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Everything posted by softwareNerd

  1. You're right. I understand the context now.
  2. Not that I disagree, but this isn't really an argument, but an ad hominem.
  3. Wow Got to love modern science. There'll likely come a time when the "test tube" baby concept will become something that can go from conception to full development. In that context arguments about using the mother's body, and about the mother making the decision because the fetus is in her body, will not be relevant.
  4. Given the nature of the process, there's never going to be a way to argue something like Day 36 if okay, but Day 37 is not. To my mind, one can argue at the granularity of a month or something like that. The focus on "when does this thing become a human" is basically the correct one, but I think the primary argument is still a philosophic one, not a biological one. In other words: why the heck do we recognize each other's rights at all. The philosophical argument that begins with a visualization of adults who want to interact with each other and recognize certain rights they will agree to not cross, regarding curtailing the other's total freedom of action. Lose that focus, and the argument dangle in the air (technical term for "is rationalistic" ) Personally, I would not want the law to draw the line any time before birth. Of course, we know that this too can become an argument about "here to draw the line"... mom goes into labor, baby starts to slide out, baby's head emerges, baby fully emerged, umbilical cord cut, baby is crying, nurse washes baby down. I would not want the law to be peering into the process. I think that focus loses track of the philosophical point of why we come up with the concept of rights in the first place. So, I would want the law -- particularly the law of evidence -- to have a heavy presumption on the legality of the actions of the adults, granting them freedom of action and freedom of attestation. I should add though, that this is a discussion of theory. Living in the U.S., I might even support a constitutional amendment that draws the line somewhere in the third trimester, depending on how it is worded. One key is that the wording would have to be that any restrictions imposed by law for abortions before that -- like admitting privileges for doctors, or the width of hospital hallways, should be explicitly declared unconstitutional. The second would be that the amendment should allow abortions beyond the line, if there is really a reasonable danger to the life of the mother. The third is that abortions should be allowed after that line if the child is not going to be a viable human being, and will die shortly after being born.
  5. Why three years? Why not four or five? About half of 1 year olds can walk, and many can say a word or two. Is walking the cut-off? Talking? But you settle on 40 weeks, based on rational capacity. Not sure what that concept means... the faculty constantly grows. Its a few years before kids even understand the difference between reality and the observation of reality... which is why they hide their face and think you can't see them. And, then, as they begin to understand the existence of object and subject, they also start to understand that there is cause and effect. And then they reach the stage where they think every cause has an effect, and so they constantly ask "why"... in a never-ending stream. At that stage, they've got the rationality mechanics working.
  6. In Cuba slow grind toward opening up, they've taken the next step enacting a new constitution that allows a few more freedoms to their citizens.
  7. https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2019/02/tal-tsfany-on-the-state-and-future-of-the-ayn-rand-institute/
  8. Do you take any of those points seriously? People who make those points are either rationalizing or using them to try win an argument. Their real argument is that they don't want more than a certain number of immigrants each year, because it dilutes existing culture and brings competition for jobs.
  9. While libertarians and a few other small groups debate issues like "Should a country have a border? Should we have Open Borders?" and so on... this is not the actual political issue that the vast majority are talking about. For most people, these arguments are politically correct ways to express their support or opposition to current U.S. immigration law. And, the real issues in U.S. immigration law are questions like: "Should we allow poor South Americans to come and work in the U.S. and become U.S. citizens/voters?" or "Should we triple the number of Indian programmers who are allowed to come and work in the U.S.and become U.S. citizens/voters?" If people reach agreement on these tactical issues, the question of Open Borders and such will be boring to most, though it will continue to be debated in libertarian forums.
  10. IQ tests do measure some types of mental computational abilities. With all their issues, I think an employer could be right to say... I don't want anyone who score below NNN on an IQ test. So, maybe an employer uses a cut-off of 80 for low-skilled jobs. Other tests may work better too. For instance, in the U.S., there is a test called the "ACT Work Keys" test which is not an IQ test, but tries to assess if a person has some basic abilities to function in a workplace. it is the type of tests that average students scoff at as being "sooo easy", but that's the point. I think employers might also want to use IQ scores, or similar tests, in the above-average ranges, again as a cut-off for certain jobs, but not weighted along with other factors.
  11. What are you going to do with this assumptions? Do you seriously thinking 40% 60% etc. while talking to people? If you are actually having a conversation, It does not take much to start forming an opinion of another person... at which point class probabilities are rendered pretty useless. And, if you start to assume that before hand, you will hinder your own ability to be objective, and will therefore miss spotting reality.
  12. What does it mean to be "an essentially formed human being"? That's the basic point of contention, isn't it? An Iranian cleric may argue that "ensoulment" (which supposedly happens in the 4th month) is when the embryo essentially becomes a human being. Articles like this try to say that we need to use a biological idea of "essentially formed human being" rather than some arbitrary religious one. But, it isn't that simple: it's really impossible for biology itself to lay down the ground rules of what it means to be an essentially formed human being. For example, some people wills say that when the fetus can fell things, it is human. other will say that when it is "viable" it is a fully formed human being. Biology can figure out if the criteria is met or not, but the criteria itself is not a question of biology. It's a philosophical guideline.
  13. While IQ tests do measure something real and something that can provide information about the individual that may be useful in some contexts, to say that they measuring an innate capacity is definitely wrong. Saying so implies that... that's it. They aren't measuring something else. And that is so obviously wrong that I'm sure you'll come back and say it was just something you phrased wrong. I had two friends in school, both very similar heights, but one was athletic and the other was a couch potato.If they had to do push-ups, or run a race there was no doubt who would win. Yet, you would never guess that if you'd only met the two pairs of parents. That's not to say that there is no relationship between parental athletic performance and that of the kids. But, even where there is...it is very often the result of parental attitudes, parents setting examples, parents knowledge, ... things that translate into some kids choosing a cetain path almost by default... and not particularly about the born-muscle-structure of the parent. People like to use height and basketball as an analogy when they speak of IQ. It is a poor analogy.
  14. You know when people say they "put two and two together"? That's an example.
  15. Yup, that's the gist of it. One might say, for example, that Elizabeth-I was a great queen. Unlike Bloody Mary who focused a lot on religion, Elizabeth pulled back the dogs and focused on business. Yet, Elizabeth wasn't all milk and honey. She had her spy masters and torturers. She continued some persecution of Catholics. And so on. Historians can and should evaluate rulers of the past, and they should do so using a standard of rights, but this does not make every rights-violator equal. Many rights-violators were really excellent kings, within the context of their times.
  16. It was not meant as a rhetorical tool. It was to judge where DA was coming from. If he'd said he wouldn't thank the framers just as he would not thank colonists, that would help me understand where he's coming from.
  17. Do you have a similar opinion on Americans who say "I thank the framers of my constitution", even though the constitution contained a glaring immorality in condoning and further institutionalizing slavery?
  18. Hmm... what about this... still contradictory? 1. Capitalism is the only moral political system 2. All other systems are immoral
  19. That's a completely different concept though... unless we find Martians and decide they need to be ruled rather than be admitted to our capitalist system.
  20. I don;t know what your position is. Maybe I should state the context I was assuming to be obvious: Capitalism is the right/moral system Other system are inferior, and therefore wrong/immoral (monarchy, communism, socialism, fascism, colonialism, plutocracy, theocracy, Plato's rule of the Philosopher) Those two propositions really don't need to be stated in the context of this forum. I assume we all agree. Anything I have posted should be read with that context in mind.
  21. No, not really. To be honest, I just want to understand the concept of colonialism that you have in your mind for the duration of this thread. Because if we're talking about different things, then we need to sort that out first. I really don't want a definition as an end in itself, but to understand the concept in your mind. Usually dictionary definitions are too vague for that purpose: they serve someone who does not know what the word means, but do not delve into the concept. My concept of colonialism is either a political or historical concept. As a political concept, it describes the relationship between two countries where the colony is kept as a lesser country than the "mother country". Within that one can have many degrees of "how much lesser"? "how tyrannical?" As a historical concept it refers to the particular practices of European colonialism in the 100-200 years preceding WW-1. So, by my political concept, early American settlers were not colonizers. They were settlers. They themselves were the colonies, with Britain as the colonizer. Settling and pushing existing native people out of their lands is a different thing and deserves a different concept. What the settlers did is different enough from what (say) the French did in Vietnam. It's not about not fitting a definition. It is about two very different set of facts, in reality, that need their own concept (the definition follows, but is less important than the actual differences on the ground). What Europeans did vis-a-vis natives is far more similar to what Europeans did in South Africa. It's a very different type of take-over. A lot of French people settled in Algeria, but if you take a magnifying glass to Algerian cities, countryside and political structures of the early 1900's it's different enough from what one would see in South Africa and even more different from what one sees in North America. So, coming back to colonialism... the political concept in my mind is the one realized in British India, French Vietnam, Italian Ethiopia, etc. It is a concept of an Empire of unequal countries: the concept of one country being the main country, and dictating things to other countries. So, it would include Britain lording it over white-skinned Americans, Turks lording it over so much of the middle-east, Romans lording it over Britain, Venetians lording it over Dalmatia, and so on. By this concept, the Mughals coming to India was not colonialism. They came, and conquered, and became Indian rulers, with no other mother country. Does that make sense? I believe my concept is pretty much the regular concept of "colony" used in History classes. "Colonialism" can be used to name two different concepts. One -- the most popular usage -- describes the modern era where Britain, France, Portugal, etc. had colonies, mostly in Asia. In this concept, the British controlling colonies of caucasian Americans is excluded... because the intent of the concept is to focus on a era. The second, lesser concept of "colonialism" is to describe the practice of having colonies, as such. This one is a concept of political structure that is timeless, and does not focus on an era. So, it would include the Turks, Venetians, Greeks, and lots of others throughout history.
  22. I typically skip many posts when I find a particular one of interest, and then ... if I'm in a "dialog" I will typically skip ones that are not from the other person in that dialog (except short ones). Did someone in this thread claim that you can communicate the principles of capitalism (or reason more generally) by enslaving people or otherwise violating their rights? More generally, has someone in this thread actually said that colonialism is a good thing, in the sense of something we should maybe aspire toward, in order to come closer to capitalism?
  23. So, if we roll back a few thousand years where there each little village has a chieftain, and one village takes over another village, is that colonialism? When the rulers from the Cairo are take control of the Nile and the cities along its banks and also of the sea-side city of Alexandria, is that colonialism? Or is it colonialism for a few years and then the Egyptian kingdom at some point? Countries have been fighting and taking other countries over for centuries. Is that all colonialism?Or is colonialism only the most recent version, where the one taking over the other was significantly more technologically advanced?
  24. "...control by one power over a dependent area or people..." You're willing to use this definition? It has no reality to me...just a floating abstraction. If communist party members ruled USSR and other people obeyed, that too is the rule of one people over another. Is colonialism defined by some type of power structure and lack of certain types of rights, or is is all about race and ethnicity?
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