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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Determinism and free will

    By epistemologue,
    Someone asked: "is determinism (or causation, I may be mixing the two up if they're different) not the way all logic and science works when talking about anything? ... studies that seem to indicate that free will may be more of an illusion" The reductionist materialism of the "scientific worldview", does embrace determinism and the idea that free will is an illusion. Logic does not dictate this, though, actually the reductionist worldview is incoherent. Without free will, morality or ethics would be a meaningless science, people will act strictly according to prior causes, and can't change their behavior based on a morality. So there would be no "good" or "bad", no right or wrong, no justice, nothing. These terms would be essentially meaningless. If behavior is determined, then what people do, just *is* what they do, there's no alternative to compare it against, it wasn't right or wrong, or better or worse, it just *happened*. Worse than that, if reductionism is true, then all that exists in a metaphysically basic sense are millions of identical particles, behaving according to simple mathematical rules, a la Conway's game of life. There is no real line you can draw around one group of particles and think of it as a person, that would be a purely subjective choice that doesn't actually mean anything in reality. The things that you think you see around you aren't real. There are no men or women, there isn't even a self. Furthermore, statements or propositions you make don't have any meaning in the sense of true or false either since the concepts that make them up don't mean anything, and therefore neither does logic hold. So in this materialist worldview there is no justice, no morality, no truth or reason or logic, or even self. These concepts are all contradicted by the nature of reality. They are essentially meaningless and impossible. Yet despite all of this, they will still continue to speak as if these were true. They will talk about what you ought to do for your well-being, how you should be rational, use reason, seek truth, be logical, and speak as if people are real, that things around them are real, that they matter, and that there is meaning in life. All of this is contradicted by their own philosophy, and so they are being incoherent, and engaging wholesale in the fallacy of the stolen concept.

    A theory of "theory"

    By DavidOdden,
    I have a fairly simple problem / question / or need (let my need become a demand on your attention!): what is a theory? From experience, I know a number of specific theories, but I do not know what the proper definition of “theory” is, and what its properties are. My ultimate goal is to say something about a particular scientific theory (to identify flaws stemming from a misunderstanding of what a theory is). To show this, I need to say what the essence of a “theory” is. By analogy, I know what the concept “concept” is. Knowing the nature of a “concept”, I know that “1967 Dodges, black cats and the act of running” –excluding all other things – cannot be a concept, since those things have no similarity. I confess that I have a draft of a theory of “theory”, in the more literal scientific or philosophical sense (thus excluding uses where someone says that they “have a theory that X”, when they mean that they “feel that X is so” or they “have an idea that X may be true”). A theory is (defined as) a system of identifications which allow man to grasp the nature of a (conceptualized) subject. It presumes a definition of the subject concept, thus “theory of gravity” presumes a concept “gravity”, which implies a definition of “gravity”. Likewise “theory of mammals” presumes a concept “mammal” (and therefore a definition of “mammal”). A theory of a subject is a set of (highly) probable propositions which state the essential properties of that subject. The underlined parts here are my theory of “theory”. I need to clarify a few points. A “property” of a thing is a fact about its composition that determines what it does, which is not the same as “an observation” or “a correlation” true of the thing. For example, Android is the most popular OS for smartphones, but this is not a property of Android. Plutonium is used in reactors and making nuclear weapons, but this is not a property of plutonium. As for “essential”, I first want to disclaim any connection to discussions of essential vs. accidental properties in professional philosophy, which gets bogged down in proper names as opposed to concepts, and “possible worlds”. What I mean is those properties that characterize the subject, and which are not already implied by some other property. For example, being warm blooded is a property of man, but it is not an essential property of man, since man is a mammal (etc.), and “mammal” implies “warm-blooded”. An obvious essential property of man is having the faculty of reason, also having free will. I stop short of requiring that the identifications which constitute a theory have to be proven to the point of certainly; a fairly high standard of proof is necessary, to distinguish a theory from a hypothesis. And finally, an explanation about “subject”: this is basically shorthand for “the existents subsumed by a concept”. Here are a couple of corollaries of this meta-theory. Because of the defining nature of “theory” – it is cognitive (it is created for a cognitive purpose) – theories inherit the economy requirements of concepts and their definitions. This derives various Occamite principles such as Aristotle’s “We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses”, and so on. “Grasping the nature of” an existent summarizes the Objectivist epistemology: it is a proper and objective relationship between a consciousness and reality. As a form of knowledge, there must be proper evidence for the claim, and a theory cannot be arbitrarily stipulated. I would appreciate any criticism of this meta-theory directed at whether it does correctly describe what a theory is. It is irrelevant to me whether contemporary science teaching sees “theory” as a social construct. It is likewise irrelevant that most explanations of “theory” insist on adding stuff about repeated testing, standardized protocols or “testable”, since these are non-essential consequences of more basic concepts such as “knowledge”, “non-arbitrary”, or “probable” which the concept “theory” depends on. In other words, I’m trying to say what a theory is, and I am not trying to recapitulate what others have said about theories. I had hoped that How We Know would have a pre-packaged answer, but it does not seem to. Of course, alternative theories of theory important, since any claim has to be evaluated against reasonable alternatives.

    How do I live in a country this over the top in its evil?

    By happiness,
    I cannot stand that I live in a country where the majority of people even tolerate these views , much less one where biggest media outlets and allegedly scientific publications promote this utter filth as the voice of science and reason. All the "Right to Try" legislation does is is give people a chance to live when they have no other chance, and only after the drugs have passed the phase of testing that allegedly proves safety. What kind of foaming-at-the mouth animal would oppose that?    Physicians, ethicists urge Congress not to pass ‘right-to-try’ legislation Science Feb 3, 2018 4:15 PM EST WASHINGTON — Dozens of doctors, medical ethicists, and lawyers are warning Congress that legislation to allow Americans with life-threatening conditions access to unapproved, experimental drugs risks harming patients’ health. The letter was drafted by Alison Bateman-House, associate professor of medical ethics at NYU Langone Health, along with some of her colleagues. It is addressed to the leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the committee currently considering a so-called “right-to-try” bill. The letter was circulated for online signatures on Thursday, and organizers said they planned to send the letter on Feb. 5. In August the Senate passed a right-to-try bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson, which is now sitting in a House committee. The bill would allow patients with life-threatening conditions access to drugs that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has expressed reservations about the bill, but President Trump seems to support it. The 40-plus signatories of the draft letter, however, say they are strongly opposed. “This legislation sells vulnerable patients and families false hope at the expense of weakening the FDA’s critical role in making sure that all Americans can have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of our medical products,” the draft letter read on Thursday afternoon. The FDA already has a pathway for patients to be able to use experimental treatments outside of clinical trials, which is called “expanded access” or “compassionate use.” According to an FDA study, 99 percent of requests made from 2005 to 2014 for these experimental drugs were approved. But a right-to-try bill would allow doctors and patients to skirt around the FDA, leaving them more vulnerable if something goes wrong. “Patients with terminal conditions who access unapproved therapies outside of clinical trials may be at risk of hastened death or reduced quality of the life that they have left, and deserve protections similar to patients taking part in clinical trials,” the authors wrote. Andrew Powaleny, a spokesperson for the pharmaceutical industry organization PhRMA, which hasn’t taken a firm stance on the legislation, said, “It is crucial that any right-to-try policy proposals protect patient safety and the integrity of the clinical trial process along with U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight. PhRMA appreciated the opportunity last fall to work with Sen. Johnson on his proposal and is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with his office and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Walden.” Trump doubles down
    Meanwhile, in a speech to Republican lawmakers on Thursday, Trump reiterated his support for congressional action on the subject. He first spokepublicly in favor of right-to-try legislation in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. “I hope you folks can approve it, and I hope you agree with it,” Trump told Republican members of Congress at a Thursday retreat in Greenbrier, West Virginia. Trump’s remarks implied that FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb was on his side, saying that Gottlieb was “heading it up.” However, Gottlieb has actually expressed concern about the current bill that the House is considering, testifying at an October hearing that it would undercut the agency’s authority to protect patients from unsafe drugs. The FDA declined to comment Thursday. Bateman-House testified at the October hearing alongside Gottlieb. She said that she has not been in touch with the committee since the hearing, and that she thought after the hearing the bill had “more or less died.” But Vice President Pence has been vocal recently on the issue, proclaiming his support in January. He signed a similar bill in Indiana as governor in 2015. Thirty-eight states now have such laws. “I think his heart’s probably in the right place,” Bateman-House said of Pence. “I just wish he would put all this time and energy [into legislation] that was actually going to help patients.” This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on Feb. 1, 2018. Find the original story here.

    Reblogged:"Too Good to Be True" Applies to Politics

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Although the British press is often good for finding news about American politics that goes underreported here, it also leaves a lot to be desired. A case in point is an article in the Guardian that speaks of income inequality as if it is an inherently bad thing:
    And ... ?

    Here we have the mental kill switch of altruism on full display. The only relevant datum appears to be that "the rich" have more money than the rest of us, the hell with how any of them did, whether any deserved to do so, or the fact that anyone in their shoes would so many of the same things, like saving or investing the dreaded ... gasp! ... assets. Consider something you might have bought from "the rich" -- say, for a clear example, an iPhone before its inventor Steve Jobs passed away. Is it wrong that they have your money in exchange for how much easier they have made your life? Jobs did this for countless others, and it is wrong to complain about his wealth, or to lump him into the same category as those who cheat or steal, including obtaining the wealth of others through government force.

    A graphic has been making the rounds that illustrates this point exceptionally well. I haven't read Steve Conover's Neutering the National Debt, but his graphic is quite eloquent in this regard: Simply placing "the rich" in the political crosshairs is as unjust as it is simple-minded. If there is a "one percent" that deserves our opprobrium, the wealthiest one percent are not it, and it isn't necessarily straightforward to figure out who the enemy of prosperity is. As Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, authors of Equal Is Unfair, once put it:
    Most people have little difficulty evaluating an offer made to them personally that seems "too good to be true." But when that offer is made in a way to appeal to common and mistaken notions of morality (and using the government as a fence for the stolen goods), it's deuces wild. In a way, it would be great if solving all the world's problems came down to robbing only one percent of the population. But it's not only not so simple: It is unjust to the likes of Steve Jobs, and it is wrong and self-destructive to steal, to condone theft, or to portray it as an ideal.

    -- CAVLink to Original

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