot, about both myself and the nature of the human experience in general. So just take the pain. Don't betray your values, by removing a good person from your life, because you're scared of a little pain. If you take the pain of a short term, probably illusory heartbreak, you will be rewarded for it with a learning experience you can't access in any other way... and possibly a lifetime of friendship as well. P.S. You DO want to stay away from any kind of an exploitative relationship. My post assumes that your relationship with her is a straight forward friendship (like mine was), and she is not taking advantage of your feelings in any way.
  2. 5 points
    I’m in the Cayman Islands now, where I just had my second Regenexx-C procedure with culture-expanded stem cells. I saved for it for two years. We treated almost every joint in my body. The first procedure 20 months ago probably saved my life, and I’m stoked to get even more improvement from this one.
  3. 4 points

    Grieving the loss of God

    I'm no psychologist, but it is fairly common knowledge that grief is a natural part of life, if we conceive of it broadly as going through the process of psychologically dealing with loss. Loss is natural and ubiquitous if one is alive, growing, or changing... all the time one loses one's former self to become something new , something more (or different), a process of being is not static - it is a process of becoming. We transform from a dependent child to an adult, we learn to accept that Santa Claus is a fiction, as an adult we accept "the highschool years" as a part of our ever evolving lives and not its definition, and we must learn to make the transformation through old age and decline as well... These transformations and the subsequent introspections of the differences of self, require a process to fully deal with. We are aware that those who do not properly process these changes, as with those who do not properly process the death of a loved one, have psychologically unresolved issues... which can and will be problematic, until they are properly processed and there is closure and acceptance of the reality of that particular loss or change on a deep psychological level. One of the biggest psychological transformations a person can go through is to convert from an adherent of the religious/supernatural/mystical to a complete atheist. This is no trifle... it is a fundamental shift of a world view, indeed a view of the universe, all of existence, its relation to the self and the very definition of self also. Is anyone aware of any authority, academic, or psychologist who delved into, contemplated, and/or wrote substantively on the subject matter of the psychological process of Grief necessary for fully completing the transformation from religion to atheism in a psychologically healthy manner?
  4. 4 points
    Ninth Doctor

    Grieving the loss of God

    This came to mind, though she's not a psychologist: If you know someone going through it, good chance this talk will be relatable. The transition from Catholic to Atheist is long in my past, so I'm more interested in people's thoughts/experiences with the social context of being a member of this particular oppressed minority. Especially at work. I avoid the subject at work, and when asked try to leave it at "I'm not religious". But there's always some nosy parker. I once had an outside consultant I had barely met tell me, intending it as friendly advice, that the only thing he knew about me is that I'm an atheist and that I shouldn't let people know that. He was from a communist country and hadn't been raised with religion, so he was speaking as one atheist to another. "Just tell them you're spiritual". Up to that point I'd only had one person quiz me about my religion, starting with "where do you attend church?"; suffice to say she was not about to take "I don't" as a final answer, and she was one to make the most of her time around the water cooler. And I didn't even use the "a" word. This was years ago, and I didn't stay there very long. Nevertheless, it rankles.
  5. 4 points
    NOW, obviously. Lifespans are the longest ever, people are more civilized, every single life is a zillion times wealthier, leisure time abounds, knowledge only goes up because all past knowledge is instant and free, ice cream only gets more popular so we have like 500 more choices than ever before, and humanity still has its built-in bullshit meter intact. Now, a lot of people just need to realize it's this good not because it always was.
  6. 3 points

    Late Term Abortion

    Geez if this is her position then it's illogical (I never thought I'd say that about something she said). There is *zero* difference in what the child *is* depending on what side of the woman's, um, body parts it's currently at in the span of minutes or hours of it being born. A child doesn't magically transform into a rational animal in a short time span based on what side of a vagina it's currently at.
  7. 3 points

    National Borders

    Do you take any of those points seriously? People who make those points are either rationalizing or using them to try win an argument. Their real argument is that they don't want more than a certain number of immigrants each year, because it dilutes existing culture and brings competition for jobs.
  8. 3 points

    Which Eternity?

    It was in the Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy to be found: The climax of the "miraculous" view of existence is represented by those existentialists who echo Heidegger, demanding: "Why is there any being at all and not rather nothing?"—i.e., why does existence exist? This is the projection of a zero as an alternative to existence, with the demand that one explain why existence exists and not the zero. Granted the claim of the "miraculous" view is not stated explicitly in your lines leading up to it, but Heidegger's demand resonates in the cited portion. The denial that it is "NOT Reification of the Zero" brushes aside just 'what' is the alternative to existence.
  9. 3 points
    Replaced it with a quote from Howard Roark, rather than Ellsworth Toohey: I've always demanded a certain quality in the people I liked. I've always recognized it at once --- and it's the only quality I respect in men. I chose my friends by that. Now I know what it is. A self-sufficient ego. Nothing else matters.
  10. 3 points
    . I’ve had Scott Ryan’s 2003 book critiquing Rand’s epistemology about four years, though I’ve not gotten to work through it fully. His book displays considerable knowledge of Objectivism and some other philosophy as well. I have the impression that his is one of the two most substantive book-length critiques so far of the Objectivist philosophy itself (the other being Kathleen Touchstone's Then Athena Said). The material quality of his book, paperback, is excellent. The quotation from Intrinsicist is from page 41 of Ryan’s book. Mr. Ryan died in Feb. 2016 at age 52. He had a degree in mathematics, and late in life, he earned a JD. He was an esteemed participant in a blog of Edward Feser, who is author of a very helpful book Scholastic Metaphysics – A Contemporary Introduction (2014). Greg Salmieri observes in his 2008 Ph.D. dissertation Aristotle and the Problem of Concepts: "It may be that the dominant non-realist theories of concepts in the history of philosophy all render concepts subjective, but it does not follow from this that all non-realist theories must. There is room for theories that hold that concepts have an objective basis, without having univesals as their proper objects." The qualification “proper” in Greg's phrase “proper object” is meant as in Aristotle's speaking of a given sensory modality's proper object. So as an Aristotelian conceives of sound as the proper object (dedicated object, we would say in engineering) of hearing, the Platonist conceives of universals as if they were proper objects of concepts. Greg argues that Aristotle did not think of universals as “proper objects” of concepts. In his 1964 Ph.D. dissertation, Leonard Piekoff has a footnote on page 107 in which he cites an old jewel. That jewel is The Theory of Universals by R. I. Aaron (Oxford 1952). In this work, the author treats the varieties of realism, conceptualism, and nominalism across the history of theory of universals. He argues the sound points and bases of each and what each of them of itself leaves out of account. In the end, like Rand, but earlier, Aaron rejects all realism, conceptualism, and nominalism as inadequate. He then sketches what he takes to be the right theory, so far as it goes. I add that last clause because he had not got onto Rand’s idea of measurement-omission analysis of general concepts (and related analysis of similarity relations). This book, and of course Peikoff’s dissertation, is work to which Peikoff would have exposed Rand in those years leading to her publication in ’66-67 of her own theory of universals and concepts. Aaron titles his sixth chapter “Is There a Real Problem?” He responds to various reasons for thinking there is no such problem. He proposes that it is not wise, given the history of the problem and reasons against there being any problem, to begin with the questions “Are there universals?” or “Is the universal a word?” He begins, rather, with the question “How do we use general words?” which engenders more narrow questions such as “What past experiences are necessary to successful use of general words?” and “What sort of objects and what sort of arrangement of objects in the experienced world enable us to use general words successfully?”
  11. 3 points

    Why Read Aristotle Today?

    The author is apparently unaware of Rand, but much of what she has to say is of Randian interest. https://aeon.co/essays/what-can-aristotle-teach-us-about-the-routes-to-happiness?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AeonMagazineEssays+(Aeon+Magazine+Essays)
  12. 3 points
    Peter Suderman of Reason Magazine argues that, "Under Trump, Republicans Have Become the Party of No Ideas." Suderman makes some disturbing connections of data with his thesis, such as the following: Ayn Rand's image of the hollow oak seems particularly apt, but this will do. (Image via Pixabay)... Republicans are not merely struggling with difficult vote math, or with converting broad ideas into legislative form. They are abandoning the notion of a policy agenda entirely. That abandonment can be seen in the slew of GOP retirements -- more than two dozen so far, including a large number of committee heads, who have historically taken charge of writing legislation and moving it through the congressional process. In a very real sense, the Republican Party, or at least the party as we have known it, is calling it quits. The most notable of the retirees is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a veteran lawmaker who built his career as a legislative entrepreneur, the closest thing the GOP had to an idea man, pitching a broad policy agenda he at one point dubbed "A Better Way." Even among Republicans, Ryan's ideas, especially on entitlements, were always more popular in theory than in practice, and Ryan's status as a deficit hawk was often overrated. But at the very least his ideas served as a sort of ideological placeholder, a sense of what the party should, or could, aim for in the absence of a more promising program. [bold added]Signs of this were evident during the campaign, as Bret Stephens noted in the Wall Street Journal back in 2016, when he commented on the leadership of the GOP folding like a cheap law chair after Trump became the nominee: What isn't normal is the ease with which so many conservative leaders, political and intellectual, have prostrated themselves before Mr. Trump simply because he won. In July, Dan Senor, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012, tweeted that he had once commiserated with a Midwestern governor about how unacceptable Mr. Trump was as the GOP nominee. That governor? Mike Pence. As for conservative thought leaders, the book that comes to mind is Julien Benda's 1927 classic, La Trahison des clercs, "The Treason of the Intellectuals." Benda railed against a new class of European thinkers who specialized in "the intellectual organization of political hatreds," the "desire to abase the values of knowledge before the values of action," and above all "the cult of success," based on "the teaching that says that when a will is successful that fact alone gives it a moral value, whereas the will which fails is for that reason alone deserving of contempt." [bold added, links omitted, format edits]But lest you think Stephens is some kind of prophet, consider the following words, written over a half-century ago by Ayn Rand: [T]o those of you who do wish to contest [this country's uncontested collapse] -- particularly those of you who are young and are not ready to surrender -- I want to give a warning: nothing is as dead as the stillborn. Nothing is as futile as a movement without goals, or a crusade without ideals, or a battle without ammunition. A bad argument is worse than ineffectual: it lends credence to the arguments of your opponents. A half-battle is worse than none: it does not end in mere defeat -- it helps and hastens the victory of your enemies. At a time when the world is torn by a profound ideological conflict, do not join those who have no ideology -- no ideas, no philosophy -- to offer you. Do not go into battle armed with nothing but stale slogans, pious platitudes, and meaningless generalities. Do not join any so-called "conservative" group, organization, or person that advocates any variant of the arguments from "faith," from "tradition," or from "depravity." Any home-grown sophist in any village debate can refute those arguments and can drive you into evasions in about five minutes. What would happen to you, with such ammunition, on the philosophical battlefield of the world? But you would never reach that battlefield: you would not be heard on it, since you would have nothing to say. It is not by means of evasions that one saves civilization. It is not by means of empty slogans that one saves a world perishing for lack of intellectual leadership. It is not by means of ignoring its causes that one cures a deadly disease. [bold added]This is what Rand said of the conservatives back then, when they still were pretending to offer an alternative to the left. Suderman and Stephens rightly observe the effects of what Rand discussed then, but they don't go far enough. It's not just that the conservatives failed in 2016 or now -- it's that they are no longer even bothering to pretend to be serious opponents of the left. Whether that be because they don't know or don't care what will happen as a result of failing to do so, is as irrelevant as they will prove to be in the long term. As for anyone not wishing for a Bernie Sanders's version of the American dream (as is being realized today in Venezuela), I strongly recommend reading the entirety of Rand's Conservatism: An Obituary. We need ideas, and if Donald Trump has given us anything more than a few random rollbacks to particularly bad regulations, it is this: He has shown -- sooner rather than later -- that the GOP is not the "party of ideas" we need for an actual return of America to the greatness of capitalism. -- CAVLink to Original
  13. 2 points

    Late Term Abortion

    I know there are a lot of abortion topics on this site, apologies if this is a duplicate - I didn't want to get lost in an old thread and didn't want to read through all of the old topics. I wanted to get some thoughts on this. For an argument against late term abortion and birth as the clear line: there is a point, maybe around 6 months(ish), where a mother has a moral (and legal - ideally) obligation to carry out the pregnancy, given that her health isn't at risk. At around 6 months (ish) or however far along the process it is determined, the fetus is developed enough to be considered human - it experiences consciousness, feelings, could live outside of the mother at this time if given the opportunity, etc. At this point, the mother has a responsibility to carry out the pregnancy because it is by her action that the cells were able to develop inside her body to the point where it actualized into a human being deserving of rights. Although it is the mother's body and she has the right to do what she wishes with it, she does not have the right to kill another human being after initially extending an invitation (I mean this metaphorically, though I suppose it will be a point of contention, especially using the word invitation). The fetus is "trespassing" at this point, but that does not give her the right to kill it when it depends on her for life. She had a responsibility to abort the cells before it developed to the point of a human being deserving of rights. I liken this to when you invite someone on a boat and travel into the ocean. You are cannot get upset with them in the middle of the ocean and claim that they are trespassing as it is YOUR boat and demand that they get off your property (i.e. jump in the ocean, leading to their death). In the same fashion, you cannot demand a fetus get removed from your body after you have implicitly invited them through inaction. I'm not stuck on this argument, I just was thinking about it and wanted to get some thoughts.
  14. 2 points

    Correspondence and Coherence blog

    I didn't see a forum where I thought this post fits well. If the moderators want to move it to another forum , that's okay. Anyway, I've been posting to this blog for a while, and believe some would find an interest in a couple recent ones. LeBron, Trump, Altruism Marconi #6 This is one of a series of 11 that I wrote while reading a biography of Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless technology and often credited with inventing the radio. The post refers to John Galt.
  15. 2 points
    In general, we know patterns of inference as codifications of regularly successful mental policies. In particular, we know logically valid inference patterns as means to certain conclusions, the denial of which results in contradiction. But seeing as conceptual knowledge and method are indivisible, valid forms of inference are less what we may know than that by which we know (conceptually). The knowing of logic and of basic inference patterns are in large part the faculty of knowledge turning back in on itself, and stating the implicit causal relations by which one knows as explicit propositional forms or rules for one to know. Modus ponens is an explicit statement of the indivisibility of cause and effect, a principle implicit in every mental consequence as caused by the apprehension of some object of consciousness. "p therefore q" underscores the premise behind all valuation and recognition, for it is in recognizing the necessary connection between q and its cause that motivation may find real purchase.
  16. 2 points
    This book provides transcripts of many of Peikoff's podcasts. I've bought the Kindle version and I'd say it's pretty good. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P5TWX4J/ref=nav_ya_signin?#reader_B07P5TWX4J
  17. 2 points
    “If p, then q” is taken in logic texts to be identically equivalent to “Not (p and not-q).” “Not (there is a naturally evolved bird with talons, and it is not a bird of prey)” is identically equivalent to “If there is a naturally evolved bird with talons, then it is a bird of prey.” It seems that we know up front that this “identically equivalent” relation holds however much our knowledge of birds increases; it cannot be found false. Whether there are presently unknown conditions under which this particular “If p, then q” can be found false is open, though until specific prima facie plausible conditions of that sort are proposed (at least in a sketchy way), that open possibility is a vacuous possibility, a degenerate, impotent sort of possibility, whether the if-then concerns nature or mathematics. The nature of birds is a matter of identity, but it seems a wider sort of identity than that in the “identically equivalent” relation. And the latter would seem to be something one learns about later than the former, although maybe the latter is already present in a precursor way in prelinguistic action schemata (eg. there’s more than one way to get attention, more than one form under the schema get attention). In his book How We Know, Harry Binswanger takes syllogistic inference to be a case in which what is already implicit in the premises is drawn out and made explicit in the conclusion. That is a common perspective on deductive inference. The syllogism is a form of “If p, then q” in which p is a conjunction of two propositions: “If r and s, then q.” For r and s to be true and to bear implicit truths, of course, r and s both have to express awareness of facts (254–55). This viewpoint is smooth with the views of Rand that logic is a form of identification and that existence is identity. In his book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff remarked: “The method of logic . . . does reflect the nature and needs of consciousness. It also reflects the other factor essential to a proper method: the facts of external reality. The principle which logic provides to guide man’s mental steps is the fundamental law of reality” (120–21). There are no contradictory facts in reality, I should add, to be thought in conjunction if thought is aimed at fact. To put forth without evidence or design for evidence the thesis that there are naturally evolved birds with talons that are not birds of prey contradicts evident facts without resolving the purported contradiction with other (not-adduced) evident facts. I suggest that denials of modus ponens should be understood as that sort of denial under the basic conception of logic in Objectivism. Logical validities are never independent of all facts of reality. Some excerpts from Nathaniel Branden’s lectures The Basic Principles of Objectivism: “Logic is the tool of reason. Logic is based on facts, on the fact that that which is, is; but it is not a science of facts. It is a science of method (75).” “One proves a proposition by demonstrating that it is logically necessitated, that its denial would contradict facts already known to exist. . . . . “Until one has grasped that A is A, and that contradictions cannot exist, there can be neither proof nor the concept of ‘proof’. . . . “The Law of Identity is a genetic root of the concept of ‘proof’. . . . (73, transcription in The Vision of Ayn Rand)
  18. 2 points

    Law of Identity and Evolution

    The argument here (identity precludes change) first showed up in Parmenides ca 500 BC. From the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology: On the former path [i.e. of reason] we convince ourselves that the existent neither has come into being, nor is perishable, and is entirely of one sort, without change and limit, neither past nor future, entirely included in the present. For it is as impossible that it can become and grow out of the existent, as that it could do so out of the non-existent; since the latter, non-existence, is absolutely inconceivable, and the former cannot precede itself; and every coming into existence presupposes a non-existence. His writings give us the first example of an explicit premise-and-conclusion argument. Much of Aristotle's metaphysics amounts to an explanation of what's wrong with that argument.
  19. 2 points

    Late Term Abortion

    So you are in favor of the right of mothers to have a baby in an alley and leave it to death? I say death, because that is what will happen most likely, without any assistance from third parties. What if the mother has a baby in the desert or in a rural mountain town in Colorado, where third parties aren't around? Can we leave a baby in the snow to fend for itself because it is a 'physically independent entity' that has a self responsibility to gain 'the values it requires to sustain its own life.' The baby is physically dependent on the mother because of its undeveloped nature, and the mother has a responsibility to the child (until adulthood or transfer of that duty) because she is the one who brought the child into the world. Despite what you say, babies would not be able to survive very long in this world without someone taking care of it (proof is meet any newborn and read the stories of babies that ARE left to fend for themselves - spoiler: the ending is usually tragic). The mother brought the baby into the world and, therefore, she has the responsibility to make sure its rights are protected. She cannot expect anyone else to take care of it.
  20. 2 points

    Which Eternity?

    Potential is identity viewed from epistemological perspective, a mind with memory and imagination. All that exists are particulars, doing particular definite things in accordance with their identities. It takes imagination or memory to divert the mind's attention away from what the object of the mind's attention is doing right this moment. 'Potential energy' is a concept taught in elementary physics classes. Pendulum motion is described using the principle of conservation of energy such that the sum of the pendulums kinetic energy of motion and its potential energy of position must remain constant (neglecting friction for the moment). Here the so-called potential energy is real and actual because the pendulum is a real and actual existent with a real and actual position within a gravity field at every instant. One can avoid the potential confusion of thinking of potentials as real because it appears in an equation describing the pendulum's motion by using the term 'energy of position' instead. This kind of statement "a sea battle either will happen tomorrow or not happen tomorrow" is formally true because the alternatives are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, but it does not constitute knowledge and cannot be categorized as a fact because it does not predicate anything. (It predicates two perfect contradictories which cancel to net zero predication.) The grammar of the statement is correct, the logic of the posited alternatives is flawless, yet it remains entirely an exercise in method. It is an unfalsifiable statement of the kind Popper scorned. The statement employs the useful and valid concept of "tomorrow", but that does not transform the referent of "tomorrow" from an epistemological construct (a 'concept of method' in Objectivist jargon) into an existential fact. Tree rings exist in the present as an effect with a cause in the past. The cause existed, then the effect existed. The present existence of the effect does not require the present existence of the cause. Going back to your argument: No beginning and no end can still be literally true if a finite Universe had some kind of strange asymptotic boundary conditions governing time. For example, space and time are related such that a very high mass density implies a very high space time curvature such that time slows to a crawl relative to a lesser curvature. The Big Bang would have played out very slowly, and extrapolating backward in time beyond the Big Bang requires crossing an inflection point where time would not pass at all. A remote future in which all matter had entered black holes and then been re-radiated as Hawking radiation until all the black holes were gone would be a perfectly static universe in which time had no meaning.
  21. 2 points

    Grieving the loss of God

    I used to believe in God, and study the Bible, when I was very young. I don't look at it as "lost time" at all. In fact, those were some of the most intellectually productive years of my life. I didn't just read the Bible, I also read Dostoevsky and several other Christian authors, but it was all connected to my faith, and it was all very much productive and worthwhile. I highly recommend crazy ol' Fyodor. Every single thing he ever wrote is genius. Insane (or maybe just insanely pessimistic) on some level, but he cuts to the essence of things on every other level. So does Nietzsche (who is very much Christian, and a fundamentalist at that, in his critique of the Church, though he's nowhere near as sophisticated as Dostoevsky). So does most of the Bible, as do some other religious texts. There's a lot you can learn from religion, when you're really young. You can even learn some stuff from it when you're old. The main things wrong about the Bible are the (occasional) altruism and the supernatural God part. Most of everything else makes quite a bit of sense, and is well worth studying. When you study the Bible, you're studying thousands upon thousands of years worth of human experience. And even the supernatural God part can just be interpreted as a metaphor for reality, and you're fine (well, it's more complex than that, it involves the context of knowledge people had before science was a thing, but there's no reason to get into that here). Thing is, this is all off topic. The thread is about the loss of a literal God. There's no loss there, because there's no literal God.
  22. 2 points
    I recently read a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. It really helped me make peace with this ever present contradiction between supposed workplace rules and what people actually do, as a rule (not sure how to phrase this exactly...maybe "what people actually do as if they were following a different rule book"?), at work. Because it's not chaos: people aren't acting unpredictably, or unilaterally, when they're ignoring the official rules. They are just following a different set of rules: one that's not written down. But they're all following the same unwritten rules, it's not like one person follows one set, another one another set. You should just read the book, it's really good (the first half is dedicated to individual habits, the second to organizational ones), but I will try to sum it up briefly. It says something along the lines of: organizations, just like people, are guided by habits, not by rules. For instance, you acknowledge that Objectivist principles are rational, and should be followed...but you can't just flip a switch and follow them, you must consciously and constantly work to develop habits that make it easier to act the right way. Same is true for organizations, except developing good habits is even harder, because there are different people, with different values and personalities, involved. I would argue (based on personal experience) that the ONLY way to get people to follow the rules and do so with enthusiasm and good intentions (as opposed to begrudgingly, which produces worse results than not bothering with rules at all) is if the rules are created by EVERYONE in the organization, from the lowliest intern to the top boss, working together and agreeing to them. In other words, you can't impose a set of rules from the top down, and expect your business to stay productive if you're tyrannical about enforcing them. People will simply hate you for it, and work against you. Not just "irrational" people. Everyone. The notion of top down rules one's inferiors just follow unquestioningly goes against basic principles of productive human interaction. That leaves managers with two options: 1. In an ideal situation, with an organization that's small enough, or with a branch of an organization that has enough autonomy, the person in charge of the place does what I suggest above: talks to everyone regularly, asks everyone's opinion on what the rules should be, and finally gets everyone to agree on a reasonable, minimum necessary set of rules people are willing to follow. And, of course, the rules are updated regularly. 2. The second options is what usually happens: a set of rules gets handed down, and promptly ignored. Doesn't mean that anarchy follows. Far from it: as the rules start being ignored, people come up with their own replacement rules fairly quickly. There are conflicts at first (in the process of these rules being formed), but conflict is unpleasant, and people quickly reach compromises meant to avoid conflict, and those settlements end up guiding their actions from that point on. And smart middle managers aren't just aware of these organizational habits, they know how to make slight modifications as needed, to keep things functioning smoothly, and with minimal conflict. They're essentially doing what's described in point 1., but not explicitly (because they don't have the power to do it explicitly). My advice is, figure out these hidden rules quickly, and follow them. When you asked your coworker about the hidden rule concerning eating, for instance, they were beyond forthcoming and honest with you. People usually are, because they love these rules (they love them because THEY made them, and they made them to make work life easier and more productive), and they want to help newcomers understand and follow them to. And once you prove that you understand the system, and are willing to work within it, you can start to influence it as well, and bend it to your will. You have to be willing to start small conflicts, to gain any territory, but people will respect you for it (conflicts shouldn't be shouting matches, they should be calm, brief, rare but well timed expressions of dissatisfaction with someone's actions). And none of this is irrational. It's not ideal, but it's not irrational. It's the second best solution to the problem, when the first one (explicit cooperation to reach the same result) isn't an option. P.S. Don't mistake this with an absence of principles, or dishonesty. Again: in a functional organization that functions in spite of the written rules rather than because of them, people are honest about the unwritten rules. They are honest about their scope (they're not official rules you can be written up for breaking, they are enforced by your co-workers, through social pressure). They are well intentioned about their purpose, and, finally, the rules DO NOT contradict basic human principles like honesty, property rights, etc. If you are not honest, if you do not have the business' best interest in mind, if you steal, etc., these unwritten rules will get you ostracized and even fired more surely than any written rules. And don't think that the above description only fits fast food chains that hire minimum wage workers. I've seen the same habit driven work environment everywhere I ever worked, and in every organization I ever came in contact with. The book also goes into the detailed functioning of organizations like ALCOA, the London Underground, a major East Coast hospital, etc. In a dysfunctional organization, of course, dishonesty, theft, and much, much worse becomes the "rule". Such organizations exist too, obviously. Just look at the history of the 20th century, examples abound. Functional organizations can't exist without freedom of association, and self interested, rational owners and managers. But you haven't posted anything to suggest this organization you worked for was dishonest, encouraged theft, etc. Having a bite to eat during your shift, with the full knowledge and consent of everyone who works there, is not theft. Who knows why that rule was written down (could be anything from regulation to some out of touch manager on a power trip)...point is, no one cares about it. If no one cares about a rule, it DOES NOT MATTER. IGNORE IT.
  23. 2 points

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    IQ distributions work in such a way that this doesn't happen anyway. At best, you would need a very limited population, which we aren't even talking about. But you missed the point. I'm not going to go over how you got the Objectivist position on individual rights incorrect, since we went over that already. Suffice it to say that it is a principle, not an "absolute" (contextless truth) in the way you put it, to guide how we establish an organized society, rather than a consequence of an organized society. Regardless of the person's IQ or race, we care about their actions or their stated beliefs, especially reasons to think the person is a threat to individuals. We might hold people to different standards of accomplishment, but we hold people to the same standard of morality. This is than the basis we should use in which to create a stable and healthy society. This then establishes a shared culture and all that, which only enhances the stability. You still avoid the whole IQ discussion that you've created when you refuse to talk about what you would do about black people in the US.
  24. 2 points
    It is a bit of a paradox: that we want certain values and the easier they come, the more of them we'll be able to achieve, yet if everything is super-easy where's the mental satisfaction to come from? Evolution "made" us feel positive about the work that goes into creating/achieving value. The stoic who achieves value too easily keeps piling on more "to-dos" on his list. This is a good approach, but must be done consciously and by questioning whether one really wants to achieve that value and why. There's a yarn about a young, ambitious MBA vacationing on a small island, chatting with a local fisherman about his life-plan. "I'll join a great company"... "And then what, senor?" ... "I'll form my own company" ... "And then what, senor?"... "I'll go global"... "And then what, senor?" ... and it ends with "And then, I'll buy a plot on this far-away island and retire here to fish for the rest of my life". The epicurean, on the other hand, tells people to chill out and enjoy life. Don't be lazy, he says, but don't be in the rat-race for fame or fortune either. True laziness, in this perspective, is to work so little that you cannot provide for a comfortable life: a nice home, nice food, ample wine, time to relax, and throw in a good bunch of close friends. This approach too makes sense, but can leave the stoic feeling unsatisfied: will I die having done nothing to be super-proud of? The point that's missed in the fisherman's yarn is that the young MBA has a lot of fun (or at least he ought to) through the process of his achievement. Chances are, he'll never even retire the way he dreams of. He'll have the means, but it'll just seem too boring. As an individual, one has to think this through, and make the choice that suits you.
  25. 2 points
    I'm reading a good book that deconstructs all this anti-woman/ PUA mentality, and offers an alternative approach. One that is respectful of women without putting them on a pedestal, and congruent with Objectivism. In fact a lot of it seems to be written from a partially Oist perspective (the author fleetingly mentions that reading Atlas Shrugged in college changed his life, in the book, as well). It's from Mark Manson (who's known for "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck", which is the second best "life advice" type book I have ever read in my life), and it's titled "Models: Attract Women Through Honesty". ( I don't think "models" refers to fashion models, but rather "things to model yourself after"...but it is an ambivalent title, on purpose...pretty sure it's meant to mock PUAs). The two books are very, very different. "The Subtle Art..." is short, it's written in a provocative style (lots of cursing), it throws flashy, provocative ideas around somewhat carelessly, and uses a wide lens to look at life in general. But it's very interesting, and frames a lot of good life advice in some very surprising and original ways. The "Models..." book on the other hand is longer, analytical, detailed, carefully thought through, and focused on the subject at hand. But, as you go along, you find out something very important: the subject at hand (getting women) is as wide as life itself...because you get women based on who you are, personally and socially, not on what "techniques" or lines you use. So the book actually sets out to encourage the reader to change their entire life, and become an interesting, opinionated, provocative, well dressed and groomed, physically fit, healthy, independent, well traveled, knowledgeable, well read, sexually uninhibited, confident, courageous etc. person. Do that, and women won't be able to resist you...no aggressive, fake alpha behavior needed.
  26. 2 points
    I agree. There is a thread here discussing Consequentialism as the category of moral theories holding that morality lies in the ends not the means. Deonotological moral theories hold that morality lies in taking certain actions, i.e. the means not the ends. The two together form a category of Intrinsicist moral theories. As intrinsicism is entirely false, ends versus means is a false dichotomy. Recapitulating what user gio reminded us of in that thread : Morality guides action, and actions are means. Thus in Objectivism morality is about means and so cannot be characterized as Consequentialist or compatible with Consequentialism. But Objectivism does not tell us what actions to take. No actions are intrinsically good in Objectivism because Objectivist ethics are not Deontological (or intrinsicist of any type). Objectivism is based on identity and causality, thus the appropriate actions to take are the ones that cause the consequences desired. The full appreciation of the problem of morality is that multiple actions may bring about the desired consequence, and each action will have multiple consequences in addition to the desired consequence. It's just too much to deal with, it's an epistemological overload. Objectivist ethics then, goes on at length about values and codes of values and the standard of value in order to deal with the epistemological problem of morality.
  27. 2 points

    Grieving the loss of God

    I was raised with religion. Over time, as I developed and become more intellectually independent, I outgrew it. For me, there has been no grief, only relief. I'm tempted to say the grief happened when I believed. Life as an atheist is considerably more laid-back and enjoyable.
  28. 2 points
    Many things exist. Everything that exists interacts with every other thing that exists, and no matter how small or attenuated that interaction may be it is not zero. For an existent to be somehow isolated fully from every aspect of existence it would effectively be in its own separate universe, unknowable and epistemologically out-of-bounds as an object of valid thought. Identity which does not involve a relational aspect with other identities is just unknowable. So it can't be discussed. Metaphysics and epistemology go together because the limits of what can can be claimed to exist coincide with the limits of what is knowable. No one can justifiably confirm or deny either the existence or nonexistence of what is outside of the Universe. Any justification that one might discover to such an isolated unknown would also be a casual link that would rope that existent into inclusion in what the concept Universe refers to which is the entirety of existence. Existence is Identity is Casuality.
  29. 2 points

    Institute for Justice

    While so many American fret worry about issues that are really only marginal to their lives. the Institute of Justice continues is slow and steady chipping away at violations of rights. They just won a case that will restrict civil forfeiture in Philadelphia There's a win on city code enforcement in Charleston and many other Each of these cases is very local. It is easy to despair that it is like fighting a giant with a tiny pin as a sword, inflicting minor cuts. On the other hand, the big-picture approach to philosophical change isn't easy, and with the cases that IJ wins, there is the satisfaction of having helped at least those people, in that one city or state win back some right. If a few women in one city can now make a career hair-braiding, and that let's them earn more money and have a better live: that's something, even if it's a small cut to the system at large. The list of cases continues to grow. Here's the list. In the long run, I think their wins could help other lawyers, in other states and cities, win similar cases. Maybe, one of two of these issues might even become a theme that can be tied together to ripple across the country. All the best to IJ
  30. 2 points
    Here's a quote I came across in the sidebar, attributed to Ayn Rand: Google indicates that this quote comes from The Fountainhead. I don't think this should be in the sidebar, because it is patently false - your first glance doesn't tell you everything about a person. Rand probably intended for this fictional ability to play some role in the world of The Fountainhead, but the quote doesn't say that it's from a work of fiction, and it isn't particularly insightful out of context.
  31. 2 points
    Regardless of who said it, and whether or not it’s true, the quote states a matter of profoundest conviction for Rand, and I think it’s a key to the enduring hold she has over her readers. When we meet a character in one of her novels, we get a physical description as we do in just about any novel. We come across Roark immediately in The Fountainhead and James Taggart and Dagny Taggart very early on in Atlas Shrugged. Rand’s descriptions are largely in terms of acquired, character-revealing traits such as facial expression, carriage, posture or eye focus. The impersonal narrator makes these matters of fact like hair color or eye color. On a few occasions we get this indirectly, through the words or thoughts of a character recollecting a first sight (Rearden’s first sight of Dagny Taggart, Galt’s first sight of Rearden). What these descriptions and the many others like them have in common is that they are never wrong. Rand’s characters turn out to be just what they first seemed to be. Sheryl’s first impression of James Taggart doesn’t fit this pattern, and she misjudges him disastrously, but: (a) she sizes him up on the strength of his name, not of his visible air; (b) we first saw him a couple of pages into the book, and he has amply lived up to the expectations that his appearance gave him. In her theory of art Rand spoke of eliminating the inessential: in life, one ignores the unimportant; in art, one omits it. False visual clues are among those forgettable contingencies that have no place in her art. In the Randian universe, our first impressions are correct. People don’t let us down in this respect. This habit spilled over into her personal life. In her obituary for Marilyn Monroe, she says Monroe had “the radiantly benevolent sense of life, which cannot be faked”. Readers have quoted this remark many times over the years, more times, I venture, than Rand expected. Yet I’ve never seen anyone ask why it can’t be faked. Monroe was an actress. Faking what she didn’t feel was her job. Elsewhere in the same column Rand says she “brilliantly talented” at it, but here she says Monroe couldn’t act. She wanted MM to be the person she saw up on the screen, and convinced herself that she was. Rand herself and her biographers have told various stories of how often this acquaintance or that public figure “disappointed” her. She wanted people to live up to her expectations, and their failures to do so were a personal hurt. We’ve all known this feeling, and we’ve all been glad to meet somebody finally who is what we hoped, but it doesn’t loom as large for most of us. Barbara Branden tells a story of Rand’s girlhood once in her 1962 biography and again in 1986. Young Alisa admired a schoolmate and wanted to get to know her. She asked, point-blank, what is the most important thing in the world to you? She replied, My mother, and Rand walked away in disappointment. That was the end of that. In her earlier telling, BB makes this the other girl’s fault for not being was Alisa wanted her to be. In the later version, she says it’s typical of Rand’s failure to consider other people’s context before judging them. This failure on her part, and her idealism, may be closer than we realized.
  32. 2 points

    Donald Trump

    There's a substantial number of Trump voters who still think Trump was the right choice as President.While some might have soured on him, only a small minority of those who voted for him would want him gone. I've spoken to Trump voters who seemed reasonable in political conversations 4 or 5 years ago, and who are wary of Trump being over the top, but who would feel disenfranchised if he were removed. The idea that the U.S. is controlled by a "deep state" has spread to a wider section of people. I believe the numbers are substantial, even though not a majority. A large number of people feel out of control and alienated from the system. They do not see it as a system they want; but as a system that is imposed on them. Of course, they're the cause of the system, but there's little hope they will ever figure that out: it's an intellectual feat that is beyond most of them. Some of these folk might actually be happy that a few Trump advisers are acting as dampers to his worst gut instincts; yet, they would only want them to act as dampers, not to do anything fundamental.
  33. 2 points

    Donald Trump

    A high ranking White House official wrote a little essay on the subject of this thread: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html He didn't leave his name, which should only fuel Trump's paranoia about his subordinates undermining him. Best quote: Another quote: This is not a liberal. It's not a Democrat. This is a conservative Republican. One of many, sitting in a position of power, waiting for the right time to finally end this absurdity.
  34. 2 points
    I'm going to limit myself to a single idea, which I suggest you repeat over and over to yourself like a mantra: If you don't get this area of your life handled, sorted, managed and mastered, you are in for a very unhappy life. You'll not only make yourself miserable, but crazy as well. From what you've written here, it seems like you're well on the way. You talk about driving past this girl's house to check on the cars parked outside? I don't know if that's immoral per se, but it sure is loony as hell. You come across in your posts as very young, totally inexperienced (you admit as much), and utterly, absolutely naïve about women and relationships. This is not a crime, but also it's not a state you want to remain in for long. While you're crushing on and obsessing over this one particular girl, the reality is she is of no significance whatsoever. You think (or rather, you feel) that she is someone extremely important, when in fact she is nobody, irrelevant to the big picture. The important person here is YOU. You need to focus on improving yourself, bettering yourself, and above all gaining a mature sense of emotional perspective, particularly where sexual emotions are involved. In short, you need to make yourself into the kind of man who doesn't get irrationally obsessed with girls like this. Now that I've beaten you up, let me say there isn't a man reading your posts who can't sympathize with you, at least a little. Fortunately for some of us, your story serves as a reminder of our distant past. For others, the pain you describe is like an experience out of the movie Groundhog Day, something to be revisited and re-encountered again and again. The unfortunate reality is that most men never get this area of their lives handled, sorted, managed and mastered. They never really figure out sex. To the average man, sex — and its attendant features, such as attraction, masculinity and femininity, etc. — is always a bit of a mystery, which is why so many men make such humiliating wrecks of their sexual lives.
  35. 2 points
    Respectfully, I think this is the wrong methodology. When two authors disagree, the right reaction isn't to decide ahead of time that one of them is right and the other is wrong just because of who they are. Instead, I think we ought to study each author carefully until we have a solid grasp of what each respectively is saying, then compare the two positions to determine which has better evidence and arguments in its favor.
  36. 2 points

    What is 'reason'?

    You seem to think that the "Objectivist method" is some thing, like an actual sui generis "method," apart from a philosophic explanation of the scientific method of observation and experimentation and why it works. In a sense, we start out from knowing that we have knowledge, we know that we have useful ideas, epistemology is then going back and saying "what was the method that I used and how does that work?" And yeah like Eiuol said, I'm not sure how formal logic and probability theory are opposed to, say, the world of Bacon or Mill or a Rand.
  37. 2 points

    What is 'reason'?

    Also, in Rand's epistemology, it's not the sensations that are being conceptually united by the process of reason, one does not experience sensations in most normal circumstances (ie., unless you have diminished mental capacity, are in a sensory deprivation experiment, etc.) The process of integrating sensations into perception is physiological, not rational (as in Kant), one experiences a united perceptual field, rather than sensations. The process of reason proceeds, under this theory, by abstracting from the field of perception, and then integrating the units conceptually as you described.
  38. 2 points

    What is 'reason'?

    Humans notice causal chains when they're pretty young. This means, they start to figure out that when thing A happens followed by thing B, it is a common pattern, and if thing A happens followed by thing C it is probably coincidental. As they observe more closely, they start to understand the other elements in reality that are playing a role, and thus understand certain causal chains not just as "there's a pattern of correlation", but in a more detailed way: of seeing how that causal chain works and leads up to the observed effect. This faculty is reason.
  39. 2 points
    It seems like you're pointing to an apparent conflict between the following claims: Full validation only requires reduction and integration. Full validation requires induction. Induction is distinct from both reduction and integration. The solution will require rejecting or modifying one of these three claims somehow (probably the third).
  40. 2 points
    The essence of Randian egoism is a hierarchy of values rooted in that which is necessary for a human being to survive as required by his nature. Each value must, in some way, contribute to that specific form of survival. The virtues are principles that, enacted, result in gaining and/or keeping such values. At this level of abstraction, it would be improper to have, as a beneficiary of one's acts, anyone other than oneself. But as these abstractions are particularized, as one fills in the relevant values and virtues, it becomes apparent that some actions can be taken that also benefit others and, concretely and short-term, benefit others more than oneself. This would be true in relationships, where one might act "altruistically", benefiting others, to satisfy the long-term goals of gaining or keeping appropriate relationships. Or politically, where one might act "altruistically" by putting one's life on the line to protect one's society. Such "altruism" is not justified on the premise that the good is that which benefits others. (Hence the scare quotes.) Rather, it is justified on the premise that to obtain certain values -- a proper relationship, a proper society -- values that benefit oneself -- one must put others' immediate welfare above one's own immediate welfare. If, at this point, one drops the context, ignores the value hierarchy, one can mistakenly see a mother's actions that benefits her child but cost her dearly, or a soldier's putting his life on the line and even losing it, as actions "for others", a sort of altruism that egoism supposedly rejects. But keeping the context, it's clear that the person who chooses motherhood also chooses the emotional bonding that requires that she "sacrifice". But she does so for the long-term benefits of motherhood, as she conceives them. Similarly for the soldier; if he chooses to defend his society, he also chooses the soldierly virtues that go with it, which may involve "sacrificing" his life. Keeping the context, remembering that humans have a nature, and refusing to accept contradictions -- those are how and why Randian egoism, even though it requires that the beneficiary of one's actions be oneself, also permits and even requires acting for others, sometimes even "sacrificing" for others.
  41. 2 points

    Global Warming

    Meh. I'm still hoping I can get you to do two things: 1. consider how ridiculous the proposition that "20% of all greenhouse emissions on Earth come from cows belching and farting" is. 2. As a result, re-read the articles you posted, to find the disclaimer they buried deep within, where it's explained that the click-bait, simplistic headline is in fact misleading, and they added together a bunch of other emissions that have nothing to do with cows belching or farting, to come up with that estimate of 20%. Had they stuck with just cows belching and farting, it would be a far smaller number, no one would care, no one would click on the article, and then the writer would have to get a real job, that produces some actual value.
  42. 2 points
    Just that Dave Rubin has accumulated quite a history of excellent interviews over the past couple years. Yaron Brook did an outstanding job particularly on his first appearance. Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell (naturally), and Alex Epstein's appearances are particularly worth checking out. https://www.youtube.com/user/RubinReport/videos Rogan is a new name to me.
  43. 2 points
    STEPHEN - Yes, the Berkeley idea seems the same, but in other terms. And a lot of Objectivist types when thinking about the nature of mathematics come down rather like Berkeley. I disagree with them both on the mathematical situation. We do have physical applications of complex numbers. But we did not have any such applications (i.e., physical structures known to coincide with the structure of complex numbers) at the time complex numbers were first thought up. They were never ungrounded in rationally grasped realities, even before physical application was found for them. And there are other things mathematically sensible that to this day we’ve found no physical instantiation of, and perhaps there is no such instantiation. Rand wrote against the idea of a system of free-market private protective agencies replacing government in the primary functions of the latter: “Nor can one call it a floating abstraction, since it is devoid of any contact with or reference to reality and cannot be concretized at all, not even roughly or approximately.” Here she seemed to think of floating abstractions as having some weak connection to reality. Although, presumably, that could still leave them of limited use and even detrimental for knowledge. On the NOT side, it occurs to me that I’ve NOT noticed any Objectivist writings taking Platonic Ideas as floating abstractions. The fact that such Ideas have regular relations to concretes may perhaps be enough to save them from being the sleaze of floating abstractions, even though we do not obtain them by abstraction from concretes perceived by the senses. In the 1960’s while articulating Objectivism, together with Rand and others, Barbara Branden gave a lecture series called “Principles of Efficient Thinking.” Therein she spoke in a kind of psychological-type way of persons who characteristically think in terms of floating abstractions. She said they don’t see the trees for the forest. There’s “nothing in his head but floating abstractions—that is, abstractions which he’s unable to concretize, which he believes, without any idea of what they would actually mean in reality. / An example of this kind of thinking is a meeting at which a political candidate declares that he stands for a balanced budget, decreased taxes, and increased government spending; and his audience bursts into applause. No one who understood concretely what these abstractions meant could possibly applaud. / A man who holds floating abstractions understands words not in terms of what they denote, but in terms of what they connote. Words connote things to him. They call up pleasant or unpleasant emotions, associations, memories. They suggest; they do not denote. His abstractions float in space, untied to meanings, to facts, to reality.” (Transcribed on p. 178 of the book THE VISION OF AYN RAND.) In the 1980’s Leonard Peikoff gave a lecture series called “Understanding Objectivism.” I notice there that he thought of Leibniz, and presumably Rationalists more generally as dealing in floating abstractions (which is rather the idea you get of Rand’s view of Rationalism in her “For the New Intellectual” even though she doesn’t use the name ‘floating abstraction’ there so far as I’ve found). Peikoff mentions a type of psychosis “which has some elements of being concrete-bound, and has some elements of floating abstractions (certain schizophrenics will build castles in the air), but still they are crazy, and Leibniz wasn’t.” (Transcribed on p. 265 of the book UNDERSTANDING OBJECTIVISM.) The quotation on floating abstractions you found in Peikoff’s OPAR is helpful. Thanks. There he seems to be back to thinking about persons not very philosophical in their thinking. (Cf. Rand’s ITOE 75-76; also p. 214 of Harry Binswanger’s HOW WE KNOW.) Gregory Salmieri maintains that floating abstractions are one possible result of not taking the dependency relations of concepts into one’s thinking. He seemed to have in mind the dependency chain of concepts ultimately to “first-level concepts” (presumably elementary concepts of kinds of concretes ordinary in perception). “A floating abstraction is a concept that has become detached in one’s mind from its basis in perception and has therefore lost its meaning (Peikoff 1991, 96).” (p. 71 in CONCEPTS AND THEIR ROLE IN KNOWLEDGE – REFLECTIONS ON OBJECTIVIST EPISTEMOLOGY.)
  44. 2 points

    Ayn Rand and the French

    I just started a Youtube channel. I have a terrible accent and I probably make a lot of mistakes in English. I hope it's understandable. I devoted a video to the following topic: What do the French (in general) think about Ayn Rand? I would be glad to have your feedback.
  45. 2 points

    Ayn Rand and the French

    They don't think of him. As far as I can tell, he is virtually unknown, except for very few people among those who are interested in Philosophy. I think, Ayn Rand is more known (or rather less unknown) in France than Guyau. You are right about the second one. It's a little summary chapter by chapter, available for free here. The author is a reader of my blog about Objectivism, and since he made that book, I've translated some chapters of The Romantic Manifesto. The first one is supposed to be a biography of Ayn Rand. It was the only book in french about Ayn Rand since recently. The book was written by Alain Laurent, the publisher of Atlas Shrugged in France, who was also last year in a lecture with Yaron Brook. I was in the public, so was the author of the second book The Esthetic Philosophy of Ayn Rand. And I asked a question. Alain Laurent is also the publisher of The Virtue of Selfishness, but he removed most of the chapters, as I say in my video, including the introduction, to publish his own introduction. Because he is the publisher of Ayn Rand and because of that book, Alain Laurent is viewed as the "expert" of Ayn Rand in France, so when the french medias talks about her, they have Alain Laurent as a guest. In my opinion, it's a scam, because Alain Laurent doesn't understand Objectivism at all (It's easy to prove, he disintegrates all ideas), commit some errors and is regulary very critical about Objectivism grounded on his non-understanding and errors. One single example (among plenty): In the book you mentionned, he advocates that Ayn Rand is not a philosopher and that she had never read Kant, and criticize her for never quoting other philosophers. He wrote the same in his introduction of The Virtue of Selfishness, where he also says that Ayn Rand advocate some categorical imperatives. Clearly, he has never read Causality versus Duty. And it's always like that : He regulary sees "contradictions" in Ayn Rand's philosophy...grounded on his own misunderstanging or ignorance. As he is the only French voice, visible in the media, who talks about Ayn Rand. Many French people learn about Ayn Rand through him, i.e. through his errors, his fallacies and his superficial understanding. I think that there is no one who does not harm Objectivism in France any more than he does, though I'm pretty sure he views himself as a fair spreader of Ayn Rand. He is also very critical of the Objectivist movement.
  46. 2 points

    Why follow reason?

    Formally, it is redundant to ask "why be rational", since the question assumes it is.
  47. 1 point
    A possible world makes sense if and only if it refers to a future state of the one real world. Other ways I've seen it used are gibberish.
  48. 1 point

    Which Eternity?

    No. The concept of Universe works just as well whether what exists is finite or infinite. Concepts are by definition and in practical usage open ended. Furthermore, paraphrasing Aristotle and his principle of identity, everything that exists has particular definite form. A 'sum' or 'whole' used in reference to the diversity of all that exists then is not something that has a primary sense of existence but rather it is merely an epistemological device. A good definition will specify a genus and differentia; but the definition of Universe can have no differentia. Universe then is a special and problematic epistemological contrivance. Is it a problem that needs solving? Can it be avoided? I say no and no.
  49. 1 point

    OCON 2018

  50. 1 point

    Is Dignity a Right?

    It was both fraud and force. Fraud in the bait-and-switch and then force or the threat of force in the comply-or-else-die aspect. I find fault with your understanding of fraud, contract and force. Changing the subject, dignity is too subjective of an evaluation to define in objective law. Individual elements that may be components of a concept of dignity can be objectively defined as for example to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures of one's person and personal effects, but to just use the term 'dignity' in a written law without establishing context is a legislative disaster and legal nightmare. Dignity like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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