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Shion

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  1. My point is there's more to it than simply obtaining a profit. So my question is that what under objectivist principles makes Bernie Madoff wrong? The little smiley face was to indicate that clearly this couldn't be the line of thought that an objectivist would hold. I didn't pretend to understand it should be quite clear if you re-read what I wrote. Though objectivist leaning folks did support Roarks blowing up of the housing project he designed (ie. the jury). At what point do the consequences of that action cease to justify the ideal behind it? If they couldn't have gotten the night guradsman out, what then? There's a nother underlying principle. It has now been argued that is is not the result of the action (making profit) which makes it good, but rather the intent behind it (the rational seeking of profit). Is this also your understanding of the morality of profit from action?
  2. Well if the parish in which the fire station operated had a strong objectivist following, I think even the person would agree that the fire department was justified in their actions if they were motivated in seeking profit. Luckily everyones not an objectivist Ok, to answer your question, we needn't consider publically doing something. Morality as defined by the objectivist in this thread, isn't really concerned with whether someone observes you trying to seek profit, only whether you do. IN order to seek profit I merely need to slow my response time just a wee bit to ensure a tragedy. No need to publically explain why its being done. In fact fessing up to the act might loose me profit and thus it is morally wrong to be honest in this situation.
  3. Ah, but you said that satisfying the following definition was a moral action " I'm talking about profit in the more common sense, ie. getting something which one feels has more value than one feels was invested in effort and resources to obtain it" <= ME "Yes it is. In fact, it is not just a sub-class of morality. When you put it that way it is morality. Morality is all about answering the question: "how should I act?" The assumption is that acting creates some type of outcome. The desired outcomes are called "values". Monetary profit is one type of value." <= You "A person who is moral seeks values -- by definition" <= You So you argued that getting more than one feels was invested is inherrently moral by "definition". And if I were to win the lottery than I have gotten more than I feel was invested. So it seems that chance has made my action a moral one Clearly we need to revise your original assertation, because now you seem to be arguing that the question of morality comes down not to whether you actually profit, but whether you are proceeding about profiting in a rational way. So the definition of being good is to rationally seek profit? This is quite a different thing than you'd asserted was good before. But let me understand if I have your new definition right. If I'm missing something perhaps you could clarify. "Here's the way to look at it. Can you ask this question about buying a lottery ticket: "is this a sensible thing that gives me value for what I spend on it?" If the answer is "no", but you're still buying it, then your action is irrational and you should not do it; otherwise do it."
  4. Let's say I exist in my neuro interactive simulation, my sensory hoax where some alien species has come down to earth and re-created a believable simulation of what they believe 21st century earth was like. They want to do an anthopological experiment by introducing various situations to their human guinee pig and watching how I react. Let's even say their idea of what 21st century earth was like is totally off, but hey their video game right? They then cloned the brain of a human from some cells and hooked the brain stem directly up to a machine which would feed it information. First of all I exist. I can be sure of this. Second the senses which I use to interact with the world are lying to me about what exists out there. I think I have a body, I think there are physical objects with which I am interacting, I am completely wrong. However I can most certainly develop a language, as those things which I interact with have been programed to use one with me. I can use the term I, and I can think of the things which are supposed to be people as people and use the word. I see no difficulty in this. What if I was an incredibly intelligent mystical being who is dreaming, and unlike the human things I dream I am (and incidentally made up), my dreams are completely rational and consistent and don't allow me to break the rules I've dreamed up, like say gravity for instance (it doesn't actually exist, it's just something my dream provided me with the contstraint of). So "people" are a classification of something I interact with and appear to have the same attributes as me. "Can" is a word made up for me and introduced to me by the aliens, or provided by my remarkable dream (and thus secretly something I spontaneously made up), which I have assigned a meaning to. None of your objections disprove my point. I don't believe I ever said there was no reason to believe that we're in communication. It is the most likely possibility. You could say use occam's razor which seems like a reason. Well I either actually heard you say something similar, or I imagined you did (and you). Or I was fed an input from a program which said it. I disagree, I was suggesting that one could interact with one's very logical dream and explore one's own subconcious, or one could interact with the neruo-simulation one is fed which is a sensory hoax. Why would my interacting with my dream be a contradiciton? If you say it has no rational purpose, I would argue that I am deriving a greater understanding of logic and reason from my interactions with myself. Your argument doesn't seem sufficient. Perception of what is my question? Not necessarily anything that actually exists in any more sense than my dreams do. How do you know you are taking actions? Maybe you just think you are? Are you not constrained by reality regardless of whether you are rational or not? I don't think your statement is sufficient. Rationality is not what conforms us to reality, you must play by realities rules because it is reality whether you recognize it or not. Be as irrational as you like but you're not goin to fly by eating a donut. I also wish to be rational for numerous reasons, not the least of which is because I enjoy reasoning things out and improving my ability to reason. Plus in being rational I can appreciate the things I interact with (whether their my mental figments, sensory hoax inputs, or actually physical things). I answered this above, for the sheer joy of reasoning. But Alright here's a possible answer. Let's say you were a pretty powerful lonely mystical being whom is the only thing in existence. Wouldn't life get boring? Perhaps you would choose to make a fantasy world in your head with fundamental rules that you must play by, and then will yourself into this dream and will yourself to forget what you are till your done the round (your life). Now when I'm designing this game, do I make it so that if I want any pretty girl I see, I just get them,? and if I want to fly I just can? and if I want to snap my fingers and make icecream it appears? No. That wouldn't be very fun to think back on when I woke up. So setting a series of rules that things follow by and an inherrent logic to things, and limitations to myself is what makes the game interesting. Hopefully I still get the pretty girl I've given you several.
  5. Fair enough, but it does not seem relevant to my argument.
  6. Wouldn't it be more to the point to say "can there be evidence disproving something from existing, if in fact, that thing does not exist". And yes there can. You just havent sufficiently supplied one for the mystical deity whom is capable of many things including intefering with man's reasoning.
  7. If this creature were to say use it's mystical powers to forbid me from being able to process evidence of the proof of it (thus for me definite proof is unobtainable as I'd inherrently be forced to overlook that proof), that does not mean it doesn't exist. There is still the possibility of it's existence, I just can't know of it.
  8. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with most definitions of pure alturism. Normally pure alturism is ascribed to something like... " Pure altruism consists of sacrificing something for someone other than the self (e.g. sacrificing time, energy or possessions) with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct, or indirect (for instance from recognition of the giving)" This is an impractical definition as every action one takes has a reaction, such as the opportunity to learn something from the action taken. I expect that I will learn or experience something when I taken an action. Therefore pure alturism of this sort could never exist as I have an expectation of a benefit. I believe a more close to the mark definition for the concept of pure alturism is that it should note the distinction between expectation of benefits with the concept of the action being taken for the sake of the benefits.
  9. Perhaps it just amuses me too. People can fantasize about all sorts of things and dervie enjoyment from it. Make up stories, imagine keyboards to type on and talk to fictions of their own mind who write back quite entertainingly. Perhaps that is why I'm doing. Or perhaps I have a faith that the things my senses tell me actually have an objective (dictionary sense) presence in reality, but my philosophy leaves open the possiblity that it's wrong. So few do. When others have faith about things, I am more sympathetic in my understanding of their position as I have to have faith that they exist at all, and if they do perhaps the things that they have faith in and can't prove are also true. For instance to prove a being which can alter all my thoughts and change reality on a whim doesn't exist, is impossible for me to do. Thus I'm an agnostic open to the slim possibility rather than an atheist, for which I'd need definite proof which is unobtainable. I'll grant you that there is a reality, it's just whether your senses are actually interacting with it that's the hitch. Maybe you don't have senses, maybe you only think you do. So I think in a way we're saying the same thing. You have to say to yourself that it's likely you're dealing with real things and not being decieved. But ones philosophy then should take into account this assumption and the possibility that it's wrong. we'll call our assumed relayed via our potentially decieved senses, guessality then? We also can't make statements in our philsophies that say our methods work when we apply them to reality, we have to say when we apply them to what we have faith or hope is actually a reality or some such thing. You say the only logical alternative to your senses accurately reflecting an objective reality is to undertake total silence and innaction. I don't believe this is the case. If I am in fact simply decieved by my senses, or say dreaming, and yet it's a fantastic enough dream to provide hours of enjoyment and intrigue and development of myself as a rational being, then why shouldn't I just get over it and start interacting? Is it more moral to not interact in the neuro interactive simulation to which you are subjected? But I've given you a perfectly logical way that one could deny one has any interaction with reality. So it's not self-evident at all. It's a matter of faith that your right, but it's not self-evident. Perhaps it is self-evident that you need to make this assumption in order to proceed with objectivist philsophy, but that's an appeal to consequence. There are ways you could proceed if what you take as self-evident is not in fact the case, and so using the ultimate appeal to consequence that nothing would make sense if it weren't the case that I were right, is also flawed. There are numerous ways to explain your sensory interactions with a supposed world around you that have nothing to do with those senses being right. You miss my point, perhaps I'm denying it based on the perceptions that come from the sensory hoax that was played on me and the logic of my reasoning mind. Either reality or it's sensory faximile could give rise to the ability to do this, and that's the point. I don't ignore everything you've accepted, I just accept our ignorance in the matter for what you seem to take as an absolute. Why would I bother trying to deny it, I am willing to accept either possibility, I just insist that my philosophies do as well. Questioing for oneself one's own existence and the essential premisses and assumptions one has about one's understanding of the world around them does a lot more than what you suggest. For instance let's say that I seriously doubt my existence for a bit, and have to work through why I do in fact exist. The affirmation of this fact and the process through which it achieve is of significant value to ones understanding of oneself. This is far more valuable than someone telling me, that I must or I should take my toys and go home. It is the nature of that "reality" that's at question. I agree I exist and thus there is a reality, whether my senses impart any interaction with it, or wheter I even really have senses is what's up for grabs. Still I have generated these concepts within reality. I'm not arguing that there isn't a reality, I'm arguing that maybe you and I aren't interacting with it the way we think we are. It may do this, or it may do something completely different. Perhaps it liberates them to think more objectively about their assumptions (dictionary sense).
  10. Is my buying a lottery ticket on a whim and winning, something that is inherrently moral? If I fail to win and thus don't profit, does that make it immoral? If I choose to pass the stand and not take my chances at all, am I being immoral or moral? Or is it really just a thing I did with no particular morality involved?
  11. "An objective method involves applying logic (a field of study that starts out with the fundamental notion that there are no contradictions, and creates various methods of reasoning that avoid or eliminate contradictions in our understanding of something) to reality." My position is that I'm somewhat dubious on what constitutes reality, aside from that of my own existence. It is imposible for me to be wrong about my own existence being a reality as I wouldn't exist to be wrong if I was I'm also willing to grant that because I concieve of other things they are in some form a reality, even if only being products of my own conception. This isn't to say they exist outside of my conception of them, everything aside from me could be a product of an overactive imagination. If an objective method requires that you apply logic to reality, how do you establish what is reality? Saying that you percieve a thing seems inherently insufficient as senses may lie. This must sound like relatively primary school philosophy but your definition is not a very useful tool to being able to apply the objective method unless you can figure out what is reality. Second Question: Please explain how the word "objective" used in the objectivist sense is different than the dicitonary sense. Someone pointed out that the dictionary definition of objective was actually intrinsic (Something existing indepenent of human perception). So what is objective?
  12. Are you sure we are talking about profit of the same sort? I'm talking about profit in the more common sense, ie. getting something which one feels has more value than one feels was invested in effort and resources to obtain it. This is not a sub-class of morality. It can be admiriable moraly if done in a certain manner in certain circumstances and for certain types of "profit". In some forms and circumstances it's pursuit can also be immoral. It is not necessarily linked to morality. This can happen to coincide with the domain of being a moral activity but that's an overlap, not a subset. I agree the fire company is entitled to do this from a legal standpoint, but that doesn't inherrently address morality. Would you also argue it would be morally wrong for them to do more than the minimum required to help another if doing so would jeapordize their profit? And how do you define profit in this case? They ought not to be forced by law, one would hope they were compelled to without any law required. I'm pretty sure that's not what you meant though for example... 1) He lived in a condo, and without pesky government intervention in such manners, he didn't realize that his condo board had the option to opt out of fire service this year. 2) He thought he had, but the fine print said the fire service doesn't protect against fires originating from forest fires. This fire started from the forest adjoining the back of his house 3) He thought he had, his bill to renew his fees was lost in the mail and he's a day overdue. etc. etc. I don't think it's just the self. What about if I was visiting someone and had no idea they didn't have fire protection and was trapped in the burning building. Or I was a neighbour who had the misfortune to live close by. Or I was a town a 100 miles distant but once the fire had started on the farm and gained strength, nothing was not going to be able to deal with the fire. But my contracted fire service argued they'd only attempt to protect me once the fire got to my doorstep. In fact it might very well be in the interest of the majority to stop a fire before it got out of control. Legislating that people should not be able to buy houses without contracting a service to protect the rest of society might not be such a bad idea? We do not live as individuals on an island. Sadly the stupidity of others can affect us. I don't believe that governments are ruled by the majority, even in a pure democracy with more than 2 options a majority needn't rule.
  13. How would you know you were applying it to reality? Would it be more correct to say applying logic to what you believe to be reality? Wouldn't your understanding of reality be based on the perceptions of your limited senses which interact with the things around you, and your ability to reason out what these incomplete senses imply of reality (the resulting picture being potentially correct or incorrect)? As a separate thought, can you not apply a system of logic to a hypothetical and thus non-reality, would that also qualify as an objective method? Is reality really required in order to apply an objective method? Or is it sufficient to have premisses and use objective method based off those? eg. reason what would happen to a penny thrown into the air if the earth had no gravitational pull. This is not a reality, but could you apply an objective method to it? Is your definition of objective method sufficient? Does it matter whether you can be sure that you have ascertained all the relevant aspects of reality, or whether some of the aspects you believe are relevant actually aren't? At that point are you using the objective method, or by having made a mistake in your assumption of what reality applies are you then relegated to being subjective? (as you have explained that subjective method is adding something arbitrarily into the material. What looks like a reasonable thing to be added by one, may seem arbitrary to another. And apparently anything arbitrary makes something a subjecitve method and not an objective one, correct?) How can you identify what is arbitrary? How do you know there isn't a god that can manipulate reality and occasionally responds to prayer? Is anything which you have no firm proof as having relevance, necessarily not relevant and thus arbitrary? Is anything you couldn't do anything about arbitrary and thus accounting for it would fall into the realm of subjective method? What if the great being in question only occasionally responds to prayer and flattery, then does it not make sense to pad one's bets and add religous accrutments to the plane just in case? Should you not weigh the probability of a god existing vs. the cost of religious ornaments and the time it takes the cabin crew to pray Or say the reassurance these trappings give the cabin crew whom believe in these things and thus perform better with them?
  14. You have a somewhat optimistic idea of worst comes to worst (at least from the perspective of the potentially burning family). Stripped of morality and in interest of only profit, it might very well occur to the fire department that allowing the occupants to die would in fact be more economically advantageous in that it provides an object lesson to those others whom have not paid for the service. After all why shouldn't the fire fighting company be entitled to not with hold a service if the withholding garners them more profit at the mere cost of human lives?
  15. Getting back to the original post... The initial question was "why is it immoral to limit an individual's freedom". I'm not convinced it is. (the question itself is posed with a bit of petitio principii too ) First of all may I ask what you define "freedom" as? Usually when people talk about freedom in the absolute sense, it's freedom to do whatever one pleases. Well if that's the case, in the most general sense then reality itself naturally limits an individuals freedom. I wouldn't consider reality particularly immoral. But that's of course not what you meant. Probably you were looking to ask if it is moral for a person through action to limit the "freedom" of another to do as they choose? I would answer there are definitely situations in which that is perfectly moral. It's probably unavoidable by the fact that we live in a world with others sometimes with no intent at all through action we will limit the freedom of others to act in certain ways. This is all really kind of self evident I'd think so you must mean something more specific. Can you exactly state what the freedoms are which you believe are inviolate under any circumstances and would be immoral for anyone to ever deny or curb anothers? So essentially what specific freedoms are we talking about here, can you name them?
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