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  1. DavidOdden

    2020 election

    A difference between paying a bribe and paying a fine is that a bribe is conditioned on the recipient performing an action, and charity is not. If I charitably pay your fine, you are free to thank me or not, to vote or not… The term “bribe” is a specific legal term, though it is metaphorically used to describe giving any incentive. Bribery, which is illegal, requires an offer to a public servant, where the offer is not authrized by law, and the intent is to influence an act in the official discretion of the public servant. None of this describes paying a fine for a felon. A more apt de
    2 points
  2. Clip from the fine film Love Letters (1945). Writer of screenplay - Ayn Rand. (The popular song of the same title was written that year and was played without the words in that film. In 1962 an adaptation of it recorded by Ketty Lester became a hit. I was 13. I like that recording very much.)
    2 points
  3. Of related interest: "A Metaphysics for Freedom argues that agency itself-and not merely the special, distinctively human variety of it-is incompatible with determinism. For determinism is threatened just as surely by the existence of powers which can be unproblematically accorded to many sorts of animals, as by the distinctively human powers on which the free will debate has tended to focus. Helen Steward suggests that a tendency to approach the question of free will solely through the issue of moral responsibility has obscured the fact that there is a quite different route to incompati
    2 points
  4. I think this is the hold up because purpose is a subspecies of standard (in a certain context). Standard and Purpose, both give guidance. (but with Rand the primary difference seems to be that one is abstract, the other concrete) The difference between “standard” and “purpose” in this context is as follows: a “standard” is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man’s choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. “That which is required for the survival of man qua man” is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of a
    2 points
  5. Boydstun

    2020 election

    Merlin, under the heading of this thread: Are you going to vote for the Trump/Pence ticket? The Supreme Court overthrow of Roe will have already been accomplished as far as that can be affected by getting anti-abortion seats on the Court. (I think all the talk about increasing the number of Justices on the Court is junk-prayer talk, just like Sen. Cruz in the 2016 Primary telling his evangelical base that he would go for a Constitutional Amendment to allow States to bar same-sex marriage---when you see that sort of recourse proposed, you know that side has simply lost the issue.) I voted alway
    1 point
  6. Here is my website: nakulan.bandcamp.com
    1 point
  7. “We do not need and should not want to have an openness in the flow of reality that consists in the possibility of our making decisions for which we can imagine no conceivable rationale. We do not therefore need the (incompatibilistically construed) power, in respect to each decision made, to have made the opposite decision. But we do need, if there is to be such a thing as agency at all, the general capacity to organize, order, and direct our lives in such a way that we thereby settle the particular details of what happens in those lives at the time at which we act (or decide to do something—
    1 point
  8. What and When is Capitalism? William Thackary was evidently the first to use the word capitalism in print. That was in his 1854 novel The Newcomes. Its essential mark was ownership of capital. So if one knew what is capital, one should have a definition of capitalism. By that simple definition, I’d say capitalism goes back at least to the periods of the various archaic states, that is, back at least to the social organization coming after hunter-gatherer groups, after tribes and chiefdoms. Capital Rand took the essential mark of capitalism to be purely private ownership of prope
    1 point
  9. I take it this is a first draft, and you are looking for comments so that you can improve your argument. Here are my suggestions. First, simply asserting a contrary position is not making an argument, it just makes us aware of an alternative position. What more-perceptible facts support your claim over the contrary claim? My recommendation is to begin by clearly and accurately stating what the common premises are, and what the essential difference is between the two positions. The argument against anarchism then has to be based on that difference. The essential difference is that Anarchis
    1 point
  10. What you observe here are "free will" and the "man made". These are somewhat different from the primacy of consciousness. The relationship between existence and consciousness in the same thing is hierarchical. Your consciousness is possible due to and indeed arose from existence. You weren't, then you were (now you are) and your consciousness is, but one day you simply won't be. Technically, the existence of you, in all your complexity, does not at once "cause" you to be conscious... you ARE conscious because of your identity... the whole nature of the complexity of you... things are
    1 point
  11. Nice to meet you Sebastien. Neat and tidy conceptualization... very important for proper thought. Query: Why do some tend to avoid neat and tidy conceptualization? What is achieved by "avoiding" it? What motivations are at play? The left will conflate and equivocate and provide arguments which are semi-formed, confusingly self-contradictory and anti-conceptual... how does a person adhering to reason "argue" against a position which inherently eschews neat and tidy thought? In the end I suppose being clear in your own mind is more important than worrying about another's lack of under
    1 point
  12. The Taggart Tunnel in Atlas Shrugged was 8 miles long. The following "Poisonous air..." link provides some historical recollections about the 1 mile long (6026 feet) St. Clair River Tunnel. Poisonous air made St. Clair River Tunnel a deadly place to work
    1 point
  13. If one defined subjective as "of and due to and dependent upon the perceiving subject's consciousness", does that hold? Naturally there are physical, biological differences among all brains as among all bodies, but consciousness is consciousness. If "subjective" were accepted in the colloquial meaning (as it usually is): loosely as "variably specific to each person" - I'd agree. The proper one - opposed to objectivity - has to be maintained by O'ists, though. Therefore the careful distinction between "personal" and subjective (that Rand made some times). Otherwise, great. There is an identifia
    1 point
  14. As a preliminary what I find as interesting here is an accent on motivation rather than consequence. Which brings up a subtle issue.. are you more interested in asking whether the action of a person (while making a choice) is moral or not or in determining whether the choice presented is a moral one or not? There is the question of "being good" but also there is the question of "what IS the good". I think in terms of "traditional" subjective philosophies about morality, the motivation of a person, their subjective intent to be moral "as such", i.e. to do what they think is their dut
    1 point
  15. Not to get hung up on ice cream flavors or other sense-perception tastes, but having such preferences for this over that (or that, not at all) has an objective base when one pays it mind, I think. Saying this, because many a time we hear that these are "subjective" tastes and values. One finds out from experience that strawberry is tastier for you than chocolate, or 'agrees' with you better. This might be a minor variation in the arrangement of taste buds specific to you or a digestive system that reacts to chocolate, for all I can tell. (Then if strawberry isn't available, your taste hierarch
    1 point
  16. "Perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice a mistake long enough, you'll get very, very good at it." — Miss Byrd, piano teacher.
    1 point
  17. Values, proportionate to time - a life's duration (i.e. "long term"): "Since a value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep, and the amount of possible action is limited by the duration of one’s lifespan, it is a part of one’s life that one invests in everything one values. The years, months, days or hours of thought, of interest, of action devoted to a value are the currency with which one pays for the enjoyment one receives from it". “Concepts of Consciousness", AR
    1 point
  18. Coronavirus -- NY Times biased statistic
    1 point
  19. I'm not sure this is really showing an example of amoral values or choices. I think 2046's post is a good example of why this isn't really a good example. If we conceive of Rand promoting virtue ethics generally speaking, we don't need to think of certain actions not consequential "enough". Sure, you're not going to die the next day because you impulsively bought ice cream. Nothing much negative would happen. But the point about being moral is to have a flourishing life, not a good "enough" life. What does it say about you if you sometimes give in to impulse and laziness? Why would you on one
    1 point
  20. Jonathan, A hierarchy of values you've seen indicates that many objective values are of lower/higher value "significance" in the greater scheme of things to one (for whom his/her life and its entirety is the supreme, objective-value significance). Why then to declare a cut-off point, between: this is a moral choice, that is non-moral? I can see no advantage and only downsides. These minimally important things are what sometimes give our simplest rewards in anticipation, enjoyment, a sense of well -being. We could see this input as the maintenance and sustenance of a huge range of material val
    1 point
  21. Before I read Rand, I would have said Capitalism is an economic only system, independent of politics. After Rand, Capitalism is a new concept for me (as new as morality became for me), and is not so much economics as an economy defined by politics... and I cannot but utter the implied preface "Laissez-faire"... even though ironically insistence on that is as redundant as saying "independent" before "thought". Ownership, refers primarily only to the rights in one's property. But can we say that (capital C) Capitalism is a system agnostic to freedom of speech? What about freedom of a
    1 point
  22. Atlas Shrugged was published on 10 October 1957. A brief interview with Rand by Lewis Nichols was published in the New York Times three days later. On the writing of Atlas Shrugged she remarked: “‘It goes back a long way. I was disappointed in the reaction to The Fountainhead. A good many of the reviewers missed the point. A friend called me to sympathize, and said I should write a non-fiction book about the idea back of The Fountainhead. ‘While I was talking, I thought, “I simply don’t want to do this. What if I went on strike?” My husband [Frank O’Connor] and I talked about that al
    1 point
  23. The typical advice from financial advisers to clients is to put their money into an index fund, getting a combination of: low commissions and lowered temptation to try an beat the market. In general, this is still good advice. but... ... it is based on a key assumption that the future U.S. performance will be pretty much like the past. Stocks can be hurt by inflation, but their prices inflate too. And, couple that to an unwritten assumption that statist governments have an incentive to subsidize the most common vehicle of investment. A true hyper-inflation type scenario is different. B
    1 point
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