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splitprimary last won the day on October 29 2016

splitprimary had the most liked content!


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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...
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Objectivism and the Corruption of Rationality

    does everyone here agree with this too?
  7. 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:
  8. 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:
  9. Metaphysics of Death

    it can sound like Objectivism is positive utilitarianism from some of the quotes that have been referenced here: "We exist for the sake of earning rewards", "live for the sake of such exalted moments as one may be able to achieve or experience", "basic motive is the desire to achieve values". these have plural terms: "rewards", "moments", "values", that can seem to suggest a mere collection of disconnected pleasures. Objectivism goes beyond basic utilitarianism though and sees them as having an integration to them, there being a "one in the many" (Peikoff's I-type in DIM Hypothesis). i think SL was getting at what unites them in talking about the experience of joy being tied to the flourishing *of a Man*. that's where these concepts of identity and integrity come into morality. it's expressed really well here (from Atlas Shrugged):
  10. The Humanitarian with the Trolley

    her list here is "If a man accepts the ethics of altruism, he suffers the following consequences..." so this is not helpful. we are aware that lifeboat scenarios can be used by altruists to reinforce their perspective. the question is whether they can alternatively be used for good!
  11. The Humanitarian with the Trolley

    i think there are significant differences between your asteroid example and the original trolley one. i'm not against discussing it, but it seems like we should examine the first problem before we complicate the thread by adding another and comparing and contrasting the two. are you purely interested in historical examples of emergency hypotheticals being employed in the development of rational+egoistic ethics? or is it sufficient to show that this is possible?
  12. The Humanitarian with the Trolley

    what have i misunderstood? i was not at all trying to be offensive. i understand that you haven't been discouraging Objectivists from answering trolley problems, which of course i think is good. and you correctly identify some frequent negative motivations people have in asking them that i agree should be kept in mind. i also think your example dialogue shows a really benevolent sense of life tendency to solve problems creatively before accepting that any even partially negative outcome, or any amount of "sacrifice", is necessary. that is the objectively best way to be: so long as there is any wiggle room in the scenario posed, any loophole left unclosed, to go for that instead. maybe it will help if i state my own position: i am actually against pulling the switch. Eioul can imagine himself doing it without any of the mental distress that most other people anticipate, but i think that is a failure of imagination on his part, that he simply isn't projecting himself into the situation very well and that he would find out, much to his surprise, if he was ever actually in it, that he would feel terrible about it afterward. it makes sense that i would predict this, if i think the action goes against something objective in reality or about human nature, since regardless of what beliefs one holds about it, that would be destructive ("any refusal to recognize reality has disastrous consequences", "we can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality"). but i would not agree that Eioul is guilty of endorsing collectivism by his answer. the question can be intended to pit the single person on one track, representing the Individual, against a Group or collective on the other; the questioner may want to force you to accept that as the choice in order to "illustrate carnage as an inevitable result" of individualist morality, but an Objectivist need not agree with that perspective. even in answering "save the 5", that is not something the decision can mean to us if we’re really individualists, since to us the group = 5 individuals. i apologize if i've mistakenly credited you with being more perceptive and/or honest than Eioul, by too enthusiastically interpreting your "disvalue of having caused the death of one [innocent] person" comment and a few others more between the lines, as you noticing the effect this would have on the agent in the event.
  13. The Trolley Problem

    i agree that "more strangers" existing is better than "less strangers". thought experiments that isolate the position that in general having more/less people in the world is valuable could be constructed. but the trolley problem is not one of them. too much context is unavoidably included. by the nature of the question itself, the trolley problem simply doesn't get as far abstracted as "5>1", and the fact that people jump there, or interpret it as a choice between "a group" vs "an individual", or whatever else, is not the fault of the question. the threat involved is a train. trains run on fixed schedules that are knowable. usually the question has the 5 people tied down (presumably by some villain, as Nicky said: "those people didn't get tied to the tracks by the wind") who would have done that at the time they did because they knew a train would be approaching then. by this device that context is explicitly preserved. we know that the train is supposed to be in this place at this time, it is part of the scenario that it is justifiably expected by all that the train will run just this course. we also know and should have in mind unless anything is said to adjust it, that trains are owned and run by companies, so this is private property you'd be interfering with. when the questioner includes that the person who is at the switch is not an operator, not an associated employee at all, but just a bystander, this context is also reinforced in the storytelling itself. so the question can also be an exercise in retention of context, or attachment to reality, and reveal peoples' readiness to move away from it. SL had the right standpoint in his conversation with the imaginary professor: context should have to be explicitly removed through some story device, otherwise it's fair game, since the correct method of thinking is to hold concepts in a full way, as representing all of their content and detail. the person who is posing the question is aiming at a specific variable, and is attempting to tailor the question in such a way that they've covered all the other bases. the questioner may be successful or unsuccessful at getting to their target. Peikoff makes some of these points about the trolley question in his answer here, along with the idea that individualists do not consider people interchangeable (or as SL said earlier, rejects that "people and their lives can be reduced to arithmetic"): http://www.peikoff.com/2008/05/26/if-five-people-are-in-an-emergency-room-dying-and-one-healthy-person-in-the-waiting-room-could-save-them-all-if-we-used-his-organs-is-it-morally-permissible-to-do-this-even-though-hell-die/
  14. The Humanitarian with the Trolley

    however, there is an even stronger reason to spend time on this when it can be valuable to your own thinking. and SL i think that is the case here: when you're admitting that the answer you would give based on reason clashes with your emotions, "feels wrong", to the point of being felt as a threat and a temptation to abandon morality altogether, that should tell you there is something "worthy of consideration", something that needs attention; the reflex should not be to push the prompt away. you state in such a situation "one MUST choose to sacrifice one person to save a group of people in order to be moral", but you recognize that against the value to you of these complete strangers you are saving, stands the "disvalue of having caused the death of one person". i think that's very insightful, but then we should check our premises, because one of two things must be going on: either 1. you are correct that pulling that switch is the right thing to do, but your overwhelmingly feeling something other than pride over performing that action means you don't fully grasp why it's right, so your emotions are not following as they should yet. (see Eioul above for a more consistent thought/emotion pro-switch-pulling position: "I am in fact being virtuous", "defending values") or 2. there is an error in the conscious chain of reasoning you've used to arrive at that decision, pulling the switch really is wrong, and your emotions are still following your (correct) implicit premises as an Objectivist instead, and are pointing in the right direction. in either case, further thinking will be useful to you.