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  2. How is hosting nuclear weapons different than ‘installing ‘ nuclear weapons ? I thought your argument was that no nuclear weapons were ‘in’ NATO member countries. What I was referring to re schemes , was the paused but ongoing military exercises and training between Ukrainian forces and NATO forces. One of the reasons for such exercises is to coordinate and integrate command and control and incorporate various military units into a framework under NATO control. Which from a Russian perspective this could be seen as a situation where, ultimately, Ukrainian military forces would not be under the certain control of the Ukrainian government.
  3. What false alternatives? You are the only one who mentioned alternatives between 2 options. So I said I don't think anyone ever said that imperialistic intentions means that a country is stronger than most countries. I'm not aware of anyone who said that they fear Russia will invade Europe. Well yeah, immoral invasions will do that. That's generally a reason to send arms somewhere, especially when a country is dramatically authoritarian compared to all the people sending arms. Makes sense. What's your point? But so far it seems to be the case that Russia is the one that needs to spend an exorbitant amount of money, in other words, a little bit of investment by the West goes a long way to weakening the authoritarian government that is Russia. How could that happen? If they wanted that, they would've done that already. Yeah, that wouldn't be NATO installing the weapons, and NATO schemes is ambiguous because a scheme can refer to many different types of actions, some of which might be typical for nonmembers. The point being, I think any of these things are outside the way that NATO has always functioned, and there is no evidence that NATO wants to take military action in any ongoing conflict between countries of any type.
  4. Yesterday
  5. It is rights to manufacture and sale, and purchase by consumers, of the Pill. The States had laws against said birth-control pills. The 1965 the Supreme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut struck down those State prohibitions. "God bless the inventor of the Pill!" –Ayn Rand
  6. what the heck is a right "to" contraception or the right of ANYONE "to" marriage for that matter? The whole modern concept of so called special "rights" is doubly dangerous, 1 because it sets up an obligation on the State and then by extension by others to positively provide somethings for someone, rather than to refrain from interfering with the freedom of the the person(s) with respect to that that thing, which paradoxically 2 emboldens the state to think since it had authority to "grant" or "permit" such perks as rights, they can take them away, and end up actually inhibiting freedom associated with such things. Rights as "perks" become "permissions" and then the opposite of rights. Pharma and medical practitioners and their dealings with me are (or would be) covered by our natural freedoms as would be my natural freedoms to live with whomever I wish according to and celebrated by whatever religion or cultural equivalent there is. But not having a specific right to deal with pharma or live according to a certain culture does not mean the State can properly violate the freedoms associated therewith. Overturning the establishment of false rights would be fine if the State had not perverted them into things which could be used to take away freedoms... I am not so sure we are safe from that.
  7. Then is emergence simply an epistemological artifact? Meaning this all hinges on "description" or "unexplainable" etc. only? Well, then anything goes. The fundamental laws of physics and chemistry do not mention "the love of ice cream", but are known to have cause it.
  8. Then we must make the case that personhoods starts at X point, objectively speaking. I don't think we will be able to. I think the only clear delineation point is when the egg accepts the sperm. Before that there was no potential, when the egg has no sperm or the sperm was not in the egg. But we would argue that we don't have a "person" at this point. The initial question that has to be answered is: Is it ever okay to NOT care for a child. Implication being "to kill" the child. In the case of an abortion it is removing the support system of the potential child. The viability issue has to have some bearing. If let us say, there is a tribe on an island with limited resources and a child (i.e. a person that needs caring to survive) that cannot take care of itself exists that NO one wants the child for some reason. What is the responsibility of the people involved? I know that this is heinous example but it has to be brought up as a thought experiment. It is disgusting to think of a parent that throws a baby away, but I met one person who was tortured by the fact that she did that when she was 15. Meaning, it happens. She put the baby in the trash can. But doing that or arguing against it seems to be purely emotional. What is the non emotional objective argument for the moral obligation you speak of? It is an overall "survival of the species" argument?
  9. There may be more than one concept of "emergence" here. Perhaps we should ask each person who used the concept to define it. My understanding of emergence is that X is emergent from A if a complete fundamental description of A need not mention X, but A is known to have caused X. This does not require that anything be uncaused or unexplainable. Also, there is no requirement as to complexity or as to how much has already been explained. One example: life is an emergent feature of the physical universe. This means that the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry do not mention life, but are known to have caused life.
  10. What is your definition of "mind"?
  11. In an opinion concurring with the Court majority, Justice Thomas writes that "The same rationale that the Supreme Court used to declare there was no right to abortion . . . should also be used to overturn cases establishing rights to contraception, same-sex consensual relations and same-sex marriage." —Well, that's honest.
  12. The volunteering does not change the "viability" of any child whether outside or defined as such in utero. Someone volunteering to help care/pay for/feed a child after it had been born does not change its viability nor define any related term. All children under a certain age will die if their parents refuse any care whatever e.g. denied food water and shelter, unless they somehow escape (perhaps to be raised by wolves or strangers). Children are simply not capable of providing for themselves. Do you hold that neither parents nor relatives nor society have any moral obligation to their children? IF there are obligations what is the order in greatest to least obligation? But responsibility for care is a separate issue from the bare right to life (not be killed). The question is not viability but when do rights attach... i.e. when begins personhood?
  13. ET, that is simply not the way viability is defined. Viability is reached when there is a reasonable chance of the fetus' "sustained survival outside the womb, with or without artificial support" (Colautti v. Franklin 1978).
  14. To distill it to the act of creating forced labor, sometimes on the part of the mother, sometimes on due to forced taxation on others, makes sense to the anti-altruistic position that we have. But a question comes to mind related to viability: when someone (other than the mother) has volunteered to take care of child that is in utero, does that make the unborn child "viable"? Would that be a case where the mother does not have a right to abort since it is now "a viable life"?
  15. So quickly a discussion of politics loses all sense of principle. Getting it wrong on either end violates rights of one or more humans, and the most important rights. Getting it right for those persons is more important than any amount of personal political posturing of any kind.
  16. SL, the study has gone on and does go on, apart from any implications for the morality or legal prohibition of abortion. One serious reference is chapter 4 of the fourth edition of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience by Mark H. Johnson and Michelle de Haan (2015). About a third of our fellow citizens believe that a fetus becomes a human at conception, when a unique DNA is formed. That DNA is now the surrogate of the soul which endows the body with the human spark or image of God. Hopefully, the other two-thirds of the citizens will now get fighting mad and give candidates who run in part on this cultural issue and are anti-abortionist (in law) loss at the polls. Then the US Congress and Executive might be able to get a law protecting the right to procure an abortion across the land. I doubt that result is attainable because of the Senate super-majority situation. More attainable would be election to State offices, especially Governor, candidates who favor the right to abortion in law of the State. Apparently, Mike Pence thinks he can advance himself in the next Republican Presidential Primary by calling for prohibition of abortion in all States. The two most recent Republican Presidents made prohibition of abortions a component of their campaign agendas, and they won the general elections even though most of the voters favor legality of abortions. Most of my libertarian or Objectivist acquaintances never put the priority on legality of abortion that I did over these decades; I always voted against and encouraged voting against candidates who were anti-abortionist. They would reply to me: "Oh, it will never happen." I don't blame them for what has happened, because we are few, but what a betrayal, what a wrong prioritization, what a wrong gauge of depth among principles at stake—forced labor. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PS – Contrary to popular assumption, the significance of the stage at which viablity outside the womb (in the judgment of the attending physician) is reached has never been posed as mark of being human or of human personhood. It is simply the point at which adults not the mother can take on the project of supporting the continued life of the fetus/infant without impressing the mother into the service of their project. After delivery too, the rights practically, concerning the infant are rights between adults over support of the infant, rights against theft of your infant or injury to your infant, rights over what is right nutrition, how the child is raised, what is right education, when are the parents no longer responsible for higher-education financial support, and so forth.
  17. For the sake of argument: Assume we do not know when a fetus does becomes a human and although not knowledgeable, is as conscious of sensations and sounds and the environment as a new born, but without the benefit of a clear unobstructed interaction with the environment. Here I do not mean a potential to become a human, but one which we are only in ignorance of its existence. Is one's approach to the rights to life of that entity not complicated and a nonetheless serious matter for consideration and investigation? I have no answer, but I posit this is not a simple issue one can determine without further scientific study.
  18. “and at 12 weeks the ‘unborn human being’ has ‘taken on “the human form” in all relevant respects”.” —Justice Alito, Dobbs v. Jackson Hardly. At 12 weeks, the brain of the fetus has the form of a mammalian brain, but not yet the form of a primate brain, let alone a human brain. The serious consistency of today’s overturn of Roe v. Wade is with its past upholdings of the right of government in the US to conscript citizens into military service. Forced labor of still-warm bodies of young men. Forced labor of pregnant bodies of women conscripted into service of reinforcing other citizens' mass psychosis and confusedness.
  19. So now abortion is up to the States. If I remember correctly, Rand's positions were: An absolute right to life after birth. Violating a doctor's freedom to act for anyone (without harm to anyone) is a violation of the doctor's rights. No special positive "rights" for anyone to get any medical procedure or any funding for anything health related. I cannot recall any specific position on people who are in a coma, or on life support, at varying levels of cognitive function, and whether the level of brain activity is operative in extinguishing rights to life or in defining when a person ceases to be a person for the purposes of determining rights e.g. to life. I would assume Rand would have accepted the concept of "brain dead", specifically in the medical sense.
  20. A false alternative, is my point. The RF is neither so strong as to try to build an empire, nor so weak as to ever lose in east/south Ukraine. My conjecture: both conflicting narratives are kept alive, particularly by British Russophobes, in order to heighten fears of a Russian invasion into Europe; Europeans who therefore would go on bearing the sanction costs and keep delivering more arms and aid into Ukraine, "in defense of Europe" - while simultaneously - providing the morale boost for Ukrainians to continue counter-attacks against Russian forces, supposedly, "in dire straits" - cause for Kyiv to reject negotiations and carry on the conflict longer - achieving either a (impossible) Ukraine victory, or (unlikely) a battlefield stalemate. The longer this goes on, apart from the intent of weakening Russia, at some stage the fighting could spill over (inadvertently or calculatedly) into a NATO-member country and those warmongers might get their desired outcome - justification for direct confrontation with Russia.
  21. Four Things Recent wins from the Positive Focus Log... 1. This may sound negative, but a library I planned to use for work sessions has poor internet. I tried it. I know to avoid it if I need internet. At the same time, it is spacious, uncrowded, and very nicely designed: It would be a very pleasant place to do non-internet intensive work, and it has a nature trail outside for breaks. Or: I have a great place to do undistracted blocks of reading, thinking, or writing. 2. Speaking of wifi, a good site for road warriors is the aptly-named "Coffee Shop Wifi". It takes the guesswork out of connecting when the wifi at the remote establishment requires signing in via a browser. All you have to do is visit the site (or reload, if you're hopping around, like I am today) and you will get that page:How does Coffee Shop Wifi Work? Coffee Shop Wifi always connects with HTTP instead of secure HTTPS. This allows guest wifi networks to show you their internet login page. Make sure you're always connected with HTTPS to sites with sensitive information like email and banking. [format edits]I have this bookmarked, and it sure beats having to remember which sites still use HTTP or consult a list I used to have for that purpose. Images by me. Copying permitted.3. I now have a way to easily incorporate walking on the beach into my day. The sticking point was How can I do this without getting my feet and legs covered in sand? The solution turned out to be Crocs, a kind of plastic clog. I can spray those and my feet off afterwards and put normal footwear back on when I'm done. A nice bonus for the shell-covered beaches near our home is that the clogs protect my feet from cuts, allowing me to think or enjoy the scenery rather than dodge debris. 4. My wife, for the first time since very early in the pandemic, had a work-related social function a couple of weeks ago. That day was adjacent to the day I normally use for errands and other shallow work. I enjoyed the function, but knowing I'd have to be "on" that evening very noticeably hung over my head all day, distracting me. (I think I've sensed things like this before, but after such a long time with this sort of thing missing from my schedule, it really stood out.) Next time, I'll know to consider doing non-deep work on days like that. -- CAVLink to Original
  22. I do not dispute the various behaviours and actions that do occur in different contexts. Things are and they act (interact) contextually according to their natures. I propose the term “emergent” and its conceptualization to be redundant, afoul of Rand’s Razor, and in the end indicative of nothing additional to be identified out there. When speaking of existence, Identity and the corollary of causation, suffice.
  23. EC had written “The universe is deterministic but a rational entity’s mind is not because of . . ..” SL remarked: “This is a naked contradiction.” Rand’s considered (1973) defintion of the Law of Causality was: “All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved.” The notion of “determined” here is broad enough to apply not only to nature, but to human artifacts such as a pulley, a tee-pee, or an aircraft. They are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved. Similarly, volitional consciousness can be caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved. Human inventions, and the brain too, have natures to which that sort of determination applies. When I freely choose to compose this note before returning to mastering some eighteenth-century philosophers this morning, I am making a choice caused and determined by the nature of human brain and its feature of (free)volitional consciousness. Earlier, in her 1957, Rand had further claimed that the choice to think was one’s only genuine choice, and all other choices and the course of one’s life, depend on that continual choice. This was a view of William James in Principles of Psychology (1890). It is false. One chooses some actions, and one has some free choice in direction of mental actions additional to, even if part of, the choice to think (and therewith the choice to live). Also in her 1957, Rand strongly insinuated that all causality per se is of the uniquely-determined-path genre, which Leonard Peikoff expressly confirmed for Rand in a Q&A of his lecture series “The Philosophy of Objectivism.” Which is false. That false physical determinism is the assumption for which EC is trying to find an end-run around by take-offs of critical-point phenomena—phase changes in states of matter. That is the sort of determinism, one that in fact does not hold in full physical reality, even at the macro classical scale—no matter how often people repeat the falsehood down from Laplace. Uniqueness for every physical outcome and uniqueness of the string of outcomes in the past does not entail uniqueness of possible outcome for any of them at the time of their occurrence; there may come an intersection with an independent causal stream along the way. A droplet of water in the mist at Niagara Falls just now was not predetermined to be composed of just those molecules it is or to have just the temperature it has, because: It was formed to its present constitution and conditions by intersection of independent causal stands. Then too, the course of situations into which a water molecule may enter during the course of its existence is not uniquely determined from the outset of its formation. Volition is NOT the only possible reason for lack of unique possible outcomes in the course of nature (contra Rand, Leibniz, . . . but in step with Peirce and Aristotle). The reason for that lack is simply that that is not the way physical reality is, when one gets seriously realistic about it. Period. The fact of that lack of a pedestrian-acclaimed predetermination character in physics and in everything going back to physics makes possible the background in which activities of brain and of mind can evolve and develop free volition. And, for that matter, that lack makes possible the background in which life and aircraft can come to be. SL, EC has a contradiction if universal one-path determinism is from what (and apparently it is from what) he is concerned to except rational mind. There is another and more important contradiction—a contradiction with reality—in characterization of all the processes of physical reality as being of that nature in the first place.
  24. When two elements meet, both will exert an influence on each other, causing both to change in some way. Since the two elements are now different, this will also affect how they react to a third element, and how that third element will react to them. The only way to avoid emergent behaviours/properties is to have no interactions whatsoever. The way a thing behaves is an aspect of what that thing is like. That is causality, i.e. a specialized perspective on the nature of a given thing. If 'determinism' means causality, then volition is not a-causal; it's impossible to exercise volition if your nervous system lacks that feature.
  25. Someone please point out my error(s) (please ignore the triangle metaphor)
  26. Sounds like this means that: out of a deterministic universe/existence, a non deterministic entity emerges. As if some areas of the universe are deterministic and some areas are not. Well, how do they intersect? They seem to be in the same universe but contradicting each other (they coexist?). How?
  27. KyaryPamyu, You added “+ things it comes in contact with actually exist.” That is on the correct line, meaning line to truth, I say. From our science we know that lines, their orientations, and object shapes are actually in the distal stimulus that results in the proximate stimulus—the photo-receptors at the retina, whose stimulations get processed at LGN and visual cortex with all their interconnections. No concepts are needed for the integral shape of a baseball in one's hand to be discerned by hand and by vision. No economization by unit-economies or set-memberships are in necessary play at that perception of shape. In Kan’t mine/not-mine view of sensory perception, he had the matter or content of the sensation be the matter or the content of the “sensible intuition,” be the not-mine component, and the spatial form such as line, configuration, and shape be the mine component, even though in experience, we do not have a sense of it as mine, but as not mine. His arguments that spatial forms are really mine rather than not-mine are really aimed at explaining how Euclidean geometry, true of the empirical world as we experience it, is possible, given the methods we actually use in Euclid and the universality and necessity we arrive at in truths of geometry. His explanation of how it is possible—that space and its Euclidean relations are form contributed by the faculty of sensible intuition—is false and fantastical. But Rand and her intellectual comrades failed at refuting or displacing Kant’s explanation, wrong and (to modern heads) laughable as that explanation might be. Talking about perceptual form in a sophisticated modern, realist theory of perception, and talking about theory of concepts in which set- and unit-ways of looking at things subsumed under concepts do nothing to explain how the method used in geometry (synthetic geometry, not analytic geometry) is successful in attaining truths with the character of necessity and generality they possess come about, indeed how they are possible. Rand should have opposed Kant’s tenet that all formality is necessarily the product of the subject in episodes of perception. There is elementary form—such as the betweenness-relations (my right index finger is between my right thumb and right middle finger), a right-hand glove is an inversion of a left-hand glove, and so forth—belonging to concrete particulars and belonging to them as particulars and independently of our perception or any overt cognitive process concerning them. Kant’s notion that formalities in our perceptions and understanding do and must bar our discernment of mind-independent reality then dissolves. The betweenness-relations among my fingers may require some conceptualization to fully firm in mind, but like some similarities and magnitude-relations, which Rand did notice (ITOE App. 217, 199–200, 278–79), those betweenness-relations are physical relations lying in the physical, extra-mental world. Hilbert lifted betweenness-relations to the honor of primitive relations useful for a rigorous Euclidean geometry. Their residence, I notice, is not only as elements of an abstract geometry but in given physical reality. Rand understood that some similarities and comparative degrees of similarity found in perception lead the formation of concepts tuned to the world given by perception. However, Rand’s theory is an account suitable to only concepts of kinds of things and their contrasts and their taxonomic hierarchies. It is not an account aiming to account for our conceptual knowledge of spatial relationships or adequate to account for conceptual geometric knowledge. How from sensory experience do we learn that two points determine a line? Randian empirical abstraction from sensory experience to the concept line (straight line) together with the concept points will not yield the certain truth that any two points determine a unique straight line containing them (cf. A25 B39–40). And we do not come to know definitively such a thing by empirical testing such as eventually we came to know the existence of atoms. Kant innovated a theory of how we have such conceptual geometric knowledge (B40–41), a horribly mistaken one, needing outright detailed replacement, which is not to be found in Rand (directly).
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