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Found 7 results

  1. Eiuol (Lev) and I (William) have created a new show on Youtube called Welcome To Reality! It is devoted to respectful debate and discussion. We will cover various topics that interest us and try to apply our understanding of Objectivism to moral and political action. The first episode is on the use and morality of recreational drugs, such as alcohol and psychedelics. We hope you'll check out the program and subscribe to our channel. Thanks! https://youtu.be/aDWd-b2xEB0
  2. What are your thoughts after this first Democratic debate? Who is the best Democratic candidate? Would you prefer any of them over Trump? In case you missed it, the debate was split over two nights, with ten candidates per night. Most of the leading candidates (minus Elizabeth Warren) appeared on stage last night. In this video the main action begins after 1 hour and 3 minutes of pre-debate coverage. https://youtu.be/cX7hni-zGD8 Kamala Harris has received a lot of press for going after Biden. Pete Buttigieg got recognized for handling tough questions. Author Marianne Williamson is trending, because she's going to defeat Trump with love over hate. Bernie Sanders took hits for being an unapologetic socialist. From the first night, Cory Booker and Julian Castro appeared to overshadow Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke. Almost all of these personalities rubbed me the wrong way, except for Buttigieg, who seemed to be the best and most articulate thinker on the stage.
  3. Every now and then I find myself in a conversation that turns into a debate. Usually a simple 'I don't agree with that' sparks it. I try to avoid such debates since I find them frustrating when the other person is jumping from concept to concept, being emotional, or just wants to argue for the sake of arguing. However, I will engage if there are others listening to the conversation/debate in hopes of influencing them. In the past most informal debates have enraged me (especially when dealing with the irrational). Please share your thoughts on when, why, and how you engage with a person during an informal debate (any social situation), and when you decide it's just not worth it. I have learned that as an informal debate is starting it helps if you can agree to not contradict yourselves. This seems to be a great way to influence the people listening. Pointing out a contradiction your opponent makes seem to really resonate. I also start by saying that the point of the debate is to be right, so if there is any error in my logic I want to correct it. I will ask the other person if that is true for them too.
  4. David Kelley, founder of the Atlas Society, recently debated John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods and admirer of Ayn Rand, on the role of selfishness in our lives and in our societies. I just watched it and had a response that I felt compelled to write down and then share here. The debate is here: http://www.atlassociety.org/david-kelley-debates-john-mackey David Kelley defends Rand's conception of selfishness while Mackey accepts the traditional view of selfishness and argues that some selfishness is good, but too much is a bad thing, and it should be balanced with other virtues. I think this is an important position to respond to primarily because we hear it so often, and there's much confusion on the issue. Also, I don't think Kelley's response was nearly adequate. So, I'll post my own response to the debate in the next post, so as not to have a huge OP.
  5. So I listened to the following Yaron Brook podcast question. http://www.peikoff.com/2014/01/13/to-yb-what-is-your-opinion-of-noam-chomsky/ The questioner asks if Brook would be interested in a debate with Noam Chomsky about the Israel-Arab Conflict. Yaron says in response "No, it will never ever happen, over my dead body will I get up on stage with a scum like Noam Chosmky... I would never sanction his existence his existence by getting up on stage with him". His reasoning is Chomsky's denial of the Cambodian genocide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian_genocide_denial#Chomsky Linguist Noam Chomsky was among the academics who attempted to refute Barron, Paul, Ponchaud, and Lacouture. On June 6, 1977, he and his collaborator, Edward S. Herman, published a review of Barron and Paul's, Ponchaud's, and Porter's books in The Nation. He called Barron and Paul's book "third rate propaganda" and part of a "vast and unprecedented propaganda campaign" against the Khmer Rouge. He said Ponchaud was "worth reading" but unreliable. Chomsky said that refugee stories of Khmer Rouge atrocities should be treated with great "care and caution" as no independent verification was available. By contrast, Chomsky was highly favorable toward the book by Porter and Hildebrand, which portrayed Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge as a "bucolic idyll."[10] Chomsky also opined that the documentation of Gareth Porter's book was superior to that of Ponchaud's -- although almost all the references cited by Porter came from Khmer Rouge documents while Ponchaud's came from interviews with Cambodian refugees.[11] I think Brook's reaction to Chomsky is fascinating. For one, Chomsky is a sacred cow. Brook has a lot of reasons to hate the guy for sure, and its interesting to hear him so strongly condemn this man. However, what I don't understand is why Brook wouldn't debate this guy. I would love to see Chomsky get smashed in a debate by Brook, and I don't think that it would be sanctioning him to do so. As someone who has debated White Nationalists and Nazis, and much worse people, I don't think I have done anything wrong in doing so. I think I often make convincing arguments that actually dissuade people from those beliefs. I find that his "Condemnation" tactic just allows opposition to say "Here is a man who can not argue with my beliefs!". I think it is important to reach out to people who are confused, or perhaps sitting on the fence, or maybe rational people who may have come to some very wrong conclusions. Why wouldn't a debate with Chomsky be worth it? It just seems like bad propaganda.
  6. As of late, most conversations about politics have led me to believe there is something severely wrong in the way people think about politics. Most conversations involve two or more people who have spent hours and hours reading material that argues for their narrative or policy. These websites, books, and documentaries present facts and arguments that support their ideas. After having read the material of various groups I have found that a lot of this propaganda is actually very convincing. What I mean by this is not that they are right, but that I could imagine myself writing a character in a novel with those beliefs who was able to represent those beliefs and still seem reasonable. It seems very easy for someone to become convinced of a narrative, and have no idea that there narrative could be wrong. It seems like people are just telling themselves stories and using whatever "information" they get a hold of to fit into their narrative. You may think that the easy response is "well show them counter examples that prove their theory wrong". Somehow this doesn't work though. When people are shown contradictory information, they usually do one of two things. They readjust the narrative without rejecting the original premise or fundamental ideas, or they demonstrate a way in which that information is irrelevant or consistent to that narrative. This makes arguments about politics seem little more than arguments about theology. This has me thinking that I am susceptible to the same bias, While I have a firm belief in some basic political ideas, it seems that mostly what I have are hunches, stories and biases. Mises pointed out this problem in his works Human Action and Theory and History. He argued that what most people would do is that if the data did not correlate with the success of their policy they would just argue that their policy was working, but that other factors caused the data not to change in the correct direction. Making debates about political philosophy pointless. Mises responded to this problem by forming a deductive philosophy that defended capitalism through a rationalism and subjectivism. However Mises really only made an economics system, and deducing political ideas from his works seems unreasonable. I think that his response to this problem and the way Libertarians have used his work is one of the contributing factors to their ideology today. tl:dr Hypothetical Question: If someone brings up Israel and condemns their country for being a racist terror state, do I need to be knowledgeable to correct them and what exactly do I need to know to show that they are wrong?
  7. DoxaPar

    Abortion Debate

    Friends, I would like to propose a debate and the subject of abortion. While I recognize this is a "touchy" subject, the source of a lot of pain, frustration, political disagreement and strife, I feel that it is, if done properly, an important issue to Objectivism and western society. I'm seeking someone who shares these views but is pro-choice (I will be arguing from the pro-life perspective so this is kinda a requirement as the debate wouldn't be very helpful if we agreed) and willing to defend their position in a structured, rule-based debate. If you're interested, feel you have a good argument to make, can exhibit "strength without hatred", and are willing to debate the issue, please feel free to PM me and we can work through the structure and rules of the debate format. Sincerely and with much regard, DoxaPar
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