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happiness

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  1. Is there any good reason to want to learn about ancestors you never knew and whose lifetimes didn't overlap with your own? Is it a form of tribalism?
  2. An example of the kind of observation and argument I'm talking about is "Usain Bolt ate Chicken Mcnuggets an hour before winning the Olympics; therefore, the 'empirical evidence' shows that eating Chicken McNuggets makes you fast." it is extremely common for people interested in exercise and physical training to follow the same reasoning to other equally stupid conclusions.
  3. In a field of interest to me, it's common for people make arguments like "the empirical evidence shows such and such" and proceed to ascribe their uncontrolled observations to whatever cause they want. Isn't all evidence based on observation, and aren't uncontrolled observations not really evidence at all? I read a question on Quora today that asks what would happen if children were raised with "empirical science" instead of religion. I was going to answer by saying that all science is empirical, but then it hit me that philosophy isn't—is it? So while all physical science is empirical, the statement I was going to make would not be true. Correct?
  4. What are the relationships between these things? To take my best stab at it... Faith: the acceptance of a claim without evidence Mysticism: the doctrine one has to accept without evidence Rationalism: the method of cognition used to conceive the mysticism
  5. Trump. I was uncertain up to the last minute and still am. It's horrible to see trump win, but good to see Hillary lose, and I can enjoy it for at least a few hours.
  6. Not sure how seriously to take this, but one's own death is not "bad" thing, but the negation of the context in which both "good" and "bad" things happen to him, the negation of the thing that gives meaning to those terms. You could also say it's the result of bad things happening to a person.
  7. I don't dispute or misunderstand anything you wrote here, and i'm not saying a crisis under the tenure of Democrats will automatically cause people embrace liberty, only that it will hopefully discredit the left, including authorities like central bankers and open people up to considering radical pro-liberty ideas in the long term. Is there an imminent danger that Americans will turn to a proverbial man on a white horse? Maybe, but as Peikoff noted in his book, Americans are still much more rational than Wiemar Germans. Regardless, what I was really getting at in my last post is that a financial crisis would bring richly deserved justice upon a lot of people. Those of you whose lives haven't been as badly and directly affected as mine maybe can't appreciate this, but not having been so lucky myself due to a health issue and healthcare policy, there are times when I would really just like to see some of the assholes driving that policy and gloating about their success get what's coming to them. For me, witnessing current politics is like watching the person who murdered your wife and kids get off on a technicality and walk free, and in my darker moments I say things like that I just want to see the sky fall on this country.
  8. Since positive political change is unlikely, some of us would just like to see the people who brought about the current state of affairs get it in the neck. A good crisis would thoroughly discredit the incumbent politicians and bureaucrats and potentially open up peoples' minds to liberty ideas.
  9. Aren't rationalism and floating abstractions nothing more than a failure to observe that A = A?
  10. Would man be better off if he evolved some neural mechanism that made reason automatic, such that any evasion of fact or use of an incorrect epistemology produced an unbearable emotional response? Or would this be antithetical to free will?
  11. This question could apply to any field, but I often think about how the medical field would shape up in the absence of regulation such as the FDA and professional licensing. The basis for regulation is the idea that consumers aren't capable of making good decisions; some people seem to think society is stratified into two groups of people—doctors and patients—the former being like an enclave of erudite super-experts and later of whom are helpless and irrational, and in their desperation, sure to gulp down the first bottle of snake oil within arm's reach when the get sick if they don't have the erudites protecting them from themselves. So to prove that freedom is good, one has to be able to prove that lay people, that is, those with no particular scientific education or expertise, are capable of figuring out who is most qualified to treat them and what drugs are appropriate to take. So how would people do that exactly without resorting on some level to basing their decisions on the belief that large numbers of other people must be right about their choice of a certain kind of clinician, hospital, or drug? If you go to a website like Healthgrades to look at reviews, you're assuming that the reviewers are credible. If you were to seek the services of someone with some kind of prestigious private sector certification, you'd be assuming that the people who grant it that prestige are right to do so—but how is that different than assuming that the various government bodies who regulate medicine deserve their prestige, which most people mistakenly buy into today? How would people make good judgments about what product or service is best without resorting to the assumption that "X is true because others believe it is so?"
  12. I'm taking self-paced courses on Udemy, some of which are quite good. This was a nice primer I took this year after having ignored the markets for the previous 3-4 years and forgotten most of what I knew: https://www.udemy.com/financial-markets-a-to-z-for-beginners/learn/v4/. I also take the books of economists/investors I respect such as Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, and Peter Schiff, and look up important concepts mentioned on sites like Investopedia. Finance is a pretty broad field, so I would recommend concretizing in your mind exactly what you're trying to accomplish.
  13. I apologize if this has been covered at length in another thread; I didn't know what search terms to use to check. So how important is it to you that your romantic partner be an Objectivist? If it's not, how do you get serious with someone who doesn't share your most deeply held views?
  14. I enjoy watching YouTube videos of him paining on his show, and while his paintings are "good," they are all of natural scenery and devoid of humans or anything more man-made than an occasional cabin in the woods or mountains. Is there anything contra-Objectivism about this kind of artiwork?
  15. Are you still concerned about the doomsday scneario and holding onto your gold?