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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/28/20 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    If one holds it that way, the only choice available will be to be separate from everyone, be a hermit. The key was that he knew what he wanted very clearly. Far more clearly than most of us do. He was not distracted because he was so grounded in his "knowing". If you make it primarily about "other people", you already lost the game. Your wants, your goals have to originate from you. Sometimes it is hard to identify "was that my idea (desire) or someone else's" and we admire Roark for not being confused about his priorities. I didn't care about how people felt about me most of my life and I regret it. Social interaction is a part of a satisfying life, just don't loose yourself (in them).
  2. 1 point
    Alien Invasion Imagine an invading alien force which quite accidentally came to Earth via an errant asteroid. The aliens themselves are quite unusual. They are passive, non-sentient, and they multiply under the right conditions. Most alarmingly the aliens are quite small, they invade humans, multiply and pass from human to human... and they are miniature, unpredictable, terrorists who seemingly at whim, can kill the human host they have invaded including themselves. A sort of miniature non-sentient suicide bomber who kills the host and themselves without much rhyme or reason... although statistically we can detect a pattern regarding which hosts are more likely to trigger the attack. There is also much evidence regarding how they multiply and propagate from human to human... oddly they can be modeled on something from Earth we more commonly know as a "virus". In a world with a proper government whose responsibility is to protect individual rights from domestic and foreign invaders, a council is assembled, and the issues debated... How do we protect the individual rights the very right to live of our citizens from this blind insidious invading alien force? [Edit: not sure if this should be added here or added as a new thread... actually I'd like to request Dream Weaver move it to a new thread called "Aliens and Proper Government" ]
  3. 1 point
    Boydstun

    C & C: Coronavirus #4

    One thing that has struck me about the social impact of this outbreak is how much the character of the social response is altered by the advance in communications technology. In 1957-58 there was the pandemic of the H2N2 virus. I was only nine and didn’t retain much memory of it. According to the CDC note linked below, it killed about 116,000 people in the USA. That is twice the number of Americans killed in Vietnam. The population of the US in 1957 was about 172 million, whereas today it’s about 330 million. So percentage-wise, it would today be as if about 200,000 Americans were killed. I attach also a study I found on the US response to that pandemic. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1957-1958-pandemic.html https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/bsp.2009.0729
  4. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    My Verses

    In my case, the explanation helped. It was rather cryptic,. save for the intellectual lights.
  5. 1 point
    merjet

    C & C: Coronavirus #4

    Yes, tentatively. I say "tentatively" since the Worldometer numbers change often and ceteris paribus. Based on the following numbers captured only minutes ago, the mortality rate for Italy is about 7.4 times that for Switzerland. I added Spain and the USA this time. Date Country Total Cases Total Deaths Tot Cases/ 1M pop Tot Deaths/ 1M pop Deaths / Cases 3/25/2020 Italy 69,176 6,820 1,144 113 9.86% 3/25/2020 Spain 47,610 3434 1,018 73 7.21% 3/25/2020 Switzerland 10,171 135 1,175 16 1.33% 3/25/2020 USA 54,963 784 166 2 1.43% Also, the age distribution of the countries' infected populations may differ and mortality rates vary significantly by age regardless. For example the following are mortality rates from the 2016 US Life Table. Death probability Age Male Female 65 0.015808 0.009761 70 0.023122 0.015413 75 0.035963 0.025035 80 0.057712 0.042539 85 0.096603 0.073763 90 0.163689 0.129706 Recognizing the caveats, I believe it is still safe to say that Switzerland's health care system is handling the pandemic much better than Italy's or Spain's. Based on this page, it seems that Spain's health care system is very much under government control with patients paying very little. There is some private health insurance.
  6. 1 point
    Jim Henderson

    My Verses

    Beautiful! Consider the Helios Overture of Carl Nielsen.
  7. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    C & C: Coronavirus #4

    @Easy TruthTry: Covid-9 + a healthcare variable = 0.013%—0.098% (truncated) mortality. South Korea contrasted with Italy by Mises Institute.
  8. 1 point
    I may be misunderstanding but “square roots (plural) of the positive real numbers” is defining a universal, it has many referents, it does not "only" referer to “square root of 17.”
  9. 1 point
    Reidy

    Review of The Siren of Selfishness

    Roark's hair may be, after Samson's and Rapunzel's, the most famous in literature, and it's not blond.
  10. 1 point
    "How To Think about Coronavirus and Our Society's Response" is now on YouTube. Yaron Brook also did a show yesterday about the coronavirus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s89AJYF7T5M
  11. 1 point
    This is a story on a guy who went around to small stores and cleaned the shelves of the supplies people are panic buying, and re-sold then online at much higher prices. Of course, he’s being castigated, including by some who claim to be fans of Rand. The supplies he bought would have quickly sold out anyway, and his business provided customers the opportunity to buy things they couldn’t get to the front of the line to get themselves. He did the work, and took the risk to buy all that stuff when there was no guarantee he could re sell it at high prices. The stores he bought from didn’t have a policy against anything he did. I say he’s innocent. Unfortunately for him, he failed to anticipate Amazon’s and Ebay’s PR moves, which resulted in him getting shut down. But does any Objectivist have a problem with this? https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/he-has-17700-bottles-of-hand-sanitizer-and-nowhere-to-sell-them/ar-BB11blvS
  12. 1 point
    Why do you think that? I don't see why immortality implies a lack of ability to kill yourself. It certainly isn't necessary to the point of this thread - one could imagine such a strong power of resilience that involuntary death is a solved problem, while voluntary death is still entirely possible. Secondly, why should one wish such a thing? Why should one ever be bored? Does a rose not smell sweet having smelled one before? Is a kiss not enjoyable because you've kissed before? I enjoy the sunrise despite having seen a thousand of them. It holds intrinsic beauty and pleasure. I enjoy art for art's sake; it's an end in itself. I'm intrinsically happy in my own person. I'm happy just to be able to see a sunrise. I'm happy just to be alive; just to be conscious is inherently enjoyable and meaningful. There are an endless number of things I wish I had the time to do. I want to play every game, I want to learn every language and every musical instrument, I want to see every part of the world, I want to learn all of history, I want to meet every person alive, I want to have great-great-great...-grandchildren. I want to explore and prove all of mathematics. I could give you more than a hundred thousand years of things I want to do right now. I love myself and I love my life. This is a permanent, undying, and insatiable love. What I'm describing is what being a human is like. All of the things I've mentioned aren't unique to me, they are intrinsic in human nature. It's death that is anti-human.
  13. 1 point
    You are making a circular argument. For a universal to be real does not imply that it's a concrete. That's only true under the premises of a non-realist metaphysics. You are assuming a metaphysics in which only concretes are real, and then telling me abstractions therefore cannot be real because only concretes are real. But it's your premise that I'm disagreeing with in the first place. The distinction between "abstract" and "concrete" is whether some thing is universal or specific - not whether the thing exists or not. The question of the reality of universals is a question of whether there are metaphysical natures, whether there are such abstract "kinds" in reality, or whether everything in reality is purely a specific and concrete, not of any real class or kind (other than those subjectively invented and justified). (side note, when someone uses the phrase "existed metaphysically", what they really mean is "existed physically" - they don't really understand the term "metaphysical". The "metaphysical" is not another realm of existence out there in the heavens above the physical. There is one realm of existence: the universe. Metaphysics is the study of the nature of things, and whether things have such a "nature". If a given thing has a metaphysical nature that means it is of a kind (a "kind" meaning a type or class of things). The thing itself is the concrete: it is entirely a specific particular. The type or the kind of which the concrete is an instance or examplar is the abstract: it is a universal, and stands for an unlimited number and variety of possible instances or examplars. The only question of what "exists metaphysically", are exactly these universals, that's what metaphysics is. Hence such arguments from materialists and positivists and nihilists, et al., that "metaphysics" is a dead subject.)
  14. 1 point
    If one views free-will/focus/choice as a sub-type of causality, how does doctrine of determinism square with this? The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. Determinism applies this to every action, including the action of choice, which fundamentally is to focus, an exercise of free-will. The contradiction arise when one considers the action of choosing performed by a mind as preordained by antecedent factors. If the action of an entity is determined by the entity which acts, the complication arises when one cannot physically identify an entity called the mind, much less the action that asserted to arise from it. And while a refutation on the terms set by those who claim to be the gate-keepers of such matters has not been identified, the opposing horn of the dilemma has been well established, demarcating morality as physical actions arising such as to be judged as good or evil. Results, such as inexcusable deaths in Nazi concentration camps are easy enough to categorize as evil. Individuals have been held accountable in numerous court trials for actions taken under the guise of following orders. Such verdicts grant credence to a sub-type of causality operating within the wider theater of inanimate materialistic causality. A rock, rolling down a hill, crushing a carload of occupants has no moral culpability. An individual, leveraging a rock to roll down a hill in order to bring about that same result (knowingly or unknowingly) is the basis of the differences between homicide, negligent homicide, etc. Under societies familiar with how varying nuances can color the moral character of the actor, the choice/focus/free-will as agencies available to a mind of a conceptual being should be guiding the verdict accordingly and give its rightfully deserved consideration. The metaphysical basis of morality was not articulated clearly and concisely until Miss Rand explicitly provided the correlation between the two. If you grant the validity of her discovery, then it was true in every philosopher's time from before Thales, and even beyond. There is something amiss (or inherently wrong) with the notion that assertions need be refuted. The onus of proof lay on he who asserts the positive, comes to mind. If an onus of proof has been met, then those who fail to accept it should fall suspect, not the one that supplies the criteria necessary.
  15. 1 point
    There's nothing particularly quantum mechanical about Noether's theorem (it was proven just before quantum mechanics was widely accepted). It applies to classical mechanics too.
  16. 1 point
    Then it's time to let it go for a while so that we digest what was said. Another choice is to have someone who understands your position to make it for you and see if that makes a difference. I have done my best to understand and to respond.
  17. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Feynman And Ayn Rand

    Definitions exist within a context of knowledge. If you don't know what "talking" means, then you're probably not worth talking to.
  18. 1 point
    SR, there was an extended article on compatiblism in my journal Objectivity by George Lyons in 1995, and there is further discussion in Eilon v. Boydstun 1997. My first degree was in physics, my second in engineering. I continued to study physics (and philosophy) through the decades. The idea that all future formations of each molecule and each galaxy are fully determined in their inanimate course of nature is false. So I say with Aristotle and with Peirce, and say against Leibniz, Laplace, and (more ambiguously) Rand/Peikoff. It is due to the free play, the contingency, within the course of lawful classical inanimate nature that engineerings are possible. The natural organization that is life is like an engineered system, of a sort. It requires contingency (and lawfulness) specifically of its inanimate surroundings and its own material and energy transformations to maintain itself and its kind. Consciousness able to range over the actions possible to its full organism and select trials is free to the extent of that consciousness, I'd say (with J. Enright *). More such power, more such freedom. For the human animal, such is free will and not compatibilism. For the compatibility of engineering-type organizations, including their instrumentation and control systems, with deterministic physical law is not, as I understand it, the compatibilism pushed by Hobart et al. Furthermore, free will as evident in one's first-person perspective on oneself is not one bit at odds with whatever science one brings to bear on one's third-person view of oneself, provided one gets unblindered as to the full setting of those sciences within their zone of nature. Writing large to all that is physical the narrow aspects of the physical world for which we discovered continuous deterministic mathematical characterization was and is unwarranted, vastly so. Professional up-to-date layout of compatibilism is here.
  19. 1 point
    If you compel (force) anyone into anything, justice requires that you pay a price for it. And Eiuol idea is that the "free lunch" is a reasonable price to pay a reparation for force that already has been used. But you two have to admit that it is an arrangement that is (overall) not ideal. The ideal solution is that the school/all schools should be private and go by free market private school rules. A private school in those circumstances is not an institution that "compels" parents to put the children there. So there is no crime that they have to pay for, then there is no reason for them to be obligated to provide free food. You will probably come back with "well that's not the world we live in". The problem is that the world that you see we live in "looting is eternally the norm. It will always happen. It has to be accepted. We have to get used to it." That is not the REAL world. Looting does not and should not happen. It will stop happening when it is not "believed in", when it is not surrendered to and supported by the population by false ideologies. When we eliminate (in our minds) the possibility that we can live in a just society, justice becomes impossible.
  20. 1 point
    Teen Vogue has identified the Ayn Rand Institute's essay contest as a notable benchmark. The American Prospect Is Running an Essay Contest for High Schoolers
  21. 1 point
    That question fits like a glove, or perhaps the thought that got jotted down back on the 26th of February in a notebook kept for such occasions . . . (out with it all ready) . . .in response to the thought Galt put forth about "conspirators" being united by links of evasion . . .: Can an aversion to evasion be culturally cultivated? At one time logic was respected, and even sought to be adhered to, or so it was suggested in the motivational opening to Peikoff's Introduction to Logic course. Rand wrote of a sense of life she recollected from her childhood that has ebbed away over the course of her years (my description, not hers). What does it take to turn morality into gold, such as folk want to discover it for themselves? (That was written by the sorcerer in Newton using the psychopomps to appeal to the Freudian alchemist in me.)
  22. 1 point
    Feeding the children is a utilitarian solution. It is not giving it back to those who it was stolen from.
  23. 1 point
    if (argument.understand == false) ; system.out.Print ("REEEEEE") ; Run sys.exe [ lexicon.cite ("www.aynrandlexicon.com) ] ;
  24. 1 point
    This is claimed to be a quote from Rand: Q: Do the rights of a child differ from the rights of an adult? A: Yes and no, from two different aspects. Yes [she meant No], in the sense that the child has the right to life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, except that all those rights are based on a man's rational knowledge and understanding. An infant cannot earn his own sustenance, nor can a child exercise his rights and know what the pursuit of happiness means, nor know what freedom is and how to use it. All human rights depend on his nature as a rational being. Therefore the child has to wait until he has developed his mind and acquired enough knowledge to be able to come into full independent exercise of his rights. While he is a child, he has to be supported by his parents. Neither he nor I nor you nor Nature gives him any choice about it, or rather none of us can do anything because this is a fact of nature. Proclaiming some kind of right of childhood isn't going to create those rights. Rights are a concept based on reality. Therefore a parent would not have the right to starve his child, to neglect him, to injure him physically or to kill him. There the government has to protect the child just like any other citizen. But the child cannot claim for himself the rights of an adult, simply because he is not able, he is not competent to exercise them. He has to depend on his parents, and if he doesn't like them, then run away from home as early as you can earn your living, if the government will permit it. https://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/topic/10181-rand-on-childrens-rights/ The first Atlas society article mentioned before it seems to lean on the argument that @MisterSwig made regarding being potential adults. In this second article https://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/4275-childrens-rights-ii- someone is making the case that children in fact do have full rights but I don't have access to the paper they mention. Based on the above quote attributed to Rand, she seems to make the case that since the child will not survive without the support of the parents, therefore, based on that fact of reality, the parent does NOT have the right to abuse the child. Also that the child has rights, but not the right to exercise them until they are capable which implies there are rights, and a right to exercise them. So a parent does NOT have a right to kill a child because a child will eventually become that which deserves full rights. One problem is a zygote also has that potential. All of us would like to treat it as a child should be treated as if they do have rights mainly because of the implications of if they are not treated that way. To see someone kill a child is emotionally intolerable. But it also has to be acknowledged that there is still no clear and complete explanation of why (the child's right exists) available yet. If a child has a right to life, the questions that it leaves open ended is abortion but the free lunch issue is addressed in But the child is not per se the responsibility of others in society. So Objectivism holds that there is no governmental role in providing education, and most Objectivists hold that if a child is abused and must be removed from the parents, some private charity or adoption is the proper alternative, because in these cases a stranger voluntarily accepts the responsibility for the child. It is unfortunate that the article holds the truth to be based on consensus, as in when "most objectivists" think it is true, it is true.
  25. 1 point
    There is no such resource. Objectivism only touches tangentially on the issue; most issues of metaphysics are not addressed in a philosophically serious way. You will find a wide variety of answers from "Objectivists" on issues such as free will and the metaphysics of consciousness, ranging from reductionist materialism to outright dualism, and various things in between, but there is no "official" answer and nothing definitive written by Rand. I would personally argue for a strong libertarian free will stance, arguing along the lines that the contrary is absurd, incoherent, and impossible.
  26. 1 point
    Boydstun

    My Verses

  27. 1 point
    Well yeah, we'd all love to read a scholarly essay from Rand on a lot of things, but that is not going to be available to you. Compatibilism could look something like Rand's position in the following way: what most people mean by "determinism" (in the ordinarily held belief set "determinism is true") is just that "things have causes." They don't happen randomly, or magically. They "obey laws" or act orderly. In that sense, free will is something compatible with "determinism construed as things having causes." Generally, at the level this concern is presented, it is when the person has reached a certain level of reflection about nature and causality and it's relation to choice. But you're right that compatibilist views have, historically, rested on shifting the meaning of "free" to modal notions about our power or ability to bring things about, and the absence of restraints on those powers. Additionally the classical compatibilists tended to conceptualize "determinism" in a stricter way than I just did above, but in the sense of "necessary due to things that are not up to us." In that sense, Rand's position has nothing in common with compatibilism. Rand's position seems to entail not merely that we faced no constraints on our power or ability to do otherwise if we desired, but that we have an agent-causal power to direct our consciousness that is ontologically irreducible to event-causation alone (her "focus theory.") But if you're looking for some in depth informational resource: there isn't any. Rand's philosophy is underdeveloped on this point.
  28. 1 point
    2046

    Charles Tew

    My comments should be interpreted as stand-alone and not as related to Rucka or alcoholism. The guy is just weird. What's up with the super old picture that obviously is not what you look like? Are you trying to catfish your audience? Most of what he says is just unoriginal and uninteresting. The universe is eternal. The choice to live is an irreducible primary. Free will is the choice to focus. Okay, yes I too have read Peikoff. Combine that with constant pretentious posturing and ad hominem, with all the standard Randian tropes ("you're evading and have failed to focus your mind!"), crankish delusions that he's the greatest living philosopher of our time and ARI is immoral because it didn't accept him to OAC, and no one is as smart and virtuous as him, etc.
  29. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Reification and Suicide

    I think it is a fine thought experiment. I think it frames two things. One is your main idea: How does one compare pain too suffering, or when does enduring pain become sacrifice? Your position is, seemingly, that unrelenting pain and torture is that point. Epist's position is that at no point does enduring pain become sacrifice, as long as one has the capacity to think, i.e. live according to man's nature - no matter how long it lasts. My position is Epist's, as far as I understand it. But then there's another question to ask: what is excruciating pain and emotional despair? I'm lead to wonder what is excruciating pain is, because I suspect what is excruciating to you isn't going to be as bad for me. I honestly have a high pain tolerance, and I doubt that level of pain exists without some error of thought or choosing to focus. For example, Buddhist monks, leaving aside any error about ethics this implies, are quite amazing at enduring pain most likely due to their meditation skills. It isn't a matter of them embracing pain, or attempting to ignore the pain. Simply, they recognize it as present, and that's it. One way to think of this is that Buddhist monks want to erase value, thus nothing will be able to harm their values. This is nihilistic, and anti-life. Or, another way is that they recognize how pain is meaningless, a zero, and adopt some mental skills to manage what life throws at them. To them, 99 years of despair and suffering is due to the wrong frame of mind. This mirrors the Stoics. Pain and suffering, in the usual sense people mean it, is due to frame of mind. With proper practice and study, this pain is entirely bearable. If you have the skills, your thought experiment wouldn't make sense. The real question is what pain is in the first place. If the pain is a promise, he also knows it's time to start acquiring the proper frame of mind.
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