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Gabriel_S

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  1. If God can change any entity into any thing, then that means that entities don't have a determinate nature, i.e., don't have an identity. Just think about it a bit. That is the crucial point to grasp here, and I think that's precisely what you're missing. Get that point and all the nonsense about omnipotence just sounds like so much intellectual legerdemain.
  2. Well, Hume discusses this famously at length in his Enquiry. I'll supply a few telling quotes, which should give you a taste for his approach. This first is representative of his criticism of the concept of "necessity," which he considers entirely without foundation (and hence causality dissolves into mere association of one event following another with no independent necessary connection conjoining them): Hume couldn't "find" causality in the external world (stemming from a variety of presuppositions, such as his sensationalism), nor could he find it in the internal world. Hence, causality for Hume became mere association of sensations in succession, and facts were no longer necessary but contigent. As an aside, this is what motivated Kant to develop his [in]famous ground for necessity in the Critique. A few more quotes from Hume... and finally in his own words: Therefore, we may conclude, for Hume: necessity is a myth; causality is a myth. I imagine if you are familiar with Ayn Rand's conception of causality, that the above Humean model will stand in stark relief. If you would a more explicit comparison, please let me know. I hope this helps a bit.
  3. I would have thought that she did address it but obliquely. It was addressed in the sense that she combined (i) a proper conception of the law of causality (which Hume, by means of a long series of historical errors, arrived at an opposite conception) with (ii) a correct theory of concept formation and (iii) a contextual theory of knowledge acquisition. These elements (and other crucial insights) provide the basis for a valid theory of induction. Such a theory gets around the Humean criticism because it doesn't accept his underlying suppositions (such as his sensationalism) and general framework.
  4. You may want to explore Ernest Cassara's "The Enlightenment in America."
  5. These sort of questions: why is it irrational to...(rob a bank, kill an innocent person, etc.)...if you can (get away with it undetected, live with it, etc.), often contain an underlying presupposition (as one out of several disastrous errors in approaching ethics in this manner) that makes them "tick." That presupposition is an implicit rewriting of reality. To bring this hidden element to the surface (which is also to simultaneously refute it), consider this: why is it irrational to shoot yourself in the brain if it won't kill you? Well, sure it's not irrational if in your hypothetical you remove the effects of said action. In that manner we can refute every proposition in Objectivism. Let's see: -Why should we be productive if we invented little self-replicating, self-repairing nano-robots that produced every single tangible item we desired without limit? -Why is the alternative of life or death the basis of ethics since if a living person became magically immortal, wouldn't he still desire things like an ice cream sunday? -Why is it irrational to be dishonest if we possessed the ring of Gyges (i.e., if we could escape from every conceivable ill effect from our devilish and dishonest actions)? Etc.,etc. You can multiply this endlessly. There isn't literally a single proposition in Objectivism that can't be "refuted" by this sort of hypothetical counter-factual "reasoning."
  6. Wow, you certainly know a lot about me. That's amazing. Strange crop of psychics they're growing this year. I responded to you as I did because you don't merit any serious attention. Fact is you're about as crazy as a sh*t house rat. And that's a GD objective fact. Keep looking for that hole. Good day. ps, please keep wasting your time writing your screeds. I don't think anyone but you will be reading them.
  7. Umm, did you honestly read what this person posted? They just so happened to join the forum yesterday and appear to have a fetish for this issue...just a tad suspicious. Here's a few juicy quotes in case you missed them: "(Paragraph 2) So Rand and her minions..." "What a goddam joke." "would you, Ayn, and Lenny suggest..." "every human being (save babies or the mentally impaired) has been guilty of evasion (as defined by Objectivism) at one point or another." "Because this is so, our pursuit of happiness, by your standards is a complete exercise in futility: we can never achieve it. If this is so, by working toward a happiness which we don't deserve, are we not all subconsciously working toward our own destruction?" "The problem here is that, per a typical Randian..." "I can tell you right now that I am a very happy person AND I have lied before - what will you do about it? You can scream at me until you are blue in the face, "No! No goddamit it can't be! You're lying! You're evading! Ayn said it's not possible! You merely THINK you're happy because you're an evader who has created an inverted sense of virtue! If I discover a chink in her armor I will be forced to go out and draw my own conclusions! Say it ain't so! You're nothing but a whim-worshiper...yeah,yeah, that's it...a whim-worshiper and you know what else....you're a social metaphysician! You are NOT an Objectivist and you are here by excommunicated!"" "Typically trite Randian argument..." And you're concerned that my response isn't adequate and rational? To THIS screeching mess? Uh, yeah, I think my comment was quite warranted.
  8. Hmmm...so are you lying now too? After all, you are a self-admitted liar and seem to have no compunction about deceiving others nor any real motive to tell the truth except when it suits you. Why should we take anything you say seriously? I think it's time for you to move on to a suitable hole somewhere.
  9. First, I'd like to essentially echo what Mark has said above. But, I'd just like to add that there's nothing in the Objectivist metaethics nor in it's theory of virtue which claims that a person exposed to its arguments will be forced to accede to them. Now, I may be misunderstanding what you are saying, but that seems to be the implication of your argument. I repeat: a true argument, no matter how persuasive and powerful, cannot compel a person to accept it. This fact can be seen quite readily in the case of those who explicitly reject the existence axiom. I mean if anything's a candidate to "compel" ascension, the existence axiom would be it. But, it can't. So, does it mean that because it's possible to reject what is true, that an alternative theory (or set of actions or behaviors) to the truth is somehow "just as valid." No. I don't see how that follows in the least. There are all sorts of "reasons" (read: rationalizations, evasions, etc.) why someone would reject a rational course of action in favor of something less stellar. Are you asking why a rational course of action is preferable to an irrational one, if one "chooses" the irrational one? Something like that seems to be what you are saying. Frankly, I think the choice of Mao as an example doesn't really help much. Somebody (and I use that term here very loosely) like that has so many problems that I don't buy for a minute that they're happy, contented, satisfied, or whatever other positive connotation you'd like to add (or that they themselves might claim). Perhaps, this book might be of some assistance on the issue: The Psychology of Dictatorship by G. M. Gilbert Again, that some choose a morality at variance to Objectivism doesn't necessarily demonstrate anything more than that they've made the choice to act irrationally (if that's what they are in fact doing; of course, it could also be a failure to understand the issues involved, which wouldn't be irrational, which wouldn't really apply to the case of psychotic dictators). I don't see how it follows that this leaves us with an is-ought gap. What does that even mean in this context? There's an is-ought gap because the "is" doesn't force action on a being that possesses volition? That implies that only an intrinsicist theory of value can bridge the is-ought gap.
  10. Have you read this? http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/store/pro...sp?number=AR93A
  11. http://www.intellectualactivist.com/php-bi...&product_id=283 "What is Objective Law?" by Harry Binswanger
  12. Okay, well then we might not be too far off from each other. Once an FSC is identified, then you know that the argument can't be correct. This can be helpful and important independent of the fact that there are deeper reasons why the individual was led to committing a hierarchy violation. Exploring and analyzing the deeper reasons for the error may be important but that really depends upon one's context. For instance, the average non-philosopher may be justified in simply dismissing an argument once a FSC is identified, while a professional philosopher may have the obligation and interest in pursuing and dissecting the underlying reasons for the error. I object to the hint (if there is one) that under every circumstance we all have some sort of duty to trace the deeper reasons for every error. Like I said, that may very well be warranted and illuminating, but not always. Here's an interesting stolen concept I was told was made by Albert Ellis in his 1968 debate with Nathaniel Branden. My recollection of the story is that in response to Branden's query whether Ellis would at least concede that "existence exists," Ellis responded that "existence probably exists." (It might have been "possibly exists.") Now, there can be all sorts of reasons why someone would utter this proposition. Identifying and examining those errors might be useful and interesting. However, in my mind, once the FSC has been identified and you can see that the proposition can't possibly be true, you've performed your epistemological due dilligence and can go on to more important things in life.
  13. I'm just saying that it's hard to come up with counter-evidence, if she did in fact never say anything (publicly) about it.
  14. You mean like a statement saying that she's not denying it?! What about just not saying anything at all?
  15. Uh, you're kidding right? THAT'S your evidence?! Testimony of God's malignancy from the Devil himself, no less...hehe. That's a good one. Next.
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