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ian

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  1. ian

    Why are intellectuals so Grecophilic?

    I started posting in humanities.philosophy.objectivism in 2001 and Robert J. Kolker was there. He is a veteran of Objectivist discussion and I think you need to work on your manners.
  2. ian

    Why are intellectuals so Grecophilic?

    That is my hope also. I don't want anything bad to happen to China. I'm just worried that they will try to have the technology without the freedom of expression. And Objectivist principles tell us that it will not work in the long run. I know the Chinese probably think we are being hypocritical, or have some evil plan in mind, when we lecture about human rights. But we're really just trying to stop a collapse which will in principle happen and will hurt us all, including the U.S.
  3. ian

    Why are intellectuals so Grecophilic?

    The idea that you need individual rights to have prosperity is correct, but it's a long term principle. You can have prosperity in the short term without it (for example by introducing new technologies), but it will all come crashing down. This is what worries me about China. Everything's great today because we're still in the short term. But *in principle* a bad time will come. And when the strict state no longer has economic progress to legitimize it, what do they do? Do they start being all nationalistic to keep the citizens happy?
  4. I think it might be monism. They hear us talking about man qua man, but they think man is just a lump of meat, so they can't understand how we "get to" man qua man from pure physical survival. But of course we don't "get to" it at all, we start at it, because we see man as an entity with many aspects in the first place. As JMeganSnow said, we don't separate existence from identity.
  5. Because that would be arbitrary (living just for survival). It is all of you that faces the alternative of existence or non-existence. On what basis does one pick and choose? On what basis does one say "I will focus on my physical needs and the rest be damned?"
  6. I think it's because we have physical and non-physical aspects to us, and we face the fundamental alternative as a whole. So it's not just physical survival - it's survival of *you* as a whole. Which means survival of your individuality in some sense - so you need self esteem and indepedence to enable that.
  7. ian

    Logical fallacies in arguments

    Maybe you could also mention the distinction between premises and axioms, a premise being something true for a particular argument but an axiom being something that is always true for any argument. Also Ayn Rand identified some fallacies... "Stolen Concept" "Context-dropping" "Reification of the Zero" "Stepping into Limbo" "Non-differentiation between Existence and Consciousness"
  8. ian

    Why logic works

    If Fred was an Objectivist, at this stage of the argument he would just silently point at reality. I don't know if that makes him a foundationalist or not.
  9. ian

    Objectivist Ethics

    To expand on JM Snow's first point, in Objectivism you must get all your concepts from reality. Within this framework, the concept of "value" - the idea that a thing could be "good or evil" instead of simply "is or is not" - can not be obtained as a primary - it can not be "just seen" outright like some concepts can - it requires a certain juxtaposition of entites. You need something that can act, facing an alternative. An alternative means: one of two different futures are possible to it depending on how it acts. You can see that you need at least this, since if no matter how it acted the future is exactly the same, how can there be any barometer of whether the action was good or not, since *everything* is the same? The only things in nature that satisfy this concept-derivation requirement are living entities. And the fundamental alternative they face: the alternative at the end of all the alternatives, is existence or non-existence. It is in the context of a fundamental alternative faced, that an ultimate value arises (if there are no more alternatives beyond there can be no more value scenarios beyond and therefore no higher value), and that ultimate value (corresponding to existence or non-existence) is life.
  10. ian

    No Sedition in New Zealand

    Yes, my country (Australia) has an anti-sedition law. It defines Seditious Intent as: An intention to use force or violence to effect any of the following purposes: ( a ) to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt; ( b ) to urge disaffection against the following: (i) the Constitution; (ii) the Government of the Commonwealth; (iii) either House of the Parliament; ( c ) to urge another person to attempt, otherwise than by lawful means, to procure a change to any matter established by law in the Commonwealth; ( d ) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth. The laws have only been used a handful of times over the years, detailed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_sedition_law#History They were renewed as part of the Anti-terrorism Act 2005, due to Islamists preaching the overthrow of the Commonwealth and establishment of an Islamic state.
  11. That is where the Objectivist models differs, right where you said "outside of consciousness." Most people think that the things we see around us day to day are models of the real world constructed inside our consciousness, and therefore the next question they ask is: is there really something out there we're creating them from, or are we just making them up out of whole cloth? Objectivism throws all that away. What we see around us are things that exist, and consciousness is not them or the realm they are in, it is merely the fact that were are aware of them, and consciousness has no visible form of it's own. But just because we know automatically that everything we see is existence and not consciousness, doesn't mean we automatically know what things are purely product of brain, and which have a cause outside our bodies. That we must learn by experience. But it is merely a problem of classification, of inventing concepts like "physical" and "mental," there's no fundamental problem of the validity of consciousness, or the existence of existence.
  12. ian

    Finite existence

    There can't "be" nothing, right? It's a contradiction. Therefore it's impossible to go somewhere where there's nothing. Therefore no matter how far we go in any direction there must just be more and more something.
  13. ian

    Bush's Speech

    I watched the speech, desparately willing him to say something good. But every time he talked about how the Iraqis were going to do this, and the Iraqis were going to do that, he just lost all credibility in my eyes. The only plan that will work is one that will work even if the Iraqis do nothing, or are even actively working against it from within. Anything that relies for it's success on them doing their part is not very confidence inspiring, to say the least. Also I believe Kagan and Keane (the guys who came up with this plan) said that 30,000 would be the absolute minimum, and anything less would be worse than nothing. rtsp://video.c-span.org/project/iraq/iraq010507_aei.rm
  14. ian

    Ought from Is

    Friedman's error is to misunderstand Rand's argument, and then attack his misunderstanding of it. The argument is not (as he thinks) "animals act for their own survival therefore we should too." The argument is "Values are only possible in the face of an alternative. There is only one fundamental alternative: existence or non-existence. Therefore only life makes value possible."
  15. ian

    America: Freedom to Fascism

    That video is amazing if true. Basically the congress tried to pass a law, it was rejected by the Supreme Court, and they just went ahead anyway. Sooo... who is supposed to enforce Supreme Court verdict? I guess there was no one in this case.
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