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bkildahl last won the day on December 1 2011

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  1. Any word on who'll be running it? I was really impressed with Christensen's speech at the Adam Smith Institute, so it would be great to see him in charge.
  2. I thought the choice to live, the choice to focus, and the choice to think were synonyms in Objectivist lingo.
  3. Your interlocutor's argument implies an infinite regress of reasons. Why A? Because B. Why B? C. Why C? D. Why D? E. I think Rand escapes that regress with her premoral and prerational choice to live. At the end of every one of those chains is the answer: Because I choose to live. And the follow-up why is invalid, because it asks for a rational argument to support a prerational choice.
  4. That makes sense. I remember thinking of him as my favorite journalist back when he was taking on the Teacher's Union, but stuff like that probably rankled ABC.
  5. 6/11 I think this is from one of John Stossel's old 20/20 segments. I'm glad he has his own show now, but sometimes I think he did more interesting and higher quality work for ABC.
  6. Analyzing the morality of the choice to live doesn't work because you have to use rationality to do it (for example, "it's illogical to make that decision without moral values"), and rationality also presupposes the choice to live. By the same token, analyzing the rationality of the choice to live doesn't work because you have to imply a moral evaluation to do it (for example, "it's bad to be arbitrary"), and moral evaluations also presuppose the choice to live. Both the applicability of morality and the applicability of rationality presuppose the choice to live, and these two ideas run interference for each other. I have to think about this some more, but it seems like a great argument. Thanks. I'll post in this thread again if I think of more questions.
  7. In the earlier linked video, Biddle argues that choosing to live is what gives rise to values. If that's true, then the choice itself is necessarily both considered and made prior to having values. And that values-less consideration and decision is something I can think of only one word to describe: arbitrary.
  8. Yes, it's a decision made using free will (which is the only way one can make a decision), but what is the motivation for the decision? Is there a reason to choose one way or the other, is it arbitrary, or should it be described some other way?
  9. At 01:40, Biddle says, "unless you choose to live," asserting that there's a choice to live made prior to the need for values. If that's the case, how should the decision to live be described? If arbitrary is the wrong word, what's the right one?
  10. Okay, so how do we get from those facts to objective morality? Or do Objectivists claim we don't need to?
  11. I don't think thought is uncontrollable. What I'm trying to figure out is whether or not morality is objective. And I think the way I got to my inference was by misunderstanding your bullet points. Maybe I can clarify by asking this: Is every instance of human thought an example of moral evaluation? If not, what can a human think about that doesn't involve moral evaluation?
  12. When you say valuing and thinking are nearly the same, are you implying that valuing is a very large subset of thinking? If so, what does man think about when he's not valuing? Is the answer (as suggested by the second bullet point) that he thinks about what his standard of value should be? If so, is this an implicit admission that his choice of standards is arbitrary?
  13. If you prefer, we can substitute one for the other. For what reason should one continue to live? The existence of the faculty of reason gives rise to choice, but says nothing about what choices should be made.
  14. "Why choose to (continue to) live?" doesn't presuppose purpose. It's a question about the possibility of objective purpose, which is given rise to by the existence of choice and the recognition that man makes a fundamental one with regard to his life.
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