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Regi F.

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Everything posted by Regi F.

  1. Thank you for the the link to that interesting thread.
  2. Thank you for the comments. They are thoughtful and I mostly agree. I especially agree, of course that nothing takes away an individual's right to self defense. Just out of curiosity, when did you delegate your right of self defense to the government? I've been around here for 70 years, and no one has asked me yet if I'd like to delegate mine to the government. If they asked, I wouldn't.
  3. I read themadkat's post. I do not agree with him, nor have I said sociology is a pseudo-science because it is not done well. It's done very well, in fact. Perhaps you have not read sociology to be subordination of the individual to society, but there are many sociologists that say it explicitly--in fact all those associated with the United Nations do. But what do you think the purpose of sociology is? Isn't to discover how to make societies meet some criteria, to be "good" societies. Have you ever read any sociologist that does not conclude that what he teaches ought to be implimented as "policy." What do you think that is? It is social engineering, and that can only be done by political power. While I do not agree with the following article, it does make excellent points about why sociology is not a science, though it presumes Comte's original intention was science, and that it could be a science still. I only recently found the article, so present it with reservations. It does however well document the fact that Comte is the founder of sociology. Sociology: From Science to Pseudoscience I do not intend to convince you of anything. You seemed interested, so I'm only trying to satisfy that interest.
  4. Mr. Firehammer, it's a real pleasure to see you here. I've read your entire philosophy series several times and it's helped me understand a great deal of philosophy. Thanks for writing it and offering it on the net.

  5. Thanks for the comments. I appreciate that. I'm all for thinking in principles. Let's consider "it deters crime." How does it do that? Does the Objectivist depend on the psychology of the criminal to sit down and say to himself, "I'd like to steal the car, but if I do I'll be put in jail, and I don't want to go to jail, so I'll not steal the car?" Since when are Objectivist principles based on psychology? Good grief! Crooks have a saying, "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime." Most of them know the risk of "doing the time, " but are willing to take it. So how does the threat of imprisonment prevent crime? And how is that working in real life, anyway? The US has the largest prison population in the world. Guess there's no more crime, huh? Of course, while the criminal is off the streets in jail, they don't commit any crimes (unless it's against other criminals, of course) but unless every sentence is a life sentence, it only temporarily keeps them off the streets. Do you have any idea what the rates of recidivism are? The American justice system is called a retributive justice system. It is a modified form of "an eye for an eye," or "you do something bad, and we'll do something bad to you." There is another form of justice called restorative justice, which means, whatever a criminal has harmed or causes the loss of for another individual must be restored by the criminal. Why wouldn't you prefer that view of justice to the baseless "threat of punishment" theory, or "get even" theory, both of which have no objective basis? Still, no one has explained how you get from "defense" which prevents a crime being justified to "retaliation" after the crime has already been committed, being justified--I mean in terms of principles.
  6. Really? Well it comes only from history and an interest in where bad ideas in academia and philosophy come from. It's a very interesting field actually. Perhaps you can do a research paper sometime on the roots of social theory beginning with Hume, through Comte and the branch that led to positivism and post modernism on one side and the other that led to Kant, Hegel, and The Frankfurt School. I think you would find it fascinating--and without a trace of conspiracy.
  7. Well, it's not a, "blog," and the material is well substantiated and easy to find for anyone who cares to know. If you don't care to, that is OK with me. But ask yourself this. Why would anyone post that information if it were not true? What would be the point?
  8. There is something very wrong here. Defensive force and retaliatory force are NOT the same thing. If my neighbor comes to my home to rob me, and confronts me with a gun threatening to kill me, and I am armed and shoot the neighbor that is defensive force. If my neighbor breaks into my home and robs me while I'm not present and I subsequently discover some of my stolen good in his house and shoot him, that is retaliatory force. Certainly an individual has a right to use force to defend himself and his property. But "retaliation" means "revenge," not "defense." If defense works, there is no need for retaliation. Where does the right to revenge come from? How does someone allocate that to the government? You said, "the government stops people from initiating force." The fact is, it doesn't, and it only comes in to "retaliate" after someone has already used force. If the government really prevented people from using force, there would be no need to retaliate.
  9. Sociology is another pseudo-science, the invention of Auguste Comte (1798-1857) which he called the greatest of sciences that would subsume all others (which in a very real sense it has—think environmentalism and the subordination of science to political agendas). Sociology is "dressed-up" collectivism; it's fundamental premise is that society is the ultimate end or purpose of values and actions and that individuals are subordinate to and derive their values and purpose from their relationship to or membership in society. Comte coined the word altruism to refer to the moral obligation of individuals to serve others and place the interests of society above their own. He is the father of positivism, which he regarded as "human religion"; both the logical positivists (Vienna Circle) and Secular Humanism have their origins in Comte. If Sociology is a science, its application is "social engineering." From here: The Roots of Revolution
  10. No, she did not write a great deal, but she definitely addressed the issue explicitly, and unambiguously. Ayn Rand used "material" synonymously with "physical." Here are some quotes to consider: "Man is an entity of mind and body, an indivisible union of two elements: of consciousness and matter. Matter is that which one perceives, consciousness is that which perceives it." [The Journals of Ayn Rand, "14 - Notes While Writing Galt's Speech"] Notice the two elements are consciousness and matter, meant to identify two unique things. But she is more explicit here: "Man's consciousness is not material——but neither is it an element opposed to matter." [The Journals of Ayn Rand, "13 - Notes While Writing: 1947-1952"] [Emphasis mine.] And here: "Man is a being endowed with consciousness —an attribute which matter does not possess. His consciousness is the free, nonmaterial element in him." [The Letters of Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged Years (1945-1959)," To Nathan Blumenthal, January 13, 1950] [Emphasis mine.] There is no hint of either dualism or mysticism in Rand's view. She regarded consciousness as part of nature, part of the objective metaphysical world, but not a physical or "material" part of it. This is, in fact, my own view, except that I regard three aspects of reality non-physical&mdash.life, consciousness, and the human mind (volition, rationality, and intellect), because none of these can be explained in terms of physical attributes, though none can exist independently of the physical organisms of which they are the life, consciousness, or minds. I wonder if you know who Nathan Blumenthal is. He was married to Barbara Weidman.
  11. It's obvious you've had some very good answers to your question, but there is one thing no one has mentioned which might help. Most of the answers you've received tend to imply some way has to be worked around the fact physical existence is deterministic. It is deterministic, absolutely, and there is no way to work around that. That fact is, consciousness is not a physical attribute. Why no one mentions that Objectivism does not regard consciousness as physical, I do not know. Perhaps they do not know it, or perhaps they are ashamed of it. Here are some quotes "Man is an entity of mind and body, an indivisible union of two elements: of consciousness and matter. Matter is that which one perceives, consciousness is that which perceives it." [The Journals of Ayn Rand, "14 - Notes While Writing Galt's Speech"] Notice the two elements are consciousness and matter, meant to identify two unique things. But she is more explicit here: "Man's consciousness is not material——but neither is it an element opposed to matter." [The Journals of Ayn Rand, "13 - Notes While Writing: 1947-1952"] [Emphasis mine.] And here: "Man is a being endowed with consciousness —an attribute which matter does not possess. His consciousness is the free, nonmaterial element in him." [The Letters of Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged Years (1945-1959)," To Nathan Blumenthal, January 13, 1950] [Emphasis mine.] "Material," is Ayn Rand's word fot the physical, that which we directly perceive. Rand (and I agree) belived that consciousness is a perfectly natural attribute of existence, but not a physical attribute. There is no hint of mysticism or dualism in this. It only means, that nature has room in it for more attributes than the physical alone can account for. Now to your original question. How to deal with someone who denies volition, and perhaps consciousness itself. One way that has worked for me, is to ask one simple question. "Can you see?" "How do you know you can see?" "Can you prove to me you can see, and can you demonstrate to me what you see?" Of course no one can do that. Our seeing, like all our conscious experience is subjective. What one experiences consciously cannot be demonstrated to anyone else. But science can only deal with what can be demonstrated, that is, what can be directly perceived--by anyone. Science cannot deal with consciousness. We do not know we can see because we can prove it to someone else, we know we can see because we do it. And we do not know we can consciously choose what we do because we can prove it to anyone else, we know we can consciously choose, because we do it. If your roommate denies he can see, throw him an eraser or something, and when he catches it, ask him how he did it without seeing it. It has worked for me in the past.
  12. There's your answer. "How do human beings make decision?" By thinking. By considering what the possibilities are, which choice will result in which consequence and which consequence is preferred. "Why do they make the choices they make?" Because they have a set of values by which they judge possible consequences. But I think you miss the whole point of volition. It really doesn't matter how or why one makes their choices, as human beings, we cannot do anything without consciously choosing to. Try this. Sit theire and make one final choice--to never choose anything again. What happens when you do that? Nothing, and if you never make another choice you'll never do another thing and you will die. That's the point of volition. Everything a human being does they must consciously choose to do. It's up to every human being to discover for themselves why they choose what they choose and how to choose. To the extent they successfully discover how and why to choose, they live successfully. To the extent they do not, they fail.
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