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  1. 3 points
    softwareNerd

    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.
  2. 3 points
    dream_weaver

    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.
  3. 2 points
    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).
  4. 2 points
    Grames

    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.
  5. 2 points
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    Is not the view actually put in the positive sense, that it is claimed time is only inside the universe? Time is an attribute of what exists. Outside of the whole of existence there is nothing. Nothing can have no attributes. Nothing can be claimed about what is not-existence. All of that is merely laying out foundations of straight thinking in metaphysics to rule out some mysticism. I would not read Rand as making wild claims about the ultimate fate of the universe, whether it exists endlessly or not or in what form.
  6. 2 points
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    I can see it now. Welcome to California, the Gulag of the US!
  7. 1 point
    Boydstun

    Which Eternity?

    Which Eternity? Rand held her axiom Existence exists to include that the universe as a whole “cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence” (1973, 25).[1] One would naturally suppose Rand was thinking that immunity from creation or annihilation means the universe has existed an endless time in the past and will exist an endless time in the future. Plausible as that picture appears, might the axiom Existence exists not strictly entail the endless duration of Existence? Might it entail only that at no time was there nothing at all or that at no time was there no time, yet not also entail that the duration of the existence of Existence extends into a past that is infinite?[2] Might the boundary of the past be finite, and at the first, the universe have its present mass-energy (as in classical GR back to the Initial Singularity) and be passing time, yet since it was the first of time, there be no "before" that first, and it simply not be sensible to talk of a "becoming" from a "before" the first? In our philosophical reflection, should we prejudge the physics of whether the universe of mass-energy and its spacetime extend into an infinite or only a finite past? Should that issue be left to scientific cosmology to settle? Nearby issues such as whether time, space, or spacetime in any way have causal powers and whether there are more primitive physical elements from which spacetime arises should not be prejudged by philosophy, I say. Rather, those issues should be left open for scientific cosmology to settle. I think, however, that philosophy can and should go beyond observing that there was no time and will be no time at which there was nothing, go on to the conclusion that Existence is eternal, meaning endless in past and future. If no Existence at all, then no character-identity at all. Had Existence come into existence, it would have to do so in a specific way, yet that way would be some character-identity, which requires some existents and is an existent, and by hypothesis there were no existents. Coming to be without a way, as Parmenides realized, is nothing.[3] Moreover: Coming to be is itself an existent. Coming to be of the all that is Existence would be coming to be of any coming-to-be at all. That cannot be sensible unless there were some background existence lacking any coming-to-be. But by hypothesis there was no existent of any sort—thence no existent lacking coming-to-be—before the coming into existence of Existence.[4] Therefore, Existence has no beginning. Then too, absent power of coming-to-be of its entire self, Existence cannot come to be not. That is, Existence has no end. Rand did not accept the idea that the universe as a whole is in time. She thought that time was one of those things applying to things within the universe but not on up to the entire universe itself. One might sensibly say, in Rand’s view: Existence, the entirety of all existents, is eternal in the sense that it is outside of time, but not in the sense that it exists endlessly.[5] That is erroneous. As my life advanced in time, so did the Milky Way advance in time, Andromeda too and on up to the whole universe. That is how our modern physics has it also. The universe has a certain age since such-and-such event, most importantly, since the event of the Initial Singularity (or Planck-scale of the spacetime around that classically projected event). Existence as a whole endures through definite time, and that is not to say that time or alteration can exist without other sorts of existents. Notes [1] Cf. Aristotle, Cael. 279b4–84b5; Broadie 2009; Sorabji 1983, 205–9, 245–49. [2] Cf. Lennox 1985, 68. [3] “What coming to be of it will you seek? / In what way, whence, did [it] grow? Neither from what-is-not shall I allow / You to say or think; for it is not to be said or thought / That [it] is not. And what need could have impelled it to grow / Later or sooner, if it began from nothing?” Gallop 1984, Fragment 8, lines 6–10. [4] Matter is mass-energy having nonzero rest mass. Only matter and its changes can be a clock. Were the universe to contain no matter, only pure energy, there would be nothing registering the advance of time. So far as I know from modern physics, time would yet advance while a pure-, all-energy of the universe and its changes (say, internal propagations at vacuum light speed) existed. A universe purely energy, of course, would be an existent. The current picture from scientific cosmology is that the quantity of mass-energy in the universe today is the same there has been all the way back to the Initial Singularity. Particles of ordinary matter, the neutrinos (they have nonzero rest mass), emerged after the first ten-thousandths of a second following the onset of expansion of the universe from the Initial Singularity. Dark matter, having rest mass, may have been present before the neutrinos. I gather that at the present state of scientific knowledge the remote future (years from now about 10 to the 100th power, whereas the present day is only about 10 to the 9th power from the Initial Singularity) of our ever-expanding universe will contain only or very nearly only massless particles such as photons and gravitons (Penrose 2011, 139–49). [5] Branden 1962; c. 1968, 82­–83, 101–2; Rand 1990 App. 273; Binswanger 2014, 26. Cf. Peikoff 1991, 16; Gotthelf 2000, 48. References Anagnostopoulos, G., editor, 2009. A Companion to Aristotle. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Aristotle c.348–322. B.C. The Complete Works of Aristotle. J. Barnes, editor (1984). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Branden, N. 1962. The “First Cause” Argument. The Objectivist Newsletter 1(5):19. ——. c.1968. The Basic Principles of Objectivism. In The Vision of Ayn Rand 2009. Gilbert: Cobden Press. Binswanger, H. 2014. How We Know. New York: TOF Publications. Broadie, S. 2009. Heavenly Bodies and First Causes. In Anagnostopoulous 2009. Gallop, D. 1984. Parmenides of Elea – Fragments. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Gotthelf, A., editor, 1985. Aristotle on Nature and Living Things. Pittsburgh: Mathesis. Gotthelf, A. 2000. On Ayn Rand. Belmont: Wadsworth. Lennox, J. G. 1985. Are Aristotelian Species Eternal? In Gotthelf 1985. Peikoff, L. 1991. Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. New York: Dutton. Penrose, R. 2011. Cycles of Time. New York: Knopf. Rand, A. 1973. The Metaphysical versus the Man-Made. In Philosophy: Who Needs It. New York: Signet. ——1990. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Expanded 2nd ed. H. Binswanger and L. Peikoff, editors. New York: Meridian. Sorabji, R. 1983. Time, Creation, and the Continuum. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  8. 1 point
    No one got slandered. Indeed, people might overgeneralize (two guys who wear a MAGA hat therefore mean all people who like Trump would do the same thing), but that isn't slander. That's people being obsessed with identity politics. He didn't target anyone, he didn't lie about someone in particular, he didn't make a false accusation. I'm sure he developed the scenario specifically to get as much attention as possible, but probably the only people who fell for it were those who already have an aneurysm as soon as they hear MAGA. Tucker Carlson loves identity politics just as much as a liberal. Only if you believe in collective victimhood, can you construe this as someone being victimized.
  9. 1 point
    Eiuol

    The Trolley Problem

    New trolley problem: The trolley is speeding towards a stack of dynamite that would explode and kill you if you crash into it. If you hit the switch, you will change tracks and be safe. But, you don't own the trolley! Either you get involved the workings of their property, or you die. What do you do?
  10. 1 point
    Come on man, troll a bit better than this! I think it would've been more fun to connect Obama to this.
  11. 1 point
    Eiuol

    The Trolley Problem

    With real blood, real pain, and real bodies?
  12. 1 point
    dreadrocksean

    The Trolley Problem

    You action caused the death of an innocent person. Regardless of the reason. You intent was also to kill the innocent, so you cannot claim ignorance or accident.
  13. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    National Borders

    This is backwards. First you need philosophical clarity regarding national borders, then you can apply that knowledge to practical problems related to the war on drugs or the welfare state. I agree in principle, and, look, we didn't even have to solve the drug war first. Though we might disagree on what qualifies as "a very real threat to individual rights." For example, you don't mention anti-individual rights ideologies, like socialism. Binswanger has argued against controlling for political ideology at the border. I disagree and have debated the point at length on the "Immigration Restrictions" thread. http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/31452-immigration-restrictions/
  14. 1 point
    Boydstun

    My Verses

    I took this evening photo a little after writing this poem, written lying on the living room floor beneath her. -2/4/19The 'he' is Jerry (d. 1990).
  15. 1 point
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    Causal connection. Physical, material causality through direct and indirect contact or through fields or whatever else physics may discover. Then that thing would be unknowable, and it would be arbitrary to speculate about its existence.
  16. 1 point
    Yeah, no I don't think I have ever thought that when meeting someone. If I think about the truth I always have a sense that I have something to learn from each person I talk to. They might be dumb as a box of rocks and funny as hell.
  17. 1 point
    Nicky

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Jordan Peterson (who I think is a brilliant thinker and public speaker) makes a very interesting point about social statistics: the real issue isn't the 60/40 split between the masses. The real issue is between the outliers: when there's a 60/40 split between two large groups of people, the spit between the extremes (the people who out-perform the group, meaning the over-performers) is far greater (95/5 to 99/1). For instance, in NYC (or NYS, I'm citing this out of memory, so I'm not entirely sure which), an overwhelming majority of genius level IQ tested high-school students are ethnic Ashkenazi Jews. A crazy amount, something like 49 out of 50 "genius" IQ students in NY are Jewish. That's a natural consequence of Ashkenazi Jews being, on average, about ten points above the average population, in IQ. Which is not that much. But small statistical differences result in overwhelming differences when it comes to outliers (in this case, geniuses). Another good example of this, often cited by Jordan Peterson, is the radical split in prison population, by sex...pretty sure it is above 9 to 1 in "favor" of men...despite the fact that, on average, personality traits that favor criminality, between men and women, tend to be around 60/40 percent...which, on the surface, doesn't seem that significant until you look at the results in outliers. And, of course, outliers determine the future of a society. It's hard to argue with that. Albert Enstein (a person who can be objectively judged to have had superior intellect, without an IQ test) was more important than 5 billion people, all added together, who lived since. Clearly. If high IQ really does equal superior intellect, then no one else really matters in the NYC school system on a societal level, except Ashkenazi Jews. And no one really matters on the African continent, period. So, if you buy into IQ (like Jordan unfortunately does...but with a caveat: he does not claim any kind of omniscience, he is open to counter-arguments, and I think he would be blown away by someone challenging his definitions, I don't think he ever met someone able to do that), you can't really dispute these types of conclusions. The only possible avenue of attack against that position is attacking IQ (and social sciences in general, because Jordan is correct: IQ is one of the better parts of social sciences). Jordan, as far as I know, only makes one decent argument for IQ: there's a strong corelleration between IQ and financial success in the West. Which is somewhat of a non-sequitur.
  18. 1 point
    What are you going to do with this assumptions? Do you seriously thinking 40% 60% etc. while talking to people? If you are actually having a conversation, It does not take much to start forming an opinion of another person... at which point class probabilities are rendered pretty useless. And, if you start to assume that before hand, you will hinder your own ability to be objective, and will therefore miss spotting reality.
  19. 1 point
    Tenderlysharp

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Have you ever had a personal sentimental item, attached to the memory of a person who is gone, stolen from you? I have. No amount of shouting in the street about what is fair is going to stop human malevolence and ignorance. If I want to approach fair human interactions, I've got to build my own foundation, inspire the cretins to educate themselves, and not waste time bloviating to a choir of one. I come here to find real, unique, interesting intelligent human beings, who happen to adore Ayn Rand for reasons she might have appreciated. I am not here to run around in circles with puppets who spout ideologies with no thought of what any of it means to them personally, individually here and now in the real world.
  20. 1 point
    Grames

    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.
  21. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Movie: First Man

    I rented First Man and thought it was very good. Its story is told from the perspective of Neil Armstrong and the personal challenges he faced in order to become the first human being on the moon. The style tries to blend both the emotional and rational aspects to his journey. It does a good job at that and really puts you into the boots of this amazing character as he struggles with his daughter's death, the fear of dying, and all the technical things he must figure out in the spaceships he controls. The tone is serious and deliberate, backdropped by the potential for chaos and catastrophe. The film looks great. The effects seem like they belong in every scene and don't distract from the suspension of disbelief. Nothing really popped out at me to criticize, except a minor impatience with some slow parts. The movie really takes Armstrong's famous words to heart. It's about one man representing mankind's desire to reach the moon. It's an epic, hero's journey. But a real hero's journey. This is another film from director Damien Chazelle, who also did Whiplash, one of Peikoff's favorite movies, which I thought was excellent as well. Chazelle is apparently working on a TV series now. I hope it's as good as his movies so far.
  22. 1 point
    Grames

    Which Eternity?

    No, there can be no boundary. Whenever you think you might be able to imagine something outside or beyond the Universe, it expands to include it. It is the intent of the concept Universe to encompass everything by definition. All concepts are like that, having open-ended referents.
  23. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    A dictatorship is a threat because it is a threat to your life and property through the use of force... This is a fundamental disagreement with Objectivism. Of course people might develop ideas that would then push them towards initiating force, and in this sense ideas might be threatening. Yet we still wouldn't want to initiate the use of force at this stage because people can also change their mind, or might be cowards and not do anything, or don't know the implication of their ideas, or otherwise want to give people the opportunity to be free to change their ideas. We can respond to these threats through argumentation, persuasion, or anything else. In other words, there are different kinds of threats, and different kinds of responses to threats. Since ideas aren't violent threats, I don't see any justification to respond to them with violence. I can put it this way. I think your idea about anti-American beliefs is itself anti-American. I think this is threatening to the stability of our country, and would necessarily lead to violence if enacted in the way you want. Should I be able to deny you access to the country? Should they be able to kick you out of the country?
  24. 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.
  25. 1 point
    Doug Morris

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    If a few million come in every year they have time to assimilate and become more American, especially if they are not forced to keep a low profile by wrongful immigration restrictions. Many of the people who come here do so to work, which is compatible with becoming more American. Any portion of collectivism or individualism present in any person's ideas is there by their choice and can be changed by their choice. It is not biologically determined. This is also true, in a less direct manner, of most, if not all, of a person's attitudes and emotions. And where reason conflicts with emotion, we can choose reason. That approach may be of value, especially in breaking through initial resistance, but to really accomplish something we need to work positively, on a fundamental level, by teaching them the right fundamental principles. The major practical reason being that humans are the main variable in the equation and that we are to a large extent selfish beings and that capitalism leverages said fact. Perhaps. That's stated very generally, making it hard to get a handle on. It's not the whole story, though. For example, central planners have trouble knowing what prices to set. In at least some cases they have used prices in freer economies as a guide. That's tribalism right there. If every country should have open borders, if we're all individuals and all have equal rights then that statement is a contradiction. The nation state of the USA is an arbitrary construct if you believe in open borders. Why focus on the arbitrary when you could focus on the concrete? It's not tribalism. It's recognizing where I can have the most effect and where this will most affect me. Where exactly national borders are drawn is not arbitrary but optional. (I am using the words "arbitrary" and "optional" in Ayn Rand's sense.) The world badly needs to have a U.S.A., although it really needs a better one than the one we have now. I have no doubt in my mind that that is a firmly held core belief of yours. Doesn't mean it's objectively true though. To the extent that people distinguish "races", they do so on the basis of minor physiological differences. The evidence for greater differences is weak at best and implies at most statistical differences which are much less than the differences among individuals within each "race". The biggest genetic differences that do exist among humans fall not along the lines of traditional "races" but among different groups in Africa, one of which gave rise to all modern humans who left Africa. Just because differences are real doesn't mean the answer has to be bloody murder every single time. There are some shades of gray here. It's just that you can't see them based on your current belief system which demands that only black and white are allowed to exist. I am well aware that the "races" have had different histories which have had measurable statistical effects and have also had a major effect, in a variety of ways, on people's ideas and attitudes. Can you name even one shade of gray that actually exists that I can't see?
  26. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    Sorry to interject, and I cannot speak for Grames, but everything which exists, exists now. That does not in any way detract from the fact that things existed "in the past" or that things (or states or configurations of things) will exist "in the future". I know it sounds like a semantic game, but it is not. The fact that we can remember and/or deduce the past from the present, or predict (to varying rates of success) future events from the present, does not serve enough to "equate" the fundamentally different categories of NOW versus "PAST" and "FUTURE". [ I do understand there is some nuance involved in talking about the fundamental differences without invoking the ancient fallacies that "change requires destruction and creation" (or there can be no change?) or "you cant stand in the same river twice"] So what is the status of traces of the "past"? Whether rings of a tree, or photographic remains from the 19th century, or actual memories in our brains, there exist states and configurations of things as they exist now, which are a result of causation which occurred in the "past" and involved existents as they were in the "past". But the existents are no longer as they were in the "past"... forms, chemicals, arrangements of matter change... although some preservation of states (or a clear connection of present states to those of the past) is necessary to deduce the past (chemicals in a photographic plate which have preserved their states which were caused by interaction with light at the moment the photograph was taken) [Aside: I accept the oddness that since time is always in motion, even the act of recalling the distant past involves processes which themselves involve time... to see an image of my childhood home, my visual cortex and associated systems are provided with something which has been stored for years, but the experience I have of seeing it in my mind, is already milliseconds old.. since the time of recall to the time of "display/experience" is not instantaneous....] In that sense things only ARE, but we see from what they ARE what they (or perhaps what other things) WERE. What about the status of the "future"? The "future" IS not, but it WILL be. What it will be is inexorably through causality linked to all that is now, so we have the luxury of being somewhat able to predict and project, what to expect existence to be in future, by thinking about it. That a ball will arc through the air into your baseball glove according to a parabola, and you can place yourself to catch it is a wonderful thing. But "time" is simply a measure of the changes in the things which exist... it is not that there is a ball and time and you somehow have figured out the relationship between the two, there is, was and only ever will be the ball. The FACT is that the ball, its attributes (position momentum weight size) and its arrangement in relation to the Earth its nature and the fact of gravity, all mean that there will be a causal chain of events which is not random. The facts of things that ARE do exist, and they will affect the future, but those facts of things as they are now, exist now. Again in that sense, things only ARE, but we can see from what they ARE what they MIGHT (or WILL) be. Although we can remember the "past" and predict the "future", although the "past" affected the present and the present will affect the "future", there IS only NOW. Moreover, since time is merely the fact that THINGS change, and "time" is not a thing in itself, there literally is no PAST or FUTURE. They do not EXIST now... All we should mean when we refer to various "points" in time are the THINGS as THEY WERE (or WILL BE) AT those times. Referring to a disjointed floating time is technically meaningless. There is no December 2, 2020 as such, but we CAN speak of THINGS AS THEY WILL BE on December 2, 2020. It's the same as the concept "number", one is no more correct to refer to a disembodied "past" or "future" (rather than referring to the past states of things or the future states of things) than to refer to "six" absent specifying six "what"? [As in "I saw Six running in the lobby today" ... "Six? You saw Six what running in the lobby?" ... "No just Six, I saw it running in the lobby" ... "Incredible... utterly fantastic numbers are not things... there are only numbers of things (and by measurement omission ... numbers of "anythings")] For clarity, I do not think you are wrong to see the "past" and the "future" in things that ARE, but the notions "past" and "future" can only ever mean what things were and what things will be, and the act of seeing those "in the things that are" is merely an identification of identity and causality as the prime "movers" of "change", not an identification of a literal past or future "in" the present.
  27. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Which Eternity?

    contra the "non-manmade future" of Rand?
  28. 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).
  29. 1 point
    KyaryPamyu

    Universals

    It could not, because those particles only act according to what they are, not according to what they aren't. You can't arbitrarily hack anything. You can't do more than its possible to do given the nature of what is, particles and 'meta-energy puffs' included. The fact that things are made of more basic ingredients does not invalidate the existence of those things. Explaining something doesn't invalidate its existence. By the way, Objectivism is not a materialistic philosophy. It holds existence, not matter, as the primary. Matter and conciousness are specific things that exist. No, there isn't. When you say that two bottles of water are the same thing, you're saying that both of them are man-made objects with a shape and material suitable for carrying liquid. You retain those characteristics and ignore their measurements (in reality everything might be different about them: their size, their exact shape, whether they're made of plastic or glass). But those bottles are not the same thing at all, i.e. instances of an Archetype. They are two different concretes which man can classify togheter in order to reduce the complexity of the world. According to your views, if there is a higher-lever 'spec' which defines what things are and ought to be, what is the even higher level spec which defines what the previous spec is and ought to be? In other words, causality. But actions don't cause objects, it's objects that act. Causality is an instance of the law of identity: because something is what it is, it acts according to that. A thing isn't the way it is because it ought to be what it is. What is, is. 'Ought to be' is a specialized category applying only in a specialized context, that of choice. In no way does it apply outside that context. In morality, when you say that you ought to do something in order to achieve a goal (man's life), you mean that you ought to do it because of certain facts, i.e. because of the identity of man and the world. Everything is what it is, i.e. has a nature. Not an abstract nature. Define your terms, otherwise your arguments will go all over the place. The ability to mentally isolate certain characteristics of an object and to contemplate them apart from that object is what abstraction consists of. It allows man to observe similarities and differences between objects and thus to form concepts and the whole body of human knowledge. Abstractions themselves have a nature. For example, they are formed in the brain of a particular living being, they require a certain type of action on the part of that being, they are made possible by a very complex kind of nervous system. In your view, do the abstract universal archetypes which define the nature of things have a nature themselves? In that case, what do you think defines the nature of these universals? Other universals? If those universals are primaries and their identity is not set by previous universals, do you think that by the same token we can dispose with universals altogether and simply accept existence as a primary?
  30. 1 point
    Eiuol

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    If you want to measure some sort of capacity, like a sort of calculating power, IQ doesn't actually measure that. Specifically, it's a measure of a particular kind of problem solving on a specific set of standardized tests, narrowly defined. They attempt to measure a general intelligence capacity, but it is extremely controversial to say that it really does measure that sufficiently. It doesn't actually get down into innate capacities, even though that was its original intention. We know generally how it correlates and does not correlate with environmental and intrinsic factors. But IQ is primarily used for correlation research, because that's all it's really good for. It helps to give a sense of intelligence, but only on a broad way. That isn't the controversy. The issue is the explanation. Saying race is the cause is a bad explanation. It's a bad explanation because any study that uses race has a predefined notion of race, and much of the time, there is no genetic measure in the experiment. And besides that, if we did find some reliable genetic measure, like a specific gene that was reliably correlated, we wouldn't even talk in terms of race. We would talk about the specific ways specific genes are passed on. Read the beginning of the thread, much of this was discussed already.
  31. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    It's definitely part of the reason, but not the main reason. It is not a sufficient or necessary condition, but more people adds more weight for concern when there already is a concern. All I really care about is if there is a plan of action, not simply hope on their part. There might be an argument to stop them in terms of visiting the country (as in, their intent is "hit and run" propaganda), but I can't see why I should call something a threat if it isn't associated with imminent violence. Are you seriously missing how Hitler used violence to come to power? He toned it down a little bit after being imprisoned, but it's not like he came to power and then unleashed the violence. It wasn't anti-German belief that was ever the threat, it was the constant use of violence. Hitler basically got people to ignore the law (or rather, he got the right people to ignore the law), he didn't use the law of Germany to get his way.
  32. 1 point
    William, I link below a good book of modern formal logic. (The author has another book on mathematical logic, which is beyond this much logic.) I learned a lot from it, and he has some neat historical notes at the ends of chapters. This logic is not a rejection of Aristotelian logic (leaving aside A’s modal logic, which is a further area, beyond what we’d think of as standard formal logic, and beyond the scope of this textbook), certainly not whole cloth, though it assimilates advances in deductive logic attained in the late 19th and early 20th century. I’m not aware of anything Rand wrote decrying modern formal logic itself. She probably never took up mastery of the contents of the textbook I link here. I’d think she would have taken issue, however, with common philosophies of logic with then-current views on the ways in which logic is situated with our understanding of the world. I’m thinking of the various views on logic expressed by Dewey or Nagel or Wittgenstein (in his later phase). When I look into the Index of The Letters of Ayn Rand, I find no entry for logic, only for basis of logic. The basis of logic in her philosophy (and I concur in this view) and setting the nature and use of logic in serious sensitivity to that basis was a part of Nathaniel Branden’s lectures in those days The Basic Principles of Objectivism and later in Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Beyond those, I incline to take issue, springing from Rand’s view of the nature of logic, with a couple of ways in which inference is treated in standard modern logic texts. But this is no wholesale rejection of formal modern logic, the contested friction points are actually old, and there are contemporary experts on both sides. https://books.google.com/books/about/Methods_of_Logic.html?id=liHivlUYWcUC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 1 point
    DonAthos

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Moral action depends on context, but this is no blank check on action in an "improper society." The question before us resolves into whether there is a right to restrict immigration. If there is no right to do it -- if, in fact, restricting immigration is the initiation of the use of force -- then that is immoral equally in a "proper society" or otherwise. The proper time to protect peoples' individual rights is immediately and always: not when "a proper society is set up," which we currently have scheduled for... well, sometime in the distant future, I continue to allow myself to hope. The checks you mention with respect to immigration? I agree that some sort of "checks and criteria" is warranted, and that action/restriction can happen there, too, according to the same criteria with which we would countenance retaliatory force domestically. Meaning: if we would rightly restrict the liberty of a US citizen for some reason, then we could rightly restrict border entry for that same reason. But otherwise, no. Otherwise, there's nothing special -- with respect to our recognition of individual rights -- to being born in Tijuana as opposed to San Diego. If immigrants plan on using the welfare state, that's the welfare state's problem, not mine. (And I have less than zero interest in restricting immigration so that the welfare state may better survive.) It doesn't warrant my telling someone that he may not move to a certain city, buy a certain house, take a certain job, etc. I believe in liberty, and more to the point that I do not have the right to initiate the use of force. Let's talk about this in concrete detail for a moment. You have a man in Tijuana who wishes to move to San Diego, to get a job there and rent an apartment, so that he and his family may have a better life. You're telling me that an Objectivist such as yourself believes you have the right to tell him that he may not do these things -- in the name of self defense? Well, why not? If we apply the principles given, I don't see why an Objectivist wouldn't support restraints on a person's freedom to leave. If the people who believe in freedom choose to leave the US, that might leave me just as poorly off as allowing an influx from countries with some poorer culture, right? So if I can restrict people and their actions on the one hand, so that I may have a more favorable political culture, why not on the other? (For what it's worth, I don't know that a person like Trump -- though quite far from an Objectivist -- is expert at drawing these sorts of distinctions. If he had his druthers, do you suppose he would make it illegal for certain businesses to leave the US and build their factories elsewhere? I do. So even if we're going to approach this from some "realpolitik"/pragmatic angle, I think there are good reasons for mistrusting walls, generally.)
  37. 1 point
    There might be an argument for restricting immigration based on individual IQ, but not racial IQ. In the future, if we discover that a certain IQ is necessary to understand the political principles of a nation, then perhaps those with insufficient IQ should not be made citizens. (We already kind of do this with a citizenship test.) Also I could concoct emergency situations in which an IQ policy might be of critical importance. For example, if the survival of the country depended on genius-level problem-solving during a war or other crisis, then priority for citizenship should be given to genius-level immigrants.
  38. 1 point
    EC

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    No. I even through in a "supposedly" to imply that I didn't. However, there is a finite number individuals that exist in any arbitrary grouping of select individuals and that arbitrary grouping of individuals is going to possess some "average IQ". I just don't think that it (the average IQ of select individuals in an arbitrary grouping) matters in any way that has to do with rights (or in any other important manner tbh).
  39. 1 point
    As long as the robot self-identifies as a human, I'm sure it would be allowed.
  40. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Is it my imagination, or did a lame thread about Open Objectivism turn into another analysis of racial IQ? It strikes me how similar some Open Objectivists are to idealists. They seem to believe that there is an ideal kind of Objectivism apart from Rand's version. As if Rand's Objectivism were a mere imperfect example of the yet undiscovered ideal form. Instead of applying Objectivism and creating one's own ideas, they argue that we should instead "amend and complete the system," because the first manifestation was flawed and lacking. Such rhetoric is also applied to segregation. Humanity's first attempt was not ideal, because it was based on skin color alone. What we really need, they argue, is segregation based on race and IQ combined.
  41. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Universals

    "Logos" is God, don't pretend it's anything else (saying also rejecting logos is redundant). It's fundamentally opposed to Objectivist epistemology, so it's a very strange question to ask here.
  42. 1 point
    whYNOT

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    I've heard quite enough talk lately on ethnic intelligence. Though discussion shouldn't scare anyone, this looks to be the vogue in intellectual circles. Some talk has come from a few otherwise reasonable/rational thinkers, who aren't necessarily, or at all, racist. But IQ as *the* determining factor, as they see it, is unacceptable, obviously. The free will, to reason or not, over-rides any 'given' brain capacity of some to think brilliantly, and choose not to or evade or who think corruptly. And too many individuals I've noticed (from several ethnicities), perform and succeed above their (apparent) average- to -lower intelligence, while several others of high IQ have seemed not to do so well or find values. (To the limited extent one can measure anyone's standards of personal achievement and fulfillment). Immigration, if race-based, we know to be tribalist and collectivist, presuming on an 'ethnic character'. Conversely, if based on a specific individual's high talents and IQ, for the 'good of the country', I think would be a utilitarian - 'social engineering' - approach. Then there is the altruist mentality of very many, which forms a policy based on guilt and others' needs, etc. Rather than battle through this thorny thicket, and in a less than completely-individual rights world, I think the best is to open up - controlled -immigration to those outsiders who apply - legally - for admittance. Yes, there will be the bad apples who are passed through. There will also be apparently 'ordinary' people who go on to live good lives, maybe admirably, or extraordinarily. As will their descendants also. In the end, who knows what individuals can do? Mostly here, I've been reviewing the problem of immigration world-wide, not specifically America. As many of my age group when young, I was taken by the stirring words on the Statue of Liberty. Some good people I am fond of emigrated to the USA, and became fine citizens, living well there. It has taken me a long while and experience, and reading of old accounts by the migrants, and the help of Objectivist principles to understand what "yearning to breathe free" fully means. Those European immigrants (who'd escaped the authoritarianism of classism, ethnic prejudice and of religious repression) entered a country which promised freedom - alone - free, even and especially, from being helped. Literally, they came in and were left to their own devices to make of themselves what they could, without being 'owed' by anyone or owing in return. Things were clearer then.
  43. 1 point
    EC

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    You are not an Objectivist, and it makes me sick to my stomach that you would claim to be. You are an evil racist, collectivist, and probably a Nazi. I personally think it's semi-wrong for anyone to "debate" with you or engage you in discussion. People spouting evil ideas should be ostracized.
  44. 1 point
    Doug Morris

    Colonialism/imperialism

    I used the word "scriptuarian" according to what a lecture in a history class once said it meant. I checked on Wikipedia. According to what I found there, I would have done better to say "Abrahamists".
  45. 1 point
    Doug Morris

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Azrael Rand: You speak of "national self-interest". What is important is individual self-interest. You have made it clear that you think our self-interest requires restrictions on immigration and letting race be a consideration in setting public policy. But I don't see how you have proven this. You have not sufficiently considered the point that we must think of people and treat them as individuals, not as members of collectives, whether defined racially or otherwise. When I spoke of rape culture I did not mean in the whole society or a whole university. I was speaking of what might be called a subculture, a cultural attitude that seems to exist among some American male college students that encourages rape. If one-fifth of Africa's population (about a quarter of a billion people) decide to enter the United States in the next year or so, where exactly would they go? No private property owner would have to let them onto his or her property. Even owners who were willing to accept some of them would probably have a limit to how many they would accept. If they are squatting on or clogging government property, the government would have the right to require them to leave, and if there is no place here for them to go, that would mean sending them back.
  46. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    Grieving the loss of God

    Well, this is interesting... technically speaking the “loss” of investment was ongoing... its discovery is much delayed and thus can be quite shocking if many years and much effort, thought, and feeling were wasted. I’m not well versed enough in psychology to judge whether discovery of loss of investment can possibly cause the emotion of grief. I usually associate grief as the process of coming to grips with a type of loss which is something more psychologically fundamental than a loss of investment... something loved or cherished .... but I don’t know... it’s an interesting dimension to consider.
  47. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Grieving the loss of God

    What do you mean? Calling Nietzsche a Christian in his critique of the church is one of the most controversial things you can say about him, so I'm wondering what you mean. That's regret. Grief is an emotion about the loss of value, and wishing you had it. Regret is about lost opportunity (or a failed opportunity), and in this context, wishing you never held god as a value. Coming to realize the parts that made you feel bad or miserable is a matter of overcoming and taking those experiences to become something better than you were. Sometimes, in the case of god, there were some really great values and insights more than likely, but you can take it as a path towards further understanding of reality. That's why a person shouldn't feel grief about the loss of god - rejecting god actually puts you in a better place than you were before.
  48. 0 points
    Eiuol

    Immigration restrictions

    If they really are totalitarian thugs, then they would fit all the other criteria that I mentioned. You've assumed that you could have totalitarian thugs that are nonviolent and could become a threat. I'm saying that a totalitarian thug is necessarily going to show threatening signs like violence, or do things like stockpile arms, or explicitly call for the extermination of a race. You've already told me that they wouldn't speak in explicit terms, they are being nonviolent, and they have no plan. If you'd call that a threat, I'd call that paranoia. For purposes of a better life and adopting many of the customs of the destination country. Only by means of using violence early on and throughout their rise to power. So I find the combination of the two fantastical, because the motivations are contradictory. I'd say there is no historical example because no totalitarian would be stupid enough to try to enact their beliefs through persuasion. Well, maybe Lenin was that stupid, actually, very early on. Except Stalin was an even bigger totalitarian, was violent from the beginning, and probably had Lenin killed. (By the way, saying no one would ever be that stupid is almost always false. You can almost always find an example of somebody being that stupid.) The better question is, can totalitarians be nonviolent? I don't think so. But then you might say, if totalitarians are necessarily violent, then shouldn't we prevent their migration? Absolutely! My point is there will always be signs of violence, so we don't even need to get into a discussion about whether someone's beliefs really are totalitarian. It's enough to look for all the usual signs of threats and violence.
  49. 0 points
    MisterSwig

    Immigration restrictions

    There are plenty of good books on how the Nazis gained power, including Ominous Parallels. Street-brawling with communists is not how they took power. That's partly how they became more popular. But generally people loved Hitler's philosophy. They voted for the Nazis, made them the dominant party in the Reichstag. They passed the Enabling Act, giving Hitler dictatorial powers. Citizens were free to leave the country up until WW2. Very few left. In the end, Hitler didn't need to use violence. He was a brilliant speaker and wooed the masses.
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