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Everything posted by 2046

  1. On whether the meaning suggests pride: the context of a slogan has consequences for determining its meaning. If I said "I have a standup view of women," I might be praised for virtue signaling, but if I'm Bill Clinton and I say it, perhaps a different meaning is suggested. Context is a part of meaning. So while the phrase itself doesn't suggest pride, when said by a neo-Nazi it does now. And on groupthink, is it true that Objectivist are entirely exempt from this tendency, especially when it comes to pissing "the left" off? Well that's not objective either. Indeed, it's better to identify particular thinkers and particular stated philosophy. Like the alt right and its proponents, the ones who started this campaign: they want to deport all non-whites. Identifying that is a crucial part of examining the ad campaign, ignoring it just sounds like the opposite of rational analysis: a blank-out.
  2. A Complex Standard of Value

    When you deliberate, there are the things you are deliberating about. But there's also a "meta-choice" involved, in that you choose to make choices in the first place. For if you did not, then you would be in the words of Aristotle, no better than a vegetable. The particular thoughts in your head are omitted here, what is of note is that choosing presupposes the choice to remain a part of existence.
  3. A Complex Standard of Value

    Okay yes I can generally agree with this. Couple of things I would add: On life, well yes of course we initially start out with life as a given or starting point. Life is after all what makes valuing possible. Values are a biocentric concept. But values are a constant process of sustaining and keeping, like you say. Keeping and sustaining are just part of what valuing is. Take any of the virtues, I don't just tell the truth once and I have honesty, it's a constant process of maintaining a character disposition. That's going to be the case with any value. And of course when I deliberate about any choice, say A or B, is the meta-choice to make choices at all. This is the biological basis of ethics as a hypothetical system. In this sense, it's meaningless to say that an ultimate value isn't gained but sustained. You still choose it in every act of deliberation. What I think creates difficultly is the thick conception of life that Randians support, this is not reducible to being born or morgue avoidance. Objectivists often say "life is the standard of value" but packed into that is many equivocations on many levels. It is a certain qualitative life that is the ultimate value, not just being born. The Greek conception of "eudaimonia" or "flourishing" is much more expressive of what the ultimate end actually is. It seems like you're making your triumvirate more as your three cardinal values, much like Rand's "reason, purpose, self-esteem." Cardinal values are basically narrowing the content of an ultimate end. Cicero, a classical eudaimonist drew 4 categories: universal human nature, inborn talents, social context, personal choices. On pleasure, even moreso on literally sensory pleasure: can this be a standard by which to evaluation and measure choices? The porn or sex addict, then drug abuser, the approval seeker, the glutton, they would all be flourishing if so, but I think we pause at this. There are many things that give us sensory pleasure but are bad for our survival and wellbeing. I think the Greek theory of the "unity of virtue here" is pertinent. The idea being that the content of one virtue can't be settled wholly apart from the content of the other virtues. Certainly pleasure is good, but it can't be settled apart from considerations of prudence, temperance, rationality, health, etc. I think it way more reasonable to consider it merely one constitutive aspect of a flourishing life.
  4. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    I think the anarchist, armed with the same understanding of rationality can and should wholeheartedly agree that everyone should not be exposed to the constant threat of force. Historically anarchist have argued along those lines you mention more often than Randian lines, but it need not be so. The anarchist nor the objectivist should accept this distinction between "natural forces" and government as a "man-made imposition." What does that mean to be an imposition versus natural? It's not as if the government exists in some Archimedean point outside of society and the individuals in it. Likewise, "natural forces" are "man-made impositions" in the sense that it's just individual doing things. Neither government nor spontaneous order has any existence outside of the interactions of actual human beings.
  5. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    Well regardless, I don't think H was really arguing for any particular detailed version of life as the ultimate value, he specifically says this is not his point. I think his point was more in that when defending a view of rights, you're defending a view of the content of human ethics, and he has doubts that you can settle the content of ethical statements without settling the content of justice and what is the good life generally for man. This is an Aristotelian point that I think is totally valid and one that anarchists should embrace. His view of limited government doesn't necessarily follow, but nonetheless, it's a good point about approach.
  6. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    Ah sorry, my autocorrect wreaked havok with that one... Also: it's an appropriate political cultural point that questioning politicians with the Socratic method is somehow combative, disrespectful, or "trolling." Of course I'd expect no less, I mean these people have invested their whole lives and careers in this and when you expose a contradiction, like when he asked the evil Newt Gengrich why does he support farm subsidies, you're just going to get cognitive dissonance. But as a critique of H, when he talks about anarchism, his calm and cool questioning and defining of premises seems to go out the window. In his debate with Walter Block he starts ranting and raving at some point, granted Block is also a dumb dumb, but still. Ah you can't always be perfect.
  7. A Complex Standard of Value

    Ah okay, I see. So there's kind of a triumvirate of pleasure, knowledge, and health as the ultimate trinity of value. Well I certainly agree that these things are valuable as implied by human nature. But are they really ultimate values? What makes something an ultimate value is that it can't be a means to a further end. But is that really the case here? I'd have a hard time believing that these three aren't also means to life and well-being. Furthermore, to be an ultimate value, one has to be such that it can serve as a standard. Can pleasure be a standard? As critics of hedonism point out, if pleasure is an automatic response to value judgment, it is circular to use as a standard. I'd imagine that knowledge and health are subject to similar kinds criticisms. Isn't this classification really not so much of a three-pronged ultimate value, but three constitutive aspects of a singular ultimate value. All of these things like health, wealth, pleasure, happiness, knowledge, friendship, virtue, career, these are categories or more narrowed-down content of our ultimate end, but like I argued before, if deliberate about these things, that is reason to believe it doesn't really make conceptual sense to think of 12 different ultimate ends and standards of value, rather as one overarching end.
  8. Jan Helfeld Interviews

    Well yes, I don't think Helfield is valuing the interview as such, but that's not his purpose. Helfield is a master at employing the Socratic method. He doesn't want to allow his debate partner to obfuscate or dance around the topic using rhetoric or sophisms, he has to pin down an answer to the question. Once a thesis is agreed upon, then you can show how assent to that thesis leads to condradictions with other held beliefs. But the questioner has to stick to questions about that thesis, otherwise the interlocutor will spin rhetoric and avoid the question. Of course Matthews is too politically savvy to answer directly, but in the end, he does get Matthews to agree in some vague "will of the people" and then quits the interview. I'd score that one clearly for Helfield. You can't penalize Helfield for staying on one topic and wanting to drive the discussion, it's a necessary part of the method.
  9. A Complex Standard of Value

    Hmm, of the three categories you've named you said there are three standards of value and then listed pleasure vs pain, knowledge vs ignorance, health vs sickness. But these aren't standards of value, these are alternatives. Now alternatives are a part of what makes value and choosing possible, but you still need a standard of value in order to act. If you just had an alternative and no means by which to measure it, then you could choose whichever, it wouldn't make a difference. The fact that what we choose makes a difference according to some ultimate end, is what enables a standard of value, which then enables a basis on which to measure, examine, and to choose between the alternatives. So you haven't actually solved your own problem (providing a multifaceted standard of value) you've just listed some basic alternatives that we face as humans on those levels of our nature. But the question is valid, you might say okay we do have reason to believe we have an ultimate end, but why suppose that our actions aim at some single, overarching end, rather than an aggregate of particular ends? I do think that Aristotle is correct insofar as we can't have an infinite regresss, so our choosing has to aim at and end that stops the means-end chain at some point, and I also think that there is reason to believe this is one unitary end that subsumes all others. I think the reasons for this are a part of the nature of choosing. Here's me best attempt to distill it: Suppose there are two things I value, A and B, and as we've already determined that we face alternatives, and so I can't have them both, and there can't be an infinite regress. So I deliberate, but what is deliberation? I think about which to pick. And so deliberation is itself an action, it is a purposive activity aiming at an end, and it's not an end in itself. But what is the end of my deliberation? Suppose I ended up choosing A, so you say A was the end of deliberating. Kinda makes sense. But this can't be because I might've rejected A in favor of B, in which case we couldn't say that my deliberation failed in its end. So it can't be A or B itself for the same reason, nor could it be A+B because we have already determined that these are alternatives. It also couldn't be something like "having either A or B" because I could then simply pick one at random and there'd be no point of deliberating. Deliberating then must involve some end distinct from the alternatives and has to subsume the alternatives in question, in order to allow deliberation. As we have seen, having a standard of value allows deliberation, a bar against which to measure or compare.
  10. Also if one wishes to fight against leftist anti-white biases then one should actually attack that directly instead of joining in Nazi campaigns. This philosophy stems from the Marxist wing of postmodernist philosophy, a derivation of the Frankfurt School of social thought. They saw that classical socialism was failing and losing traction became disillusioned. They sought to update it to the modern age and mixed it with Freudian psychoanalysis and existentialism. The main inspirations are from the philosophers Faucault, Derrida, and Marcuse. The result is oppression theory or social dominance theory. If you want to defeat anti white leftism, you need to defeat this argumentation. Helping white nationalist flier posting campaigns will only tarnish yourself by serving as conflation of resistance to leftist racial collectivism with support for rightwing racial collectivism. The proper individualist response is "a pox on both your houses." And also, I forgot to add: there's plenty of good free online content from Profs. Steven Hicks and Jordan Peterson on postmodernism if anyone is interested.
  11. Although I believe we have self proclaimed objectivists who are apparently ready to abandon reason by embracing studies that fail to adhere to basic methodological and scholarly standards, ready to abandon individualism by drawing invalid inferences about people based on these studies, and ready to abandon liberty by supporting deportation of those individuals that don't have the culture they want them to have, however I want to discuss is the original topic. The basic contention to me is within two opposing theses. On the one hand we have the "pro meme" thesis, which holds that the only conceptual content that matters is whatever you want it to mean (e.g., "ill say whatever I want to," "I'll take from the package whatever I want to,") and one can ignore the rest. On the other hand we have the "anti meme" thesis, which contends that the former is guilty of context dropping and that the origin, agenda, and background intent of a meme have consequences for the implicit meaning of that slogan. Consider that the meme was posted on a section of forums frequented by white nationalists claiming that spreading the message would feed social unrest and sway people to embrace white nationalism. The poster claimed that normal Americans would see that news outlets and leftists hate whites and then these would "convert to the white nationalist, alt-right side." White supremacists and neo-Nazis have believed for a long time in the strategy of the "white victim" as a means to gain more adherents. They also discuss watering down the message and removing references to other races in order to make it more palatable to normal white Americans to participate in their advert campaign. White nationalists and alt-right groups are also making efforts to "clean up" their image from the tattooed, cross burning skinhead, and taking their newly watered down message to campuses. They also are attempting to exploit social media and meme warfare. This is a young, hip, tech-savvy white supremacist movement, and they want to bait new believers and adherents by using social media to play off "leftist anti-white bias" (which certainly does exist on the leftist fringe) and portray campus diversity as inherently anti-white. By using a grain (a very small grain) of truth and a watered down message of triviality, they succeeded in getting "the normies," and apparently some self-proclaimed objectivists, to dance on a string. Although Grames claims I don't understand how memes work, I contend I perhaps understand it better than him, and I wholeheartedly reject it. As an individualist, I would rip one of those papers off and throw it in the dirt, happily. No alliance with fascists, no alliance with white supremacists, and objectivists cannot put enough daylight between themselves and these alt-right groups. We know how spontaneous orders work in economics, but there are also negative spontaneous orders that serve to sustain statism. We know that Republicans, right wingers often times hijack the rhetoric of capitalism and free markets to defend and advance statism. Just look at Rand's comments on Regan. She was an individualist of the old school, having been influenced by Rose Wilder Lane and Isabelle Patterson. The conservatives have been doing it for decades and now alt-right white nationalists and neo-Nazis are joining in. They are openly trying to water down their racism and cloak it under the guise of scientific studies, and wrap it in libertarian and free-market packaging. I hope my fellow individualists and objectivist friends are not so easily deceived.
  12. It's simple: no benevolence for white nationalists. If objectivists, libertarians, and supposed individualists can't get that right, then they deserve to be relegated to the periphery like they have been.
  13. Since there is no categorical imperative to engage in argumentation, one has to balance the value of arguing the veracity of racial superiority with the opportunity costs foregone. But race is boring and so is everyone who whines about it. I'd rather sit back and enjoy the forum moderators exercising their free market rights and see the racists removed from the forum (again.)
  14. Exactly: True slogan from Clinton group = expose! True slogan from white nationalists = endorse! You're literally a charicature 😹
  15. You say I'm guilty of the genetic fallacy, but since the thesis I'm advancing challenges the implicit packaging and the efficacy of promoting a proposition tied to certain groups, and does not tie the veracity of the concept with the group association, then this accusation is of no avail. Also I never referenced the Peikoff essay. But I can understand why you didn't want to answer the question. It would force you to acknowledge that slogans and campaigns have context, and that embracing them involves embracing that context. Waving it off by saying it's just a meme is merely evasion.
  16. Grames: "Blood and soil" a good slogan for you to chant, yes or no? Why or why not? Of course my example of a cap and trade ad with "air is good" as the slogan. You can bet you conservative types would be all moist "exposing" and lambasting it. "It's a Clinton backed group with a liberal agenda!" we would be told. And yet you have no problem siding with white nationalists. Also you both want to close the borders and deport the illegals. Hmm, enquiring minds can only draw their own conclusions.
  17. Sure, the left says silly things. So you would join in common cause with the white nationalist ad campaign, except that little fact you dislike, so you blank it out.
  18. Wait, how can an individual person possess an average IQ? And how can you draw inferences about what a given individual must think based on their race or average IQ of the race to which they belong? Whoops! Your racism is showing... wait isn't that against the forum rules to promote racism? bye bye!
  19. Not really. I doubt you even know or understand leftist philosophy enough to critique privilege theory or postmodernist deconstructionism. Instead of launching a reasoned critique, carefully parsing between opposition to anti-white bias and support for white supremacy, you gleefully attach yourself to ad campains created by self-identified white supremacists which implicitly conflate the two, and then pat yourself on the back for your keyboard warriorism. Great job!
  20. And yet no one in here said it's not okay to be white. Such bravery! You're okay with whiteness! As the slogan goes, where there is no struggle, there is no virtue. On the other hand, to willfully ignore reality, in this case the full context of the campaign, that is the essence of cowardice.
  21. Of course it's not okay. It's not okay because racism is not okay. You equivocate disapproval with literal coercion? Your sophistry is laughable, what a silly little monkey.
  22. Only if you evade the fact that it is an ad campaign created by white nationalists. Again would you join in a campaign called "Air is good." by Evil Corp, which is a Clinton funded cap and trade company that will benefit financially? Or would you say they are implicitly trying to package the triviality of air being good with support for cap and trade? I would say you are clearly evading if not.
  23. Rand wanted to dispense with certain terms that were packaged deals, like "extremism" and keep certain other ones, like "selfish." The question is whether you should join in a protest campaign created by white nationalists, not whether the slogan may contain a proposition which is true. The proper individualist response should cut through both packaged deals of affirming and denying the proposition. "It's not okay to be white and racist and we see your through sloganeering as packaging opposition to anti-white bias with support for white nationalism."
  24. Or maybe people are just smarter than taking the posters at face value. You didn't answer me before, you honestly don't believe that one should never take into context the source and agenda of a slogan before adopting it? Couldn't it be that people, most people, understand that "okay being white" is a triviality, and therefore look beyond the mere words and into the context of the slogan, and are horrified that people promoting white nationalist 4chan projects are active on their campus. If you saw a campaign that said something like "Air is good." Would you go "oh neat. What a great campaign. Let's promote this!" Or would you instinctively be like, well gee, everyone knows air is good, who is behind this, what are they promoting, what is their agenda, who on campus is carrying this out? If you discovered that Evil Corp. posted the ad campaign to promote Clintonian cap and trade because they would benefit financially from subsidies, you wouldn't go "guys this is hysterical overreaction and witch hunts! They just want us to know that air is good!" I doubt it. You'd be singing from the rooftops that people participating in the ad campaign are serving the Evil Corp agenda. Your response would probably not be "oh neat. Yep that's true. Air is good." It would be something like "Yes, air is good, but cap and trade schemes are bad." But your response here is not "yes it's obviously okay to be white, but it's not okay to be white and racist." These 4chan people are not opposing cultural Marxism out of principle. They literally want to deport and/or kill all non whites. They want socialism for white people only. They created the campaign and you haven't said a word about them.
  25. No one of significance says it's not okay to be white. Embracing slogans created by neo-Nazis on 4chan is the dumbest way to combat racism. You are a smart guy, Grames, you literally are so afraid of "white guilt" that you have your willful blinders on regarding the origin and context of the slogan. Things like this are what drive the normies into the hands of the leftists, and why normal "peace and love" type people will continue to protest side by side with hardened leftist nihilists to combat racism.