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Dániel Boros

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  1. In an interview Ayn Rand said that she regards alturism evil. While I don't disagree what she meant by that I do disagree about semantics. As far as I can tell there are two kinds of wrongdoings: Self sacrifice and the unjustifiable violation of someone else's rights. I believe that these two are not equally bad even though both of them are wrong. Self sacrifice is more of a mistake than a crime. That is why the government protects us against criminals and not against mistakes. At least not mistakes inflicted upon ourselves (there is no such thing as a victimless crime right?). On the other hand government trying to protect people from themselves is more than a mistake. It is a violation of fundamental human rights. Therefore I believe that since there are two kinds of incorrect behaviour of man we should label their moral worthiness differently. So... Self sacrifice is wrong (or bad) Hurting others is evil (i.e. violating someone's rights) Of course everything that is evil is also wrong (or bad), but not everything that is wrong is evil. I also think this is why we have two separate words to describe the same thing. Almost the same... Therefore in my opinion Rand was a bit harsh in the interview. Because neither altruism nor the peaceful indoctrination of children to believe in altruism violates human rights. Peace
  2. Same as the other topic only with different criteria: must have been funded exclusively by the government must be expensive must be a waste of money or at least unprofitable
  3. How about the Iphone? http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-25/tech/31396858_1_iphone-business-profit-apple Most profitable business in the World!
  4. I am afraid these towers were built using public funds.
  5. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge The Great Northern Railway The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet Fallingwater The Gherkin Skyscraper SpaceShipOne Just one more to go Maybe I will make an album when we're finished All hail SpaceX
  6. Indeed Krauss admitted that at least some fundamental laws had to exist, but laws are only concepts, rules telling us that some things act in curtain ways. So there has to be something a particle, empty space or some kind of quantum field that works according to some law. Carl Sagan had it right. If Krauss wants to take God out of the picture and argue with a theist he should just use Occam's razor on this issue.
  7. I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Anyway Stephen Hawking was also arguing for something similar and bashing philosophy somewhat in his last book.
  8. Nothing is supernatural right? It has one property that it has no property...
  9. Than the definition of science is just words as well. Empty space is not nothing. It's empty space.
  10. If someone receives knowledge of a crime committed by one of his loved ones would be keeping that secret considered immoral? A friend or family member is usually more valuable outside prison than inside. Whatever harm the silence of this man causes is the result of non-action and not action. Similarly not trying to save someone drowning isn't a crime either is it not?
  11. Just because philosophers reject most of the works of other philosophers of the past does not make them a-philosophers the same way theists aren't really atheists simply because they reject most Gods. A theist is someone who believes in a specific group of Gods based on so called "holy" scriptures. Usually one God and usually based on the Bible, Koran or the Torah (monotheists). Someone who believes in God but rejects the validity of any scripture would be called a Deist. Some notable Deists were: Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Voltaire and Robespierre .
  12. I'm interested in board games like these: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Capitalism&rh=n%3A166225011%2Ck%3ACapitalism&page=1 Anyone has one? What are they like? How do you play? thanks
  13. No, we need specific things. A specific scientific theory or discovery could qualify as well. So were spaceships by NASA and the USSR.
  14. There is no such thing as a "spontaneous" order. Planets move according to the laws of nature while people make decisions based on their rational self interest and preference. The order we see is as spontaneous as the things that causes them to be. That is why we call it order and not complexity. A complex entity is something that is more complex than the laws that create the order we see around us. I feel we are getting somewhere. You have raised some good points. Why would it be futile? If we can observe that some things are more complex than others that it is a given that we can measure them as well otherwise everything would look the same. I would agree that it is difficult to measure complexity but it would be very easy to disprove ID this way. All you had to do is show me something that was created by the order of nature and is more complex than the simplest existing living being and you would have automatically disproved me. I am willing to argue about the complexity of anything you can think of. Michael Behe wrote a book about this called the Edge of Evolution. One example of the power of evolution would be Malaria. It evolves and reproduces so fast that it becomes immune to any kind of medicine in a single year, but even after thousands of years it still can't beat someone who carries the genes for sickle cell disease. People with such a disease have a very high resistance against malaria and millions of people in Afirca have the genes for it and only a few outside of it. It is also possible to gain immunity by a different mutation that does not causes any disease, but Africans simply weren't lucky enough to get it in the past few thousand years (some dude in the west has got it). If that were true I doubt you would be able to claim that a single celled amoeba is simple. Okay let me try to explain. A single celled organisms need matter and energy to survive and replicate. Therefore it has the means to consume matter for this purpose. Than it needs to break the matter into parts using sophisticated machines so that new machines could be built. In the process energy is created, but that energy must be stored. To store energy the cell needs an energy storage. The cell also has to be able to transfer parts and energy storage units inside the cell. All these functions must be regulated by a software. The software must be stored in a data storage unit and machines capable of interpreting the commands of the software must also exist. Information must be transfered to the control unit and change the behavior of the software when necessary. All the parts of the cell must be created inside the cell based on the software therefore all the machines must exist in reality and in the storage unit at the same time. Also when the cell divides the software must regulate the division so that both cells will survive the process. The storage unit and all the information inside it has to be replicate as well without too much errors. And I didn't even got into the details... If that's simple I don't want to know what you consider to be complex. Unlimited power? When have I said anything like that? Unproven? There was a time when the theory of relativity didn't even exist so naturally that was unproven as well. Supernatural? From a philosophical standpoint it would have to be natural, but since the laws of nature aren't necessarily the same as the laws of physics supernatural could be accurate from a scientific model based view of the Universe. ID is not compatible with evolution and yes I am arguing for creationism, but what choice do I have if I am going to argue against evolution? Every complaint of mine is thrown back at me in the form of argument against ID or creationism. People don't even try to think about these things. When I speak of life I usually refer to the simplest known living being and not humans or something that has supposedly existed assuming that evolution is true. That would be assuming the conclusion. No matter how life formed? The problem is, it does matter and it should matter. That's like saying no matter how Jesus got resurected or no matter how the donkey talked or... I do not care who invented ID or the theory of Gravity (Fundamentalist Christian -> Newton). What matters is whether something is true or not. Just because you admit you are biased doesn't mean you are right. I have already made several explanations and possibilities about DNA regarding ID. But here let me quote:
  15. How about roads? Are there any roads out there built not from taxpayer money?
  16. Complexity implies a complex algorithm not necessarily a complex designer. In the absence of such an algorithm the latter becomes more likely. I am not claiming that any kind of being is too complex to come about through natural processes, because that would imply that I am aware of all natural processes in existence. I am only claiming that this life that we can observe is too complex to come about through the known natural processes in the known natural World. It is obvious that if simplicity was a requirement of the Universe than there would be nothing at all since there can be nothing that is more simple than nothing. The complexity required for the creation of the known Universe and life might have been there all along. How could the Universe possibly create life if the Universe was not complex enough to create life? You can't deny ID based on philosophy alone. Are the known physical laws complex enough to create life? That is not something philosophy can answer. It should be measured how much complexity evolution can create and if it's not enough than something else is responsible for life or life simply does not exist.
  17. Those two are great! Does anyone know of any famous skyscraper ? P.S. here's a picture of the bridge:
  18. Criteria: must have been payed by private funds has to be amazing I know of one: The Széchenyi Chain Bridge wiki Any other wonders out there ?
  19. Yes but no other field of science thinks that this excuse validates anything. If you don't know, than you don't know. And if you can't prove evolution than you can't prove evolution. An argument from ignorance is not an argument... That's a self contradiction. It's like saying that a talking donkey is probable simply because there are a lot of donkeys in the World. Again you are appealing to probability. We do not know how likely life could arise here or anywhere in the Universe. End of story. You can ignore any and all data with that kind of argument. Sorry that's just not how science works. What makes you think that whatever existed originally had to be simple? Where is the law that says that a theoretical Universe could only exist if it was simple and primitive? Contradictions arise when our scientific model does not correctly align with the Universe. Magic is not a cause it is a sign that the current dogma cannot stand on its own feet any longer. After all anything that is not considered valid by the current rules of science is by definition magic.
  20. I think you may have missed my question at the end. I am not trying to recruit anyone I am just asking if this would work or not inside objectivist ethics. Is this something that should discouraged, promoted or just ignored? I mean there is some value any human has over a rock or an animal from simply existing even if that value is minimal and much less than our own. So acting for keeping that value would be an objectively desirable action would it be not?
  21. The most common objection to objectivism I hear is that objectivists don't want to help each other or those in need. Obviously altruists hold the idea of helping others above all else including themselves as well. Altruism is a simple concept and one can understand how it isn't necessary to go into detail who to help if everyone should be helped. Ayn Rand said that there are perfectly good reasons to try and help others. She mentioned love as the primary reason, but what about the people who are not loved and have little value to others? What of the people who can't survive on their own? While Rand didn't deny that one should have the freedom to do charity she certainly did not approve of it. While it is true that charity in of itself is not a moral virtue that doesn't mean one should not be involved with it, however what could justify giving some of our rightfully earned money to someone who has literally no value to us? Even if every human had some minimal basic value there would always be a lot of people who possessed more value than a stranger. Unlike in the case of our loved ones helping strangers could not be justified by the value they themselves carry. So we shouldn't help them right? If they have no value than there is no reason to give to them anything, but than why is "helping the poor" so important to so many people? Is it just cultural bias? Some areas of human nature strongly suggest that helping the poor is an important aspect of any human being. Empathy is a real emotional response to the suffering of someone else. I would say empathy works like this: I. the person recognizes someone in pain (hunger, depression, loneliness etc..) II. the person will feel some of this pain. (more pain if it is a loved one less if it is not) III. the person would naturally want to stop his own pain and to that would be only possible by helping the that someone. IV. depending on the values of the person and the suffering of the one being helped the help can vary in nature and in amount. Empathy is a negative feeling and by that I mean the more you have it the less you want it and the more you wish to get rid of it. Love is a positive feeling. The more you have it the more you want it... like drugs. Now just because a lot of people have empathy doesn't mean that helping others is justified. After all we should not act on our whims and who knows whether acting according to our own mammalian nature would serve our rational self interest. Ayn Rand -as far as I can tell - did not justify or approve such ways of thinking even if she often practiced it herself. She did smoke cigarettes even though that was not in her best long term rational self interest. It was only something her body identified as necessary for existence even though it clearly wasn't ( unlike food ). So is there any real, justifiable reason to help the poor? People who are unable take care of themselves including their basic needs would cease to exist if others didn't help them. People don't just exist in the present but in the future as well, which means that if they die now the possibility that they will have value to us and to themselves will go with them. Letting them die would not be in our rational self interest but letting them continue their life the way they do would not be in our interest either. We value those who live by the same values we do therefore the main goal of helping others would be to make them self reliant and selfish. So as I see it we - who agree with the concepts above - should have organized voluntary help that could rehabilitate and help integrate the poor into the market and society. So.. is this in accordance with objectivism or not?
  22. I remember Hitchens saying something about this when he was lecturing about free speech. Hungary has laws against holocaust and communism deniers. Don't think anyone has been convicted though...
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