1 pointIf a few million come in every year they have time to assimilate and become more American, especially if they are not forced to keep a low profile by wrongful immigration restrictions. Many of the people who come here do so to work, which is compatible with becoming more American. Any portion of collectivism or individualism present in any person's ideas is there by their choice and can be changed by their choice. It is not biologically determined. This is also true, in a less direct manner, of most, if not all, of a person's attitudes and emotions. And where reason conflicts with emotion, we can choose reason. That approach may be of value, especially in breaking through initial resistance, but to really accomplish something we need to work positively, on a fundamental level, by teaching them the right fundamental principles. The major practical reason being that humans are the main variable in the equation and that we are to a large extent selfish beings and that capitalism leverages said fact. Perhaps. That's stated very generally, making it hard to get a handle on. It's not the whole story, though. For example, central planners have trouble knowing what prices to set. In at least some cases they have used prices in freer economies as a guide. That's tribalism right there. If every country should have open borders, if we're all individuals and all have equal rights then that statement is a contradiction. The nation state of the USA is an arbitrary construct if you believe in open borders. Why focus on the arbitrary when you could focus on the concrete? It's not tribalism. It's recognizing where I can have the most effect and where this will most affect me. Where exactly national borders are drawn is not arbitrary but optional. (I am using the words "arbitrary" and "optional" in Ayn Rand's sense.) The world badly needs to have a U.S.A., although it really needs a better one than the one we have now. I have no doubt in my mind that that is a firmly held core belief of yours. Doesn't mean it's objectively true though. To the extent that people distinguish "races", they do so on the basis of minor physiological differences. The evidence for greater differences is weak at best and implies at most statistical differences which are much less than the differences among individuals within each "race". The biggest genetic differences that do exist among humans fall not along the lines of traditional "races" but among different groups in Africa, one of which gave rise to all modern humans who left Africa. Just because differences are real doesn't mean the answer has to be bloody murder every single time. There are some shades of gray here. It's just that you can't see them based on your current belief system which demands that only black and white are allowed to exist. I am well aware that the "races" have had different histories which have had measurable statistical effects and have also had a major effect, in a variety of ways, on people's ideas and attitudes. Can you name even one shade of gray that actually exists that I can't see?
1 pointIt could not, because those particles only act according to what they are, not according to what they aren't. You can't arbitrarily hack anything. You can't do more than its possible to do given the nature of what is, particles and 'meta-energy puffs' included. The fact that things are made of more basic ingredients does not invalidate the existence of those things. Explaining something doesn't invalidate its existence. By the way, Objectivism is not a materialistic philosophy. It holds existence, not matter, as the primary. Matter and conciousness are specific things that exist. No, there isn't. When you say that two bottles of water are the same thing, you're saying that both of them are man-made objects with a shape and material suitable for carrying liquid. You retain those characteristics and ignore their measurements (in reality everything might be different about them: their size, their exact shape, whether they're made of plastic or glass). But those bottles are not the same thing at all, i.e. instances of an Archetype. They are two different concretes which man can classify togheter in order to reduce the complexity of the world. According to your views, if there is a higher-lever 'spec' which defines what things are and ought to be, what is the even higher level spec which defines what the previous spec is and ought to be? In other words, causality. But actions don't cause objects, it's objects that act. Causality is an instance of the law of identity: because something is what it is, it acts according to that. A thing isn't the way it is because it ought to be what it is. What is, is. 'Ought to be' is a specialized category applying only in a specialized context, that of choice. In no way does it apply outside that context. In morality, when you say that you ought to do something in order to achieve a goal (man's life), you mean that you ought to do it because of certain facts, i.e. because of the identity of man and the world. Everything is what it is, i.e. has a nature. Not an abstract nature. Define your terms, otherwise your arguments will go all over the place. The ability to mentally isolate certain characteristics of an object and to contemplate them apart from that object is what abstraction consists of. It allows man to observe similarities and differences between objects and thus to form concepts and the whole body of human knowledge. Abstractions themselves have a nature. For example, they are formed in the brain of a particular living being, they require a certain type of action on the part of that being, they are made possible by a very complex kind of nervous system. In your view, do the abstract universal archetypes which define the nature of things have a nature themselves? In that case, what do you think defines the nature of these universals? Other universals? If those universals are primaries and their identity is not set by previous universals, do you think that by the same token we can dispose with universals altogether and simply accept existence as a primary?