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Everything posted by MisterSwig

  1. Trump is a bigger ally of capitalism than the Democratic Socialists. And, like I said, if Trump makes the next election a referendum on capitalism versus socialism, then I'm not voting for socialism, no matter how much fancy wrapping paper and bows the Democrats put on socialism.
  2. You have quite an imagination. I don't donate to political candidates. And I'm certainly not going to believe Trump is a capitalist based on one lame poll. Seriously? I guess you've never been to Trump's website.
  3. That's a laugh. You're talking about the President. I want him to have my email, so I can see what his people are saying in fundraising pitches. I was on Clinton's list for the same reason.
  4. I'm confused. Did I get subtly or not-so-subtly manipulated into favoring capitalism? You realize it's a fundraising tool, right? The woman calls herself a democratic socialist, and I'm the one falling for propaganda? Have you heard of welfare fraud or ID theft?
  5. Man is capable of imagining his life in the abstract. He can therefore anticipate effects of his future existence and judge himself for letting them happen or not letting them happen. If the effects are anti-man's life to an intolerable degree, he might be considered virtuous in commiting suicide and preventing them from happening, as a final act. This way his concrete existence can't be used to violate his abstract moral principles. We explored this problem a bit on my thread about spies who commit suicide.
  6. President Trump is taking a survey on socialism versus capitalism. If he makes this the big issue in 2020, I might have no choice but to vote for him. Obviously, he's not the best spokesman for capitalism, but I don't think I can vote for a Democrat this time around.
  7. Would you agree that a person might say he rejects an idea but then ultimately lets it guide his actions? For example, many people say they choose selflessness over selfishness, but then they only give 10% of their income to charity, only devote one of seven days per week to worshipping God (and typically only an hour or two at that), and many cross out most of the miracles in the Bible in order to believe scientific evidence. So while they talk a big talk about having faith and all that jazz, they don't act on it much, because when they do, they die.
  8. Is "man" short for man's life? Is "anti-man" a synonym for "sub-man"? I'm having trouble following your line of thought. The concepts keep changing on me with no warning or explication.
  9. I basically agree with the above, if by "longevity" you mean the continuation or perpetuation of life. Are you trying to make a connection to procreation?
  10. The thing is, man can't act as subman, just as he can't act as superman. Man can only act as man. He can only act in accordance with his nature. Surviving, for man, means surviving qua man. It doesn't negate values for a man to merely stay alive, because he cannot merely stay alive without values. If he negates them, he dies. Objectivism offers an idea of how to live properly. But, even if Objectivism were 100% accurate, living improperly wouldn't mean negating value. It would mean living less than a morally ideal existence, but still within the limits of life-preserving action qua man.
  11. I would agree that a mature man, an adult human being with volition, is not wholly automatized. He does make his own purpose. (I don't know what "goal-directed purpose" means.) But he must also choose the purpose that he makes and willfully coordinate his movements toward that end. Furthermore, because man has this faculty of creativity and imagination, he might make and choose an impossible purpose, unachievable in reality. His standard of value will be proportionally impossible. Depending on his loyalty to an impossible purpose, he might very well die or kill himself in pursuit of it, because the unreal cannot be gained in the world of the real. A man whose final purpose is reaching the afterlife will value that which ends his present life. A man whose final purpose is keeping his present life will value that which preserves it.
  12. They sound like a bunch of harmless wankers. I'd worry more about the EPA shutting off the Ghostbusters' containment system.
  13. Nuts and bolts are both parts. To complete the metaphor you would need to include relevant actions, like tightening or loosening the nuts and bolts. Is it greater than the sum of its moving parts?
  14. I'm saying that we don't have the fundamental knowledge of life, not even today. But we are closer now to this basic understanding than people were fifty years ago. Unfortunately, even the current pioneers in biology and cognitive science suffer under bad philosophical direction and terminology. For example, I only recently discovered Bernhard Hommel, and I sympathize with some of his research-based ideas, but he is still an academic wrapped up in academic jargon and deterministic philosophical concepts of man as machine, which he probably got from Hume, whom he referenced in a lecture I watched.
  15. She admitted as much in her arguments addressing abortion. For example, in A Last Survey (1975), she said it was arguable whether a late-term fetus was a life. I still think her definition of life is basically very good, but she clearly had issues applying it to man, perhaps due to the lack of biological knowledge about the fetus (and newborns!) back then. Not even the Supreme Court, in Roe v Wade, felt comfortable taking a position on the late-term issue, and they left it to the States. We still argue about the nature and beginning of human life to this day, as Objectivists. So I don't understand why you're objecting to this point. Do you think Rand possessed this important knowledge but withheld it from us? I'm saying some of this knowledge has since been discovered or proven, and it should inform our view of man's life.
  16. Here is his website. Scroll through his publications to this one: Then try clicking on the adjacent PDF icon to download it. No. Again, I don't know what she would have said or concluded, and I don't intend to speculate. Besides, we have the benefit of an additional half-century of biological research and experimentation. It would be unfair to expect her to have known everything we now know. Preserve is a good word. I also like maintain, conserve, sustain, generate and perpetuate. What we are preserving is our personal growth as a biological organism. And I mean growth literally, regarding our body. If we stop growing new cells to replace the old ones, we deteriorate and die. Regarding our mind, the term growth is probably a bit figurative. We must continually grow/generate/produce new thoughts in order to replace the old ones that disappear from our focus, otherwise we lose awareness and self-control. Now, you might ask: why are we preserving our personal growth? And this is where volition and purpose come into the picture. You have a choice over your purpose, precisely because nature does not impose one upon you. If you choose to live, then nature requires you to act a certain way to survive, within various limits. If you choose to die, then you must act a certain way, within limits. And if you choose to raise a family, then you must also act a certain way, within various limits, the first limit being the choice to live. You cannot bring a child into the world and raise it if you're dead.
  17. Like what? Like the importance of reflexes in the development of cognition and goal-directed behavior. You don't like when I discuss it, but it's not a mere fanciful notion of mine. Try reading the first five pages of this article by Dr. Bernhard Hommel, who heads the Cognitive Psychology Unit at the University of Leiden. Goal-directed actions (Hommel) V3.pdf
  18. This is the sort of imprecision I'm trying to avoid. You say that a growing rose bush's "'effect' is all its own doing," while parenthetically adding in "nutrition, etc." Does this mean that you see no problem with the fact that a rose bush doesn't generate the nutrient-rich environment it requires, absorbs and uses to function and grow? And additionally, that it doesn't generate the Earth's gravity involved in its growing process? Also, it's not clear to me what you mean by "effect," especially since you, yourself, placed the word in scare quotes, suggesting some unusual usage. But I'm not sure what that atypical usage might be given the context. I don't think you were quoting someone or referring to the concept. Were you acknowledging that a rose bush's growth is not actually caused by only itself?
  19. I prefer to focus on what I should say. And that's what I'm doing. I think Rand's argument suffered from an ignorance of important biological knowledge, which I'm attempting to explore and convey in my own articles.
  20. "Goal-oriented" sounds even more purposive than "goal-directed." I don't think either should be attributed to automatic functions of organisms.
  21. She gave her definition of life. After reading the essay again, it looks like she started using goal as a synonym for value, perhaps because in her ethics life was both an "ultimate value" and a "final goal." But the synonym doesn't work in the general, biological sense. Hence the footnote.
  22. It's weird how Rand used "goal-directed" when she took a whole footnoted paragraph to explain how she really meant life-preserving.
  23. I recommend just asking yourself now, "Should I kill myself?" and see what you come up with. It's not like choosing life is a one-time thing. It's a question that you can raise whenever you want and answer based on your current situation. I choose life because my physical pain is manageable, mentally I'm sound, and I have a lot of things I want to do, which I can't do if I'm dead. If I were in constant physical or mental pain or had no purpose in my life, maybe I'd choose death, just to end my miserable, pointless existence.
  24. Doesn't that depend on your moral code? If you are a catholic, I believe that it would be a sin to throw away your life, no matter how hard life is. Yes, whether you expect him to endure the pain does depend on your moral code. But I'm not really talking to the Catholics, Stoics, masochists, or general pain-worshippers.
  25. Rand stated that she used "mental entity" metaphorically in the ITOE appendix (p. 157). "Mental something" was the closest she could get to identifying a concept metaphysically.
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