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Everything posted by samr

  1. Hi, I don't live in the US, so http://www.michaeljfox.org/foxtrialfinder.cfmI is of no use. I have been using http://www.clinicaltrials.gov But, I have found http://www.words-plu...ut/istswtch.htm (Stephen Hawking uses a similar product from the same company! ) Which I will probably use. I don't really want to try Feldenkrais .
  2. Thanks. I need to read deeper objectvist literature.
  3. I think it is an important question, because Roark's "independence" is really like the one gecko describes. He is never described to be influenced by someone in his views. He somehow "knew" what exactly he wanted. I think it is _very_ unrealistic. Every major biography I have read, geniuses talk about people that have influenced them and of the gratitude they owe them.
  4. What do you think of the radical skeptical argument, that you cannot rely on your own senses, because the only way to justify your senses would be via an appeal to senses, which is infinite regress?
  5. According to objectivism, IMHO, god is an invalid concept. Which is different from being an arbitrary assertion. It just annoys me when objectivists say "God exists is an arbitrary assertion", as if it is on the same line as "The flying spaghetti monster exists". It isn't, even though Ayn Rand seemed to think it was ("there is no evidence"). The line of reasoning "It is an invalid concept" is much stronger. And mutually exclusive. You can't have evidence for an invalid concept, so it's wrong to assert there could have been.
  6. But how can one be sure that one has refuted "all" relevant religious arguments? They always can make up an argument, and say "see, you haven't refuted this! ". With evidence, it is easy to judge what is the evidence for a god, not relying upon other people. But with abstract reasoning it is harder. How can one be sure that he has "all" relevant abstract reasonings against a god?
  7. I think that religiuos people are coming from a different philosophic framework. They argue, as far as I can tell : Truth cannot be obtained by human beings. Because they can err. BUT Human beings can obtain knowledge from God. God is infallible. Science is human, religion divine. Ergo, true. Or, Reason cannot arrive at truth. THEREFORE, ULTIMATELY All our knowledge rests upon some kind of faith. Faith in science, faith in the law of the universe, faith in causality, faith in reason. And skepticism is in some sense, the foundation upon which religion rests. I think all these reasons hide behind the logic of creationists. Many of the specific arguments against the above are in "The case against god" by George H. Smith.
  8. Does anyone know of some breaking-edge treatments of parkinson, or how can I try and find them? Or had a good experience with a parkinson treatment? I have a family member, my grandfather that has very severe parkinson.
  9. I think the question is horrible. Obviously, I, as an employee am trying to get the job, so it isn't my interest to tell the truth about my bad traits to my future potential employer. But, I do not want to lie. Asking this question just makes me think - how can I hide my faults without looking stupid. Just an attempt to see who can outwit the interviewer. Does anyone have a clue what can be answered intelligently to "what are your bad traits"?
  10. To make the example extreme - suppose, that somehow, by moving your finger, you could have saved millions of people from dying. Do you have a moral obligation to do it? If yes - then it is exactly the morality of obligatory altruism. Only to a very small extent, but the extent does not matter. How can you defend the alternative position?
  11. Suppose you are a wealthy person, and people are starving near you. Their representative comes to you and _demands_ that you buy food and give. And, to fulfil objectivist scenarios, let's assume you earned your money, while they were reckless with theirs. So, the demand is infuriating. I agree. You have every political right to slam the door on that person's face. And, I would agree that a political system that would _force_ you to give them your money is evil, in some sense. BUT, while you have every political right, do you really have a _moral_ right not to save other people from death, if you can afford it? Despite the fact that it is "their own fault".
  12. Avila, I agree. You also forgot to add that I put this as a quote, since it is taken from http://humanities-notes.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html the same source from which you took (every single word) your paragraph on Copernicus. You also forgot to mention that Which is taken from http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0255.htm Where you took your paragraph on Hitchens from.
  13. Vik, maybe discussion is not possible, but that is still true? The possibilty of discussion, and the truth of propositions are different issues.
  14. Hi, What do you think of the following argument : God can make contradictions exist, because he has created logic. So he is its "master". edited : or merely "god is beyond logic".
  15. There is something that I would like a karma theorist to explain. Suppose I win the lottery, and this is due to a karma reason. Of what type? Does the lottery 'know' my karmic reason? How does my "karma" influence the world outside of me? Is the karmic reason material, or conscious, or other? A karma I do believe in is that we create the causes for our life; being productive is a _cause_ of being rich. And, because one's life may end abruptly before the cause is manifested, I am tempted to say that the cause continues to another life, and the productive personality might gain the effect in the next life (if it remains productive). Not through a lottery, though.
  16. "Forgive me if I'm citing research that doesn't mean anything, but bodies have been weighed the second before they've died and come out lighter when they pass away. That is, the bodies are all the exact same amount lighter, I'm not sure how much though. This probably doesn't mean anything, but it is a bit hard to explain. " I doubt this is true. Consciousness has no weight. Even if you would believe in "soul", does it mean that it has weight? If so, it is physical, and hence doesn't fit its own definition. Zoid, I think mind and body are integrated, but different substances. One affects the other, but in substance they are different. At least, this is the only position that can explain our daily experience. Neurology has only (to the extent of my knowledge, plesae enlighten me if I am wrong) deepened this connection. But the connection is not something we do not know of in daily life. When I drink alcohol or take drugs, my consciousness changes. And feelings have an effect on physiology. From fear to sexual arousal. At least the daily experience is exactly that of two interactive, changing, substances, different in nature, but influencing one another.
  17. How can I know historical truth, without having to rely 100% on first-hand materials (reading for myself all the sources, rather than experts)? How can I tell experts from non-experts, and to what extent can I rely upon experts? A specific qualm I have is that christian historians are more likely to produce very different concepts of what christian history is than non-christians. And I don't think I can just ignore it by the effort of saying "they are biased" (though I would love to). For example, Chestertone had a different conception of the middle ages than is usually said, and Schumacher also, (though I had not read a detailed account by Schumacher).
  18. Personally, contemplation about the concept of death as thought of by most people today ("The ending of all subjectivity") causes me depression. Are there any people that have a different experience? A personal question.
  19. 1. But there is a difference between "all things need a present cause outside of themselves", when you are speaking of 'all' in the context of all individual entities, and in the sense you talk about latter. On my table there is a pencil, a pen, and a computer. Every one of them has a cause. Therefore, you could say that all of them have a cause. Or that the group of them has a cause. It is clear. But what if you ask "what is the cause of 'a pencil, a pen and a computer'"? What is the single cause of all three? Can there be something that is a cause of them all? And what is the cause of the group of "a pencil, a pen and a computer"? Are groups caused? There is a difference between "all" when it signifies merely all individual things and "all" as some totality. I think you can see it is absurd in the small-scale example I gave. What you do with the universe is the same error, only on a bigger scale. 2. IF it is true that every entity has a cause, than the opposite of what you say is definitely true - the universe is eternal, and there is no uncaused cause. The argumentation of "everything has a cause" leads to the conclusion that there is no uncaused cause in the most literal, straightforward way that can be. Everything has a cause. An uncaused cause would be _something_. _something_ is part of everything. An uncaused cause would have a cause. oops...
  20. There is an equivocation here. In one sense of "life", it is the quality of breathing and not being a corpse. You are talking of "life" in another sense, "as a process of achieving values". But this is my point exactly that there is no necessary correlation between them. Long-term , I agree. But there are situations when one knows that his life will be short. A criminal about to be executed, an old person, a person at the last stages of a terminal illness and so on. Therefore the objectivist idea that what is good for life in one sense is a good for life in the other sense doesn't always work. And therefore you must choose what your ultimate value is - not being a corpse, or achieving values. Unfortunately, it is just not true that there is _always_ harmony between the two. The tragedy of life, I think.
  21. Infinite regression is a fallacy in the epistemological sense. If to know something, you would need to know something else and to know that thing, you would again need to know something else - ad infinitum, then you cannot know anything. However, this is a different case, you are talking about the physical universe. This doesn't apply. Infinte regression in the sense of an infinite "chain" of causation is not the same idea.
  22. This is the emotional part : Using introspection, for me at least, it is impossible to think simultaneously that life wil stop entirely, AND to think long term. Thinking that at some point life might stop entirely depresses me, thinking long term (about the things I want to do) elevates me. So, I deduce that the latter _implicitly_ denies the former. This is the rational part : If life stops entirely at some point, it doesn't have a ultimate goal. A ultimate goal would be something like that : before life you would think - what type of life do I want to live? And after death, you would reflect whether you have acomplished this goal or not. Also, you would remind yourself of this goal during life. If life stops entirely, then this attitude makes no sense (ontologically? Some word needed here). Seems people can have this attitude even if they do not believe in life continuation. But nevertheless, if this were true, then long term goals would be ontologically justified. The reverse means that since life has a distinct beginning and end, it cannot be lived for some other goal than itself, and if life itself is the goal (life in the narrow sense, in the sense of being endowed with cognition) then it logically means that it has to be prolonged for as long as possible, no matter what is the quality of it. A person who doesn't believe in the latter, I would say - implicitly accepts that life doesn't just STOP at some point, but is a continuity. BTW, the religious idea of heaven seems to be also a stopping of some sort. Life ceases to be a process for them, but becomes a frozen eternity. Also, hell in a psychological sense. These are ideas I got from buddhist texts, though I might read into them meanings that not necessarily exist in them.
  23. I think that people who think long term _implicitly_ believe in another life. Not in a mystical sense, just in the sense that life doesn't just stop and turn into nothing. By life, I mean the whole complex of cognitive and emotional experiences.
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