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Everything posted by aleph_1

  1. I am free to make my own definitions when making a point. Is my definition not grammatically correct? Does it not connect a subject and a predicate? I have used SK's process. You must deal with my definition. It is consistent with the proposed philosophy in question.
  2. My point is that often when we form a concept we do not know how many subjects are subsumed by that concept. When the concept of complete ordered field was created, it was unclear that there were any. Then two distinct constructions were made: Dedekind cuts and equivalence classes of Cauchy Sequences. It was not clear that these weren't distinct initially. It appeared that there were two subjects in this concept until it was proved that these two are isomorphic representations of the same thing. Finally, it was proved that all complete ordered fields are isomorphic to the so-called real numbers. Was "complete ordered field" never a concept, even when it appeared that there were two distinct constructions? Did this label not function in every respect as a concept despite the fact that there exists only one? While "real numbers" is the name of a subject, isn't "complete ordered field" still a concept for which there is only one applicable subject, the real numbers? This, I believe, is a fair point to make in discussing what we mean by "concept". I have another point to make. Consider the following definition: Definition: A dragon is a flying reptile that breathes fire. Everyone knows that a flying reptile that breathes fire is a dragon. However, this concept is invalid because there are no subjects/units to which it applies. We do not have two or more units isolated by these characteristics. We don't even have one! However, it is hard to say that dragons are not concepts. They just happen to be invalid concepts.
  3. SK, First off, thank you for kicking off an interesting discussion. It has been most enjoyable. Now, I don't understand what you say on page 6 paragraph 3. In particular, you say I do not know what "subly" is. Was this supposed to be "subtly"? Let me subtly assume the existence of a concept that is tailor-made, etc. There is a concept in mathematics called a field. Examples of fields include the real numbers, complex numbers, finite fields and so on. Would it be fair to say that the concept "field" subsumes these subjects? Now, there is something called a complete field. Examples of complete fields include real numbers and complex numbers, etc. These subjects are subsumed by the concept "complete field". Finally, there is something called a complete ordered field. It seems to me that this is a concept. I have combined well-defined concepts to form a new concept. A priori, one does not know whether there exist any such subjects until once shows that the real numbers do in fact constitute a complete ordered field. Therefore we know that this is not an empty notion. Also, a priori one does not know how many such subjects exist. However, there is a proof that, up to isomorphism, there is only one such subject, the real numbers. Was "complete ordered field" never a concept? If it was a concept until it was shown that there was only one, at what point did it cease to be a concept? Was it no longer a concept when someone first proved that there was only one such subject? What is a concept in your own mind until someone informed you of the proof that there was only one, making "authority" the determining factor concerning concepts. Or, was it once you read and understood the proof that it ceased to be a concept? I believe that "complete ordered field" is a concept despite the fact that there is only one. Was this a cheap shot?
  4. This whole thread seems like quibbling over minutiae--about issues that cannot in any way affect me. Cruz supports getting the government out of our business and keeping to a limited view of government's role in our lives. Compare that to Hillary Clinton, a statist, who believes in the intrinsic right of government to interfere in every aspect of your life. What about Trump, a narcissist, who is governed by whim? You can expect him to do random acts of horrible governance. The point is, you can look at each of the candidates and conclude that their ideas are at variance with your own. What really matters is, who is most likely to "Get the Hell out of my way!"? I believe that Cruz is the only candidate that qualifies. Even with respect to abortion, he is most likely to say that it is a matter for the States and not for the Federal Government. Corrupticrat Clinton, Whim worshipping Trump, or principled Cruz--I take Cruz.
  5. CoryDeskins, Your professor's ire at your comments indicates that she cannot be reasoned with. Don't try to reason someone out of a position that they did not reason themselves into. She felt her way into her opinions and there is nothing you can do about that. Concerning your intellectual isolation, I can relate. It is almost as though you are a different species. From the conceptual point of view, you are and that's a good thing. Perhaps someday cultures will evolve from their current pitiful conditions. That said, there is nothing in this world that can prevent you from achieving good things. Let the Law of Causality be your guide.
  6. This is entirely a question of values, not of facts. One who is innured to an act will not have much emotional response to it. Similarly, one can suppress an emotional response through rationalization. Emotional responses are based upon ones values. When the umbilical cord is cut, a fetus becomes a baby and achieves the virtue of independence. Absurd! The new baby is certainly not more rational after cutting the umbilical. It doesn't gain life when cutting the umbilical. If your claim is that it becomes "human" at that point, you are experiencing an extreme case of rationalization designed for a purpose. Applying labels, such as "fetus", is a similar rationalization. The real question is not whether the object in question is living or human but whether it has value. People are known to define classes of humans as having no value so that they can exterminate them. They deny their humanity for this purpose. They give them labels for this purpose. Medical experiments on those having their humanity denied is not unheard of. Just because Ayn Rand became sterile through a botched abortion does not justify abortion. One can understand her rationalizations on the subject, expecially given the times in which she lived. People were told that "fetuses" were just so much tissue. This too is just a rationalization designed to label and deny the humanity of the object in question. That Planned Parenthood is selling baby body parts is a logical extension of the rationalizations that go into the corporation's very existence. The unborn has value as an end in itself. It has value in the same way other human beings have value. That is the underlying reason why these videos are sickening. We should have evolved beyond this by now. We remain a primitive an unevolved species still capable of rationalizing horrible crimes. These "fetuses" struggle and squirm to escape the instruments that crush them. That struggle to survive is an expression of value much deeper than rationalizations about independence.
  7. SL, SNerd, Nicky and splitprimary, do you agree that Planned Parenthood should receive no federal money?
  8. ... puking in my shoes abhorrent.
  9. That these babies have value is obvious (since they are being sold for parts). Using words like "fetus" is only misdirection from the fact that these are human, living, and feel pain when they are killed. One of you once said that since you consider these only as tissue that you would go to Planned Parenthood and have a BBQ eating the "tissue". I guess that would make you Cap' N Crunch. At the very least, can we agree that no government monies should go to Planned Parenthood, just as no corporation of any kind should receive subsidies? Can we agree to that? (We should also be able to agree that the sale of fetal lungs, livers, brains, leg muscles and the like is a violation of current federal law and those engaged in it should be sent to federal penitentiaries. We should also agree that what is seen in the recent videos is abhorrent.)
  10. Watching the gargoyles haggling over prices for baby body parts in videos such as that found here (https://youtu.be/jjxwVuozMnU ) is sickening. Surely we can agree that profiteering off of lungs, livers, brains and leg muscles is morally wrong. The game of selling service contracts is a ruse to conceal these sales and avoid felony convictions concerning existing laws against such sales. That deception is also morally wrong. The only question that remains is, "Do you want your babies crunchy or not?"
  11. Collectivist, Hasn't the collectivist nature of people in the United States been worse before? Wasn't it worse in the 1930's? A significant number of people in the US supported Mussolini and many others supported Stalin. As pointed out above, Bill Clinton was responsible for letting North Korea get nukes. Harry Truman's devotion to the United Nations prevented any sort of "victory" in Korea and Eisenhower went along. Same goes for LBJ in Vietnam. It seems to me that the lesson here is that negotiations and entanglements together with international partners precludes attainment of national interests. This can be seen in Bush 41's failure to fully accomplish national goals in the first gulf war, deferring the inspection of WMD sites till later and to UN inspectors. The failure to finish the job was due to the squeemishness of "coalition partners". Seventeen UN resolutions later Bush 43 invaded Iraq together with a "coalition". I am hopeful that secure communications will enable free peoples to associate at a level beyond governmental interference. These "super" men will compel governments to limit their roles to a more appropriate and tolerable level. The new Silk Road may have been a first glimmer of an evolution beyond the nation state. My "faith" may be misplaced. This agreement (not a treaty) with Iran is yet another example of human failure to learn the lessons of history. Obama may think that he is charting a new course but in reality it is the same ol' same ol'.
  12. By releasing the $100 Billion that has been frozen, we are in effect paying for their entire nuclear program. They get nukes whenever they want and europeans get a lot of lucrative arms deals. Is the world safer because of this?
  13. It is my observation that Catholic societies are more left-leaning while protestant societies are more right-leaning. I believe that this stems from the Spanish colonial centralized form of government and legal system in the former. The British common law legal system is predominant in the latter, except in India which became independent in the golden age of socialism.
  14. Indeed. On her death-bed you cannot possibly be trying to persuade her of anything. If you can comfort her in the manner she requests, then you are showing her human compassion and respect. Isn't this objectively the right thing to do? Besides, you are not practicing religion for your own sake by reading religious passages to a dying woman. You are enabling your grandmother to practice her own faith. Well done.
  15. It must be pointed out that the industrial revolution was underway at least a century before you claim and its effects were commented on by observers such as Adam Smith in 1776. What is more, we have the example of the agrarian south vs the industrial north and who won that conflict. There are monuments to industry all over the place, including sky scrapers, sports arenas, rail road stations that resemble cathedrals, etc. These are not just syllogisms or worse, simple inferrences from analogies. It is true that there are monuments to the industrial capacity of communists, but there are two great motives: Fear of risk and promise of reward. Stalin could motivate workers through fear. The alternative is preferable, in my view and we have the history of bare soviet shelves as evidence as to which system works better. Western nations muddy the philosophical waters by having "mixed" systems. But I am getting too far afield of your original point. I contest the premise of your original post. Even so, there is considerable historical evidence that free enterprise works and is preferable to historical alternatives.
  16. SN and E, I agree with most of what you write. The image of Supreme Court principles as a hair ball vomited up for our view is a good one. That the government has asserted itself superior to our rights is undeniable. That people should be entitled to enter into contracts is a good thing. That this decision "expands rights" is undeniable. It is the way these rights were expanded that I disagree with.
  17. This decision changes the relationship between the individual and the government. We can now expect courts to direct States to issue licenses based on judicial will and not through legislation. These licenses may be of any sort and not just marriage licenses. The operating principle seems to be judicial will. This is not about due process or equal protection. This is about how a people lose their liberty.
  18. This ruling is ill-begotten. How something is done is as important as what is done. In my view, marriage is an issue of contract and does not rise to a federal issue. This is not really about rights but about benefits. Again, benefits accruing from marriage should not be a federal issue. This should have been handled in the States through political processes. This ruling is sure to lead to a number of problems involving actual rights being infringed. What a mess of a decision.
  19. Anthem. My daughter was assigned to read it in high school so I read it too. After that I read Atlas Shrugged, Fountainhead, and We the Living and everything else I could get my hands on including OPAR.
  20. It is difficult to argue against welfare when political heroes like the Clintons become rich through crony capitalism, members of congress are immune from insider trading laws, and many who are rich became so through government contracts obtained through bribes."You didn't build that" is demonstrably true through numerous examples in the minds of those who say such things. When corruption is far greater than most people can conceive, welfare is very small by comparison. With so much wealth stolen by the ruling classes (from both political parties), perhaps some poor find themselves in their dire circumstances because of the economic system in which they find themselves and through no fault of their own. None of this is to justify the robbery of some for the sake of others. Only, corruption is a problem an order of magnitude larger than that of welfare and both issues involve unearned income. Under these circumstances you will likely never persuade this individual to oppose the modern Robin Hood.
  21. Historical subjugation and oppression as a standard of value is absurd. Okay, my ancestors were Pennsylvania Dutch--an oppressed minority that left Germany, sailed from Rotterdam and ended up in Penn's forrest (Pennsylvania) all to escape starvation and oppression. This may have contributed to some later ancestors' decision to desert the confederate army and join the fight against slavery by joining the Union Army. Does this history endow me with "white privilege"? As a matter of fact, it is completely irrelevant to me and who I am. It didn't help me an iota, nor did I know of it until a couple of years ago when I saw the military records of two brothers who fought on both sides of the civil war. There are plenty of oppressed white groups. How do we tally the debt to those having subjugated ancestors? I'd like to pay my share now so as to never have to be bothered with it again. Unfortunately, whether "privileged" or not, and how do you prove or disprove it?, once labeled as privileged your debt is eternal. There is no absolution from original sin, and only the assertion of privilege is sufficient to damn you and yours forever. I say, "Get the Hell out of my way!"
  22. Why is it so hard to talk to white people about racism? First, I object to the premise of the question. There is no such monolithic thing called "white people". Second, when discussing racism one encounters the shibboleth of white privilege. In this way one is side-tracked down a dead-end of nothingness and avoids issues of real substance. Third, those who object to the meaninglessness are ridiculed and side-lined. unreality prevails.
  23. I think that it is interesting to analyze the course of this discussion. One member said, "Thus, if a white person invokes individualist rhetoric ... to whitewash or downplay the existence of white privilege in society today, that amounts to the robbers, or robbers descendants, with their hands full of loot, saying "okay no more stealing...Starting now!" When challenged about the existence of white privilege, the response was "...YOU are the problem." no attempt was made to answer with material facts, just ad hominem. Then there was a shift to red herrings and bogeymen with, "...before modern day alliance with right wingers and conservatives." Real historical facts were presented of how white men sacrificed all they had to risk their lives in order to fight against slavery. Where were the fists full of loot? I was trying to reduce the assertion of white privilege to perception in a particular instance, but the assertion of white privilege didn't fit. The discussion then proceeded to an attempt to establish facts without foundation and with the free use of universals. "3. Some of these effects can include benefits to white people today from the injustices done to persons of color in the past." This was just a restatement of a prior argument without providing any new validation despite repeated requests for just that. This assertion came complete with a claim that the given points can be "validated by reduction to perception. This was encouraging since that was exactly what I needed to hear. When challenged to provide this validation we read, "Just...Shut...Up." and also, a suggestion to do "some basic research." Well, I thought we were having a conversation. Besides, it had already been claimed that reduction to perception was a cinch. When prodded to get on with the explanation, the discussion turns to name-calling with "tone deaf" being spewed. Ad hominem, "shut up" as an attempt to stifle debate without having to do the hard work of formulating an actual argument, steamrolling asserted "facts", bogeymen, implications that the discussion partner is ignorant and needs to do basic research while providing no additional facts, name-calling--these hallmarks of ignorance should jar even the one who issued them. However, as I claimed earlier, it will be difficult for such a one to be objective since to be so would require a change in world-view.
  24. JASKN has made some very good points. After many years, I have come to the conclusion that almost every health claim, scientific report, or fad that I have encountered since the 1970's is just so much hokum. Both nutrition science and medical science leave a lot to be desired. That said, there is an old book titled "Aerobics" by Dr. Cooper that is balanced and scientific. However, I would suggest that weight trainers these days are quite knowleable. (You might be surprised how much can be gained from some of their sites online.) In the end, you will have to do what is right for your body and mind.
  25. You failed to answer my basic question: How did the injustices done in the past benefit me? My ancestors lost everything in order to fight for black freedom. Today I am spat in the face and accused of racism unjustly. All I ask is that you do what you said that you can do: Trace these past injustices to a benefit to me personally. Reduce your claims to perception. Otherwise, you are just a name-calling mystic.
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