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About bluecherry

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  1. I can think of a couple possible rational reasons to look into it. The first reason is medical. Do you have an elevated risk of certain diseases? Having relatives with a history of certain diseases is often indicative that you are more likely to get it. If we count relatives still alive that maybe you just don't know, they may be better options to look into in case you need a transplant of an organ or tissue that can be given by a living donor. The second reason is if something has gone really wrong in your family, it may be gratifying to be able to go back and figure out exactly when and how things got started, how they got to where they are. Maybe that kind of information could help make some sense out of the seemingly senseless and provide some ideas on how to deal with it. Third is when it comes to legal questions of inheritance in some cases when somebody dies without a will and they don't have obvious next of kin.
  2. Might I suggest that the issues of context and hierarchy of values are coming into play possibly? Also, I do believe Tara Smith, who generally seems to be a pretty competent person in her writings, has written some potentially relevant things on the rule of law. Does anybody around here happen to have said stuff she's written on the subject? It may prove helpful here in facilitating the discussion to get some input from a clear writer who has already put a lot of thought and effort into the subject.
  3. "bluecherry, I just showed how Peikoff's argument *is* a proof. Since you are already pre-committed to reality in the very act of debating the issue, any conclusion which goes against that is self-contradictory, and therefore cannot be morally or rationally justified. So choosing not to live is immoral, and choosing to live, and all of the moral commitments that come with that choice, is moral." It's true that you can't prove you shouldn't seek to remain in existence. However, it's not for the reasons you say. All that having an argument about the subject proves is that somebody DOES care about reason and therefore DOES care about staying in existence (since reason is moot if you don't exist.) That doesn't prove anything about what one morally ought to do, unless you want to try to go down a very different moral path and start arguing there's inherent merits of hedonism, that you are morally obligated to do whatever the hell you want just because you want it. "Here's my answer to the 'is-ought' problem more generally: moral claims of 'you ought to do X' must be claims that you ought to act according to your nature." That's your position. You've given no reason for why. Objectivism's answer is "IF you want to live, THEN you out to because that's how you survive and thrive." If somebody isn't seeking to live, then those considerations of survival and thriving are irrelevant to them. What do you have to offer somebody as cause to give a damn about acting according to their nature, their nature including being a reasoning being, when they already don't care to stay alive?
  4. Premise: ". . . life is the ultimate value, to which all others are means, the choice to commit one's self to that ultimate value is the most basic decision, from which all other moral decisions should follow." Conclusion: "Choosing to live is the most fundamental good choice that you can make, choosing not to live is the most fundamental bad choice that you can make." That conclusion you've drawn is a nonsequitar from the premise. There's a difference between a choice related to the issue of that which is good and a choice which is itself good. As for a commitment to being in reality, we had no choice in getting here and just getting here in the first place doesn't prove one should stay here. The most that can be proven by somebody asking why they should remain in existence is that they do in fact have at least some degree of care about existing already (since reasons only matter within existence). That they do already care, however, is still not proof that they *should* care.
  5. Ok, yeah, you are definitely operating on an entirely different moral system as your basic premise here. Here's a quick primer on the philosophy this forum is about as it seems you may have come across this forum unaware of what Objectivism (the capital "O" matters here, it's the name of a specific philosophy as opposed to a lower case "o" objectivism which may be used to refer to other, very different ideas) is. Link
  6. Just checking, but Floyd Yeung, are you familiar with what the philosophy of Objectivism is about? I ask because, in addition to this being your very first post here, the idea that "wasting food is immoral" is actually more of a belief of people from a very different set of ideas than the ones this forum is dedicated to, at least when it comes to what people usually mean by "wasting" food. Usually, when people talk about "wasting food" they mean any time food is thrown away that hasn't spoiled. They seem to be under some belief that it's like some sign that you are "ungrateful" for your mere "luck" that you have food while others don't that you would just throw out food that is still edible rather than force yourself to eat it or find some way, no matter how ridiculous, to give it to somebody else who doesn't have food. They seem to have some special hang up about disposing of food especially, I suspect due to their myopic focus on bare survival needs. Objectivism would instead say you were "wasting" food only in the same way we might label anything else being "wasted", saying something would only be "wasted" if you had had acted sacrificially in getting rid of it. Whether it is sacrificial to get rid of something in any given situation is heavily dependent upon specifics of the context. (I linked the word "sacrificial" to an explanation by Rand of what she means by that term in case you are unfamiliar with how that term is used among Objectivists as opposed to how it is used by the general population.) Rediy, I have no idea from where you pulled your notions of anybody being unable to figure out what to do about a subject that wasn't explicitly spoken about by Rand and Peikoff and company. We talk about stuff around here all the time just fine that they haven't addressed specifically. Objectivism involves concepts and logical frame works that one can apply to just about anything in a methodical manner. Also, I don't even get why you would think those are the only two options and why one of them is the righteous answer and the other is a brute's answer.
  7. Dustin, I wasn't asking if any of your questions/objections in this thread alone you considered to be answered/resolved, I was asking about if you considered that to be the case of *any* of your questions/objections you have raised on this forum in general. Also, you have in your post there stated your position, but you have not addressed anything any of us have already said to you here about why we contend such a position is incorrect. You didn't answer my question either about what sources, aside from this forum, you have on Objectivism, or even point me to a place where you already answered that question (which also would have been perfectly acceptable). When I said, "You've made lots of threads here based on questions/objections to Objectivism " - I didn't mean that as an accusation, like it was an inherently bad thing that just should not be done. I was stating it because it was relevant to my later question, asking what, if any, sources you had aside from this forum on Objectivism. Asking this many questions isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it does makes me suspect that you may be attempting to approach learning about or "challenging" this philosophy very badly. You may be jumping into the middle of this philosophy and going about it all higgledy piggledy, not looking into the well made primary or even secondary sources on it that answer the whats and whys pretty thoroughly and systematically. You may instead be asking people to not just reinvent the wheel for you, but reinvent the rocket ship, knowing almost nothing about rockets already yourself, and that they do so random piece by piece with you showing little interest in actually seeing how the pieces fit together and why, or maybe even seeing all the pieces, just seeing how these individual parts aren't making sense to you at first glance and on their own and then saying "This makes no sense! It's all bullshit! No way this thing gets off the ground." This seems like a bad way for you to learn about Objectivism and an even worse way to try to convince anybody who knows Objectivism well that it is incorrect. It's also hugely inefficient on time involved doing it the messy way versus going to the primary or even secondary sources. As for "echo chambers" and "safe spaces" -- you realize, don't you, that with Objectivists being such a teeny, tiny percentage of the population, we all spend our lives immersed constantly in people and products of contrary beliefs, right? This forum is just one of the few places where we come together with people that DO share our support of this philosophy so that we can actually get some where furthering our discussions of the subject beyond constantly just going over the basics with people who think the philosophy is flat out incorrect, just endlessly rehashing the same basic issues over and over that are already old hat to us, never touching any further or new material. We don't need to have this forum bombarded with people who disagree with us in order to be exposed to other beliefs and the possibility that we are wrong because we already inevitably face those things all the time everywhere else we go pretty much. Our goal here on this forum isn't to *never* be exposed to contrary ideas(something the forum couldn't possibly achieve anyway), its to just have somewhere that actually is about our ideas in the midst of aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the rest that we are exposed to which isn't. And we already do believe in reexaming our own beliefs if ever we come across something which seems to flout them anyway. Having this forum to discuss Objectivism with mostly people who support it is like having a forum for fans of bag pipe music in a world where pretty much everybody hates bag pipe music.
  8. Alright, I'll just 'fess up to being an impatient ass here and say up front I haven't read the whole thread yet. If what I say here has already been said or had objections raised to it, just go ahead and whack me over the head and tell me to go read the rest of the thread. Here's my thoughts on the issue of choosing to live. In theory, yes, choosing to live is a pre-rational choice. Reason, motivation, they're totally irrelevant before determining one intends to stick around in existence where such things are applicable. However, the notion that one then goes ahead and acts to live or not based on their choice to live or not assumes that one has the ability to act or not act in any given way on this choice. Humans don't come into existence as fully formed people capable of doing or not doing whatever they see fit. First, we're formed gradually in a life support system where we can't make much of any voluntary action except maybe to wiggle around a little bit once in a while. Then upon birth, we still can't move much. We can't even lift our heads by ourselves for quite awhile. At this point, one or more other parties takes action to see to the needs of our lives being met. So, before we are capable of acting on a choice to live or not for ourselves, other people and things are keeping us in the realm of existence for a substantial amount of time. In this time period, though we aren't capable of a lot of actions, we still have quite a bit of experiences. Pain and pleasure are automatic, physical sensations. During this time where we can't really help but live, I think people generally get pleasant sensations and then will want more of those. The pleasant sensations especially tend to outweigh the painful ones they get. So, by the time they become more capable of acting on a choice to live or not, they have found things in existence to entice them to keep trying to stick around because there is likely more where that came from. I believe this period of time where humans can't help but live, where they are having their needs met whether they want it or not or haven't made up their minds if they want it or not, is responsible for why most people do end up choosing to seek life. If we just immediately upon coming into existence had the ability and the obligation to seek to stay in existence or not all on our own, I think the choice would be made very randomly and we'd end up with a near 50/50 split on people deciding to give life a shot and those who don't. So, yeah, you can't say why life "should" be chosen before the choice is made, but you can keep people from being able to do anything about the choice long enough for inherently pleasant biological sensations to start enticing them to give living a shot. This does of course only work though for people starting off with a blank slate. You can't take a grown adult, have them in some state of confinement and expect that if you just make their situation comfortable this will convince them to live if they've already chosen otherwise. At this point, they already know what pleasurable physical sensations are like, but they've apparently found enough painful things to outweigh the pleasurable ones. Convincing somebody to live who once chose to live as a little kid, but then later decided they didn't want to live anymore isn't about there being some kind of moral obligation to live still though, there still can't be any such thing applied to the choice to live or not. What it is about though instead is getting back to the basics of the state that made them choose to live originally, getting to where the pleasure out weighs the pain or at least it looks like there's enough hope that such a state will be reached again and in whatever time frame they're willing to accept.
  9. Asking how logic applies to government is a lot like asking how physics applies to government. Governments exist as part of reality. Logic is about how reality functions and therefore applies to reality in general. That's how/why logic applies to government. Government is not some kind of weird floating exception to reality or apart from reality. Everything from there on out is just going to be specific examples of logic used on government. Is that what you really want though? Just a list of examples? From what I've seen, Rand didn't really use the heavily symbol laden "formal" logic much anyway, but to the extent the symbol-based version is still properly formed logic, what I said still applies. You've made lots of threads here based on questions/objections to Objectivism. If you've said so before, sorry for the repeat, but aside from this forum, what are your sources of information on Objectivism? Also, do you yet consider any of your questions/objections to be sufficiently answered/resolved? I don't think I recall you saying before if you thought any of them were before you moved along to another thread and stopped posting in a previous one.
  10. I'd like to point out briefly that any time we talk about anything in the actual, existing economy we have in real life, we're talking about what's going on in a mixed economy. The situation under an actual capitalist economy could be very, very different for any given specific example from the real world that we may discuss. Walmart, its owners, and the wages of its employees are all impacted by things like minimum wage laws, child labor laws, OSHA, the EPA, licensing laws, alcohol and tobacco laws, anti-monopoly laws, roads and other infrastructure being tax-funded, tax codes in general, laws favoring offering health insurance as a job benefit over purchasing it independently, etc cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ad nauseum. Our economy, including what job positions already exist, what new ones can be created and how easily, what happens and when if one becomes unemployed and so on are all extremely heavily skewed from what they would be in a capitalist system. The alternatives people face in the here and now vary greatly in many ways and specific cases from what they would be in a capitalist system. Maybe Walmart would exist in a capitalist system, maybe it wouldn't. Maybe they'd exist and be a much smaller business. Maybe they'd be even bigger. They probably wouldn't be paying $9 an hour starting wages though since that's heavily influenced by minimum wage laws. Maybe they'd pay people less, maybe they'd pay more. There may be (if Walmart existed still) a lot more competition Walmart would be facing both in what other businesses they were competing with to sell products and in who they were competing with for getting people to work for them at all. If starting businesses wasn't so full of legal nightmares, more people may start them, including more people who could offer potential employees better compensation and people who may have otherwise worked for Walmart themselves. What jobs exist at Walmart could even be very different due to different products and services that may exist without all these legal hindrances. What hours people work at such a hypothetical version of Walmart may be very different too if it still was a relatively low paying option. It could be something people did fewer hours at and treated more as a supplement to incomes from other, higher paying jobs rather than being something so many people worked at as much as they could and heavily depended upon for large percentages of their income. So, yeah, please don't assume that Walmart, or any other real business or job, is necessarily some perfect example of capitalism at work. People could have good intentions and goals and want and try to do things that would be in the spirit of capitalism and would be good to pursue under a capitalist system, and if so, that's great, praise worthy, very moral of them, but they're still going to have to work within and be impacted by the real world's heavily distorted mixed economy. Specific real world scenarios are always going to be needed to be taken with a whole shaker of salt when evaluating them against what would, could, and should be done under capitalism. So, the actions of the owners of Walmart and of Walmart employees are not what they would be in a capitalist system. Anybody can try their best to pursue ends in a capitalistic manner though, they can still make morally correct choices out of far from morally ideal options. A and B may both be rotten options, and the only options, but B is definitely worse than A, so A is the moral choice to make. I don't know what the owner's end of things looks like to evaluate if they're making the most moral choices possible here as well as I could evaluate things on the employees' end, but you don't care about the owner's end in your first post anyway. Within the context of our flawed, flawed real economy, taking a relatively shitty job with relatively shitty pay is generally done because all other known options at the time are simply regarded as even worse. People don't take these jobs because they give a shit about the Waltons, they take them because they have some kind of unmet need of their own that this is the best thing they can find to try to fill it. How much money the Waltons do or do not have is completely irrelevant, never even factoring into the decision to take the job or not. In our current, real economy, I doubt much would be achieved by trying to demand more pay just because the Waltons have a lot of money that, theoretically, they could give to employees. I doubt it since there are so many people out there just as desperate to get a paying job, maybe even more desperate. It's not that hard for people to simply be replaced in the here and now. If employees were to just get a bunch more money, just because they wanted it anyway, there's still so many employees and so much time to cover that I doubt you could go too long before the Waltons ran out of money and you had to go back to old wages again or the business got impacted in ways that may require cutting jobs or raising prices which could begin to make the business less successful or even fail too. You're not going to get more money, especially not for long, just because somebody you work for has more and you demand they give you what they have, especially not in the here and now. The current economy lacks incentive to pay people lots more for typical jobs at Walmart and paying them much more may not be feasible even if somebody tried. So, again, how much money the Waltons have is moot to deciding whether to work for their company of not. Somebody's life may still be notably improved over what it was before or what else they could have had by taking a job at $9 an hour even though it is still much less than what they may really want or need and much less than what they could have had in a real capitalist system. That's why people do it. They have their own self-benefiting motivations. They offer their time and services and find that $9 an hour is still worth it to them over the available alternatives. (Side note, whoa, I haven't seen DavidOdden posting around here in aaaaaaaaages.)
  11. Dustin, what do you believe Objectivism means by benevolent and malevolent universe premises? I want to double check you are talking about the same things we are. When we talk about these things we are talking about the basic set up of the universe itself, like the way physics works and how people relate to it, not how people have been treating each other. The malevolent universe premise is the notion that the universe has an actual intent, a will, and its intent is to thwart us at every opportunity, to actively work to see individual people fail. It's going to change itself willy nilly as necessary to achieve the purpose of screwing people over. The benevolent universe premise is that the universe has no intents, it just is what it is, it just stays working consistently according to its nature. We do not mean that the universe has an intent to change itself to try to help anybody. We call this "benevolent" simply because we can work with a consistent and, therefore, relatively predictable universe, it's much more manageable and comprehensible. We can make plans and probably even a fair deal of progress toward goals in a universe like this, even though success may still be no guarantee and we still ultimately end up dying. We can live in a "benevolent universe" even while a ton of people are irrational and malevolent assholes creating tons of problems and suffering that the universe itself didn't impose upon people.
  12. I've registered objections to this argument of yours previously in the chat before.
  13. Actually, I made the specification because I have had a number of close friends with pretty strongly negative assessments of Objectivism.
  14. Could you maybe put a little more of the context that line is from? Some of the additional surrounding text.
  15. I'd characterize it as a huge bonus, but not a necessity. What is necessary is that they not be strongly antagonistic to and condescending about Objectivism. I don't find it attractive when somebody won't take seriously something this important to me that I've put a lot of thought into. I think I may also, for romance, require that somebody not be big on initiating force to compel others to live according to their point of view. That's just something that I find too downright infuriating to get past enough to really love somebody like that if they will actively try to make me and others live their way no matter what we want and believe to the contrary. That makes them come across as an active threat and an enemy to me, even if it is pretty small scale how much power they have to actually make much of anything happen. In a friend I could tolerate easily something like enthusiastically and consistently voting for controlling politicians, but not a romantic partner.