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Doug Morris

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Everything posted by Doug Morris

  1. From the Ayn Rand Lexicon: A unit is an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members.
  2. It might be worth noting that I can't lose weight just by willing myself to lose weight. I may be able to lose weight over a period of time by a program of diet and/or exercise, but not just by willing it.
  3. To what extent should chronological age be the criterion for classifying someone as old-old, young-old, or whatever? Reminds me of a family anecdote. When my parents were in their 20's my Mom described someone as middle-aged. My Dad asked her to judge the man's chronological age. He was probably in his 30's. They decided right then that a middle-aged person is anyone 10 years older than you are.
  4. Sure, we're all going to die, but we all have lives to live until that happens, and it's our lives that are important and meaningful. It doesn't matter how little effect we can have on the surface of the planet Jupiter or on even more distant places, or how many of such places there are, or how big they are. What matters is what effect we can have on our own lives.
  5. Thank you for the helpful information and advice.
  6. I sometimes get solicitations encouraging me to buy gold and/or silver as a hedge against economic uncertainty and volatility. What do you think?
  7. Gut reaction to that last food for thought: How would a romantic relationship fit in to that?
  8. For a thorough answer here we need to begin by explaining how we form the concepts "if" and "then".
  9. I took a quick peek at the link and got the answer to my first question. Macken definitely talks about quantum phenomena. In addition, he says "However, even quantum mechanics does not give a precise description of the properties of the energetic vacuum on the scale of Planck length (~10-35 m). Characterizing the vacuum on this scale is required to show how 4 dimensional spacetime can be the single component building block of everything in the universe." I haven't dug any deeper yet.
  10. Reminds me of an anecdote I heard but can't verify, which was disbelieved by one person I shared it with. A researcher needed some radioactive materials. If delivered too soon they would decay to uselessness before they could be used, so the researcher specified no earlier than a certain date. A secretary changed that to no later than the specified date. They arrived right away, making them useless. The disbelieving person was a secretary who said no secretary would make such a change without asking the person who put in the request.
  11. The secret valley was a private club, not a nation.
  12. That's for citizenship, which is a different question. The government owns a lot more property than it should, and therefore should exercise restraint in how it runs that property.
  13. Obviously. I was trying to clarify the concepts of subconscious and nonconscious, and in particular the distinction between them and whether any other categories needed to be added, by asking which category the subliminal effect fit under.
  14. In my experiences with S-E-X subliminals, the women were not naked or sexually suggestive. One was a businesswoman, dressed as such, in her office. There was no perceptible delay and no conscious thought between first seeing the picture and experiencing the arousal. Presumably I was not even consciously aware of it, let alone focused on it. I had to look for it to find it. I was not aroused by the sexy picture someone posted one time, with the comment to the effect that we can't tell whether she's sexy without knowing about her character. (I think it was an old post on a necro'd thread.) My question was whether the seemingly instantaneous process of becoming aroused, which must have been triggered by the word in the hair, was subconscious, nonconscious, or what.
  15. On multiple occasions I have looked at a photograph of a woman, been sexually aroused by it, then looked closer and seen that it had been retouched so that some of the strands of hair spelled S-E-X. Once I became conscious of this, the sexual arousal went away. How does this sort of subliminal effect fit in with what is being said about subconscious and nonconscious?
  16. Do you have anything to back this up with? Does this mean that if the Axis had won the war, what they did would have been moral? I'm not sure what you're saying about Trump. His presidency was made in America. Acting one way or the other about Trump constitutes doing something about what is going on in America, although it has effects elsewhere as well. Trump's emotion-guidedness, erraticness, and being out of his depth are very dangerous. He has acted against individual rights by attacking freedom of movement across borders and by interfering with women's abortion decisions. He has cozied up to authoritarian governments in a way that is probably more harmful than helpful. On the other side of the ledger is his rolling back some regulations, although Gus van Horn had a column arguing that this is a tiny drop in the bucket. Racism consists of thinking of other people or treating them as members of racially defined collectives rather than as individuals. Thinking of other people or treating them as members of collectives of any kind rather than as individuals is evil. It is evil because it distributes judgments, rewards, and, where necessary, punishments according to what other members of a collective are and have done and earned, not according to what each individual is and has done and earned. It is evil because it evades the differences among individuals. As far as racism in particular goes, there is much more individual variation within races then there is statistical difference between races. In trying to communicate with someone, it may be necessary to deal with their emotions. But it is essential to base one's own position on facts and reasoning, and to try to get them to do the same.
  17. Can you derail the train?
  18. One thing that complicates this issue is that government currently owns a lot of things it shouldn't.
  19. Somebody challenged me once with the following. You're driving a car down a mountain road. The brakes fail. You can steer but not slow or stop. You are approaching a bridge packed with kids. Your choices are steer for the bridge and mow down the kids or steer to the side and be killed yourself. He indicated he wouldn't have any respect for anyone whose choice was to steer for the bridge. I tried to explain that this was an abnormal situation with no fully satisfactory outcome and he said he would be perfectly satisfied to steer to the side and die. He had a military background. I don't know to what extent that entered into it.
  20. That should be perceive race as a very real concept.
  21. Some of this is starting to get repetitive again. The greatest amount of evil exists in places like North Korea. How can I have a significant effect there? I understand and acknowledge that some people perceive race a a very real concept. They are deluded.
  22. Here's another approach. Man has rights because reason is the primary tool by means of which he lives. So the question becomes, at what point does a fetus or baby start using this tool? Wouldn't that be when he or she starts forming concepts?
  23. How does Nagel, or do you, conclude that it is fundamentally inexplicable? We don't have a full explanation yet, but that doesn't mean an explanation is fundamentally impossible.
  24. That might work. In order for there to be a concept there must be a word symbol. In order to observe that a child has concepts, we must either observe it talking (or perhaps signing, writing, or typing) in concepts or observe it understanding when someone else does. The latter often comes first. I take it you are referring to the potential we know they have, not to their actual performance so far as I at first thought you were. So we can conclude that a newborn is a potential person. But can we conclude that a newborn is an actual person?
  25. David Odden, I didn't mean to be denigrating any concepts. I was just trying to clarify my position by giving examples of concepts that seemed low level to me. "Dog" would certainly qualify as a concept involving low level abstraction and qualifying anyone who understood it as reasoning and therefore actually human. When I wrote of "some amount of abstraction", I was distinguishing concepts from proper names such as "Mama" or "Papa". How is it plain that a newborn is a person but a dog or cat is not? The newborn has much greater potential than the dog or cat, but is there a plain difference in what is actual? The burden-of-proof issue may justify drawing a legal line in a way that probably sets it earlier than actually achieving reason and/or personhood.
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