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splitprimary last won the day on October 29 2016

splitprimary had the most liked content!


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  1. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    i did not attempt to deny that these people are genuinely experiencing a "bad feeling", my point was that that doesn't tell us anything further with certainty. (i didn't even contest the identification that it is was somehow "related to one's sex", that much would be true for both cases below.) i grant at least the possibility that there is some kind of rare medical condition that results in precisely this. but even if that were proven, the transgender assertion: “i am a [male/female] trapped in a [woman’s/man’s] body” would remain an extraordinary claim. just because some people were that way, would not mean that everyone complaining of dysphoria was. in any particular case, it would be difficult to determine on a psychological basis whether that’s what you were looking at, as opposed to what Don Athos is describing: a nurture-based dysphoria, that could potentially be alleviated by psychotherapy. it seems important to be able to differentiate the two. eventually there should be a way to verify if the biological condition was present, and i would think it would be very troubling for a psychologist to find that someone they had diagnosed that way and recommended SRS for, as it turned out didn’t have it and had actually been struggling with internalized societal or parental expectations instead, and that was their motivation for assuming a different outward presentation. the post-op suicide rates that CartsBeforeHorses brings up could even be explained by these misdiagnoses, while leaving a subset (who have something like Klinefelter syndrome or XX male syndrome or whatever it is), who surgical or hormonal treatments do help. if your unacknowledged deep motivation was to appease other people or seek approval, as Objectivists we wouldn't expect the transition to make you happier or give you self-esteem, not any more than Peter Keating achieved it with his architectural successes. if that's not caught early enough you're really finding out the hard way! i imagine that would be devastating- to put all your hopes in a procedure and go to such drastic measures, only to have it not work, to continue feeling as uncomfortable with yourself as ever. it would be the job of a good psychologist who cared about their patient to explore all this as thoroughly as possible to help them root that out and avoid such outcomes, not to just be affirming and enthusiastic. (the same would go for friends).
  2. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    perfect response! his post that i liked has moved off of that original severely limited definition, he’s now smuggling in a lot more. i can’t help it, i’m so curious about “a rational woman cannot want to be President" not being the same as “a woman ought not want to be President”. is this due to some grammatical trickiness i’m not catching? it seems like saying that you can’t rationally want x.. is saying that you can only irrationally want x (or that wanting x is irrational)… which is saying that you ought not want x. it’s safe to say, like tautologically almost, that you ought not be irrational, yes? irrational always = bad? or, more simply, the rational will be the same as the good. that’s the only step i can see that i’m skipping or "extra" i'm bringing in. maybe you’re thinking you can “want x” in some way that’s arational, neither rational nor irrational?.. i don’t mean to throw the thread off, but i have to know! the proof looks airtight to me! -there are all kinds of things that parents assert (either explicitly or implicitly) that a child ought to do, as a matter of being a good and virtuous person. i don’t see how “playing with dolls” is any more significant or damage-inflicting a proposition than “going to church” or “brushing your teeth”, all of which the child may take on faith at first, but will eventually have to judge for themselves and either accept or reject. part of growing up is realizing that it’s possible for authority figures to be wrong, and daring to disagree with them. parents can’t help having opinions, and they’re not infallible. the only alternative to exposing your child to them would be to attempt to hide them, and that’s not without cost either. maybe playing with dolls has no real connection to being female they only mistakenly supposed it did, perhaps as a memorized association. maybe church isn’t valuable because the premises of religion are false. maybe certain hygiene rituals or diet advice that is passed down are silly wives tales or based on bad science and the child will find out they don’t actually improve health, or have negative effects instead. (-the parents don't know that already or they wouldn't be endorsing these things). it’s always hard to go against your parents expectations and your early conditioning. you will see kids have similar sort of identity crises over losing their religion, failing to be a good student or to perform well and enjoy a sport or activity a parent loved and strongly encouraged so they felt extreme pressure about, etc. depending on what it is, that can cause crippling guilt or anxiety disorders, an eating disorder, all kinds of complexes. feeling pressure to conform to some model that you don't fit isn’t an experience that’s unique to those with same-sex attraction or gender-nonconforming characteristics. but it’s possible to raise a child to be capable of independent judgment, and not self-destruct when they come up against a negative judgment of them- even if that judgment is your own. i think that’s a better solution than to attempt to eliminate any hint of a normative prescription that could influence them. because parents and teachers and peers also have a lot of -good- and helpful advice from their own discovery that will be hugely beneficial if shared. a very laissez-faire approach to parenting is in vogue now, and the “raising kids gender neutral” stuff is just one example of it. (just having both trucks and dolls available doesn’t constitute this btw, what follows is not directed at you). it’s very non-interference, sort of a “leave no carbon footprint” on your pristine “noble savage” offspring kind of mindset, trying to have a perfectly controlled and balanced environment with zero distortion, so you can see what naturally manifests. that can make sense as far as letting kids explore what they're good at, try out different skills.. but it can also become pathological. in the extreme it entails a very non-tabula rasa premise. if that were false, and instead children did need to be taught, what you’d actually be doing by following this is depriving your child of valuable guidance and stunting their development. they would feel lost and neglected more than happy and free to explore. the attachment theory stuff in psychology seems to be showing that the attunement that goes on in a close relationship, where parent and child have an affect on each other, is incredibly valuable in itself. the benefit of having that is usually going to outweigh miscellaneous negative -content- that may be transferred in the process. yes, being wrong and inadvertently imposing a false standard is going to be detrimental and leave your child with feelings of unearned guilt and inferiority. but trying to withhold your soul from them- never showing your thoughts and opinions and genuine reactions at all, out of fear of that, would be incredibly damaging in its own way!
  3. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    -at all these steps, there is possibility of error in the identification. you're trying to translate a really basic, gut-level awareness and bring it up to the level of a conceptual statement. it's very hard to pinpoint what's wrong and people misattribute all the time. this is just introspection! in any instance of this, even a much more trivial one, it can take a wrong turn and yield an answer that’s off, which you might not realize for a long time. i might feel vaguely bad.. manage to trace it back to this morning.. realize it’s centered somehow around my sister.. eventually land on it being a certain comment i made in the conversation at breakfast.. and determine that i feel awful because i was overly critical of her. it could seem like the right answer because i’m getting close, so i might settle there. but with even further investigation and discrimination, it could turn out to have been a different emotional shade completely: i thought it was guilt for what i said, but actually it was regret that i hadn’t spoken up back when the honesty could have made more of a positive difference to her. or alternately, it could be that i snapped at her defensively, i got hurt by something she said just prior to this and the part of the conversation i'm fixated on is a decoy- the negative feeling actually coming from whatever insecurity she managed to brush against. i really like your description, that you start to try to put it into words, getting more precise: from “bad feeling” to “something wrong” to “this is somehow related to sex”.. eventually way down the line maybe you come to something like “i don’t identify with my biological sex, but with the opposite gender” that feels true. but that has been derived, there is so much that has gone into reaching that conclusion. it's not beyond challenge, and that’s what someone is doing when they express skepticism about the claim. they’re not automatically right making a call from the outside via observation or from their armchair of course, but this person doing the introspection is not necessarily right either just because they're up closer to it. friends and therapists help people disentangle and get to the root of what they’re actually feeling all the time; there is no rule that says the subject is always understanding themselves correctly.
  4. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    i'm saying that if you're an Objectivist you don't accept the fact that universals exist. (Rand did clarify in the ITOE Q+A that she did not mean "mental entity" literally). i think Objectivism as presented is a species of nominalism, but i do believe in universals myself. and i don't see any reason why someone couldn't take a position she rules out: that universals do exist in reality, but that we obtain knowledge of them through a mediated process of concept-formation much like she's outlined. this comes from an author you might be interested in.-http://www.scholardarity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Objectivism-and-the-Corruption-of-Rationality-Scott-Ryan.pdf @Ilya Startsev pointed me to him, and i was reminded of it by your observation above about how one of the hallmarks of nominalism is that in the absence of an existent (the universal), there's a fixation on activity. he finds this sign in Rand, in her insistence about the activity of consciousness in concept-formation, and the aggressiveness of her opposition to any kind of naive/direct (Kelley uses the term "diaphanous") realist model. even your other example- sounds just like her "Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action." (-FTNI)
  5. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    ^is that your own opinion? i know you've said you don't want to make this thread about her theory of universals.. but your complaint against nominalism here is that it "argues against the existence of universals" and says that "only particular concretes exist". but Rand does not accept Aristotle's metaphysics concerning the real existence of universals either. 2046 makes an important point here- ITOE: Peikoff, from DIM: but this leaves open any grouping as being equally valid if grounded in fact, and contextually pragmatic. rather than the concepts "male" and "female" that we currently have, (if there are no metaphysical essences to adhere to, and it's just a matter of pulling out any commonality of measurement to attach a label to), an argument could absolutely be made that we should have x different concepts, for various segments of a spectrum or constellations of properties. -which is the kind of expansion the non-binary crowd seems mostly to be endorsing. that would be at least a suggestion worthy of consideration under Objectivist epistemology.
  6. The Law of Identity

    i guess "just one step beyond casual sex" is true not just in the motivation like you mentioned, but even to the form relationships take in her novels. they're "a little deeper and longer range" than hook-ups: usually affairs, usually not lasting the whole book, never marriage for main characters. as long as the people have valid reasons for admiring each other and that's what the isolated interactions are based on, that's good enough for her. "about self-consistency".. there isn't any necessary longevity to it. it lasts while it lasts. she doesn't seem to recognize any "directedness" to a sexual relationship; that a couple was sleeping together doesn't tell her anything about whether they will be together later on. so it's not a big issue for her when, dagny, say, switches lovers. nothing had to really go wrong for that to happen and it isn't difficult for the character, it's not seen as any kind of a tragedy. she engaged in them not expecting them to last.. which is really pretty contradictory to the whole activity, which naturally is bonding. i think this issue may have been the intention behind a post of @Anuj's- "Romantic Love and Promiscuity"
  7. Is this rape? Consent? Something else?

    but i think we’re missing the intention behind that part of the story in speculating about disorders. “at first” it says she was “shy and intimidated” as the reason for her for not immediately objecting, as anyone would expect from someone who isn’t okay with what’s happening. but it fills in some of her thought process as she considers it further and actually consents on the basis of her original conditional: “Maybe this is his way of saying he wants to be with me? That was the agreement” the interesting question here is whether there was a contract that for them to have sex meant agreement to be in a relationship, which he broke when he cut off contact right afterward, before anything else had really changed. there is a much better case for *that* action being immoral. then the argument is that this was a kind of fraud or theft, that he failed to deliver his end in an exchange once he had already been paid. JASKN tried to handle this objection in his retelling of the story from an innocent Chris’ perspective, and it would be pretty tricky to specify for what amount of time he had to remain in the relationship before changing his mind. but it does seem like a moral issue if he went ahead with sex without ever intending to be in a relationship or seeing himself as in one. and a single instance of sub-par sex, especially an awkward first time, is not really reasonable grounds for a breakup.
  8. Is this rape? Consent? Something else?

    to be clear, i'm not at all convinced that it is plausible even with a disorder. it has not been established psychologically that someone with PTSD would suddenly behave like a pheasant instead of a human whenever they experienced unwelcome physical contact, and be completely unable to move or even vocalize for extended periods of time. i find that highly unlikely. i was just responding to your comment above that some kind of rare disorder was only one possible explanation among many, that this kind of "tonic immobility" is not even that abnormal to expect. i don’t think it’s reasonable to demand that people modify their behavior based on such fanciful possibilities that they have no grounds in their experience of human beings to postulate. it would be on par with being afraid to pour someone a glass of water because they might automatically drink it and have a medical condition unknown to you where it affects them like poison.
  9. sounds like the free state project. it's a very cool idea! it definitely is a big value to live around people with very similar philosophy, the problem is that there are so many competing considerations when it comes to where to settle down, too: jobs, climate, family...
  10. Is this rape? Consent? Something else?

    the scenario as described is not plausible without a mental disorder. people try to get way too much mileage out of "She froze up" and it's not realistic. and Eioul, it's not just kissing even by the original story. it was always "kissing and touching" and there's no reason that couldn't include "below the waist" (as it must have). Sally was "still mostly clothed", so by definition, she was partially undressed, which had happened during the make out session, which was consensual. and partially undressed in such a way that Chris was able to immediately "surprise" her in the dark without having to first get around undergarments, which would have given her enough warning about what was coming to object. so "taking this story as stated", to even make it coherent, it's necessary to infer this. it was already sexual before the lights went out.
  11. welcome to OO! i agree it would be great to see links to the podcast episodes and summaries of the objections discussed on them posted here! that would help us keep track and not forget and miss something interesting. there have been all kinds of arguments against Objectivist positions made over the years, more and less successfully. i imagine you have plenty to get you started. whenever you run short on material and need ideas, bump the thread again and let us know which branch of philosophy you're interested in getting into, and i'm sure we can suggest some sources.
  12. Objectivism and the Corruption of Rationality

    does everyone here agree with this too?
  13. Transcending Objectivism and Kantianism

    what you've described above sounds a lot more like Plato's political ideas, not Kant's. the quote from Groundwork doesn't support this. what he is saying there is that principles come from human nature itself, they logically follow from the fact that we are rational beings. because of this nature, "man is an end in himself", and should always be treated that way (with "dignity"). it is the same point that Rand makes that initiating force against a rational agent violates their nature. here are a few more quotes from the preface to Groundwork that are similar to: "A rational being obeys no law other than that which he himself at the same time gives." that might make it clearer:
  14. Metaphysics of Death

    there's a paper by David Kelley that deals with this too. in his third section, on Happiness, starting on page 72, he gives an even longer list of quotes, followed by: