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Everything posted by intrinsicist

  1. I wanted to bump this thread with some quotes on suicide: epistemologue: splitprimary: Kant: Tom K: Matt Walsh: Gotthelf: Spinoza: secondhander:
  2. I don't think that's entirely fair. Citizenship is voluntary, and its terms are written down in law. There is something of a legitimate social contract for that reason. Should it require a signed document, with informed consent? Yes, of course I agree. In fact, it should require much more than that (see my essay on Criteria for Citizenship). But that doesn't mean the social contract justification is entirely baseless in the United States and similar countries. You do have to take some responsibility for your choice to remain a citizen and participate in the system according to its laws. You are after all free to renounce your citizenship and leave. And yes I do give precisely the same justification for taxation. I don't agree with welfare for a different reason: that is not the proper role of government.
  3. You're right to call me on it; I need to flesh out a more comprehensive theory of positive ethics to justify this claim. I would still argue that my position here is largely correct. In the sense of having a so-called "central purpose in life", this is what I think it should be. There's more to positive ethics than this sense of a "central purpose in life", but it's still an important one, and I think it's properly related to life extension and the pursuit of physical immortality. I'll have to come back to this point.
  4. See above "Positive values are possible despite suffering" and related sections.
  5. But that's precisely what Ayn Rand defined morality to be in The Objectivist Ethics: is implies ought. Morality comes from your metaphysically-given nature, and moral significance comes precisely from your following that. To go against your nature is to violate exactly this fundamental principle, that is implies ought. This is why life is the ultimate standard of value in Objectivism.
  6. But isn't this exactly true? Where do you think desires come from if not human nature?
  7. I'm simply saying that making any choice, taking any action, logically implies a commitment to life, and that's whether you intend it or not, whether you are conscious of the logical implications or not. It is possible to proceed in a self-contradictory way without explicitly acknowledging it (see, "On moral condemnation" above), but there is still something inherently immoral in evading the responsibility of justifying your actions, if you are going to act at all.
  8. Yes, I've come to agree with you. I am an intrinsicist, hence the name. However, I do disagree on the point about objectivity. I think only intrinsicism can be objective. Objectivism, whenever it consists in denying intrinsicist metaphysics, is not objective. Hence I go back and forth on whether my philosophy of intrinsicism is a fundamentally different philosophy, or merely a correction to what is in essence exactly the philosophy of Objectivism originally discovered by Ayn Rand.
  9. The "manness" in man, or the "roseness" in rose", as in, Why would my ability or inability to present a perfect definition of something undermine my position? The reality of universals and our knowledge of them are two different issues, and as I've argued, the fact that universals are real does not imply that we have perfect, automatic knowledge of them. Why would it? I am wondering if the issue you are really asking about is around this idea of "no borderline cases", but you will need to clarify what you are getting at.
  10. I notice this post is highly rated, and yet does not engage with the argument presented whatsoever. You are simply asserting the opposite position. Well, how do you address his argument in the OP?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. Sorry, but this won't help you. If the theory is non-realist, then you have to own up to the fact that there are no universals in reality, and therefore "concepts" claiming universality (as in man referring to all men at all times, past present or future), are false and misleading.
  14. This Limited Liability Partnership isn't "our company"; companies are not owned by a collective. The flaw in your argument is that you're missing out on the concept of a contract. Citizenship is a contract, which is the whole argument of my article you didn't read. I even specifically addressed this point:
  15. 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.
  16. Trump called the new president of Ukraine and asked him to investigate corruption around the Biden's -- as Vice President, Biden had negotiated in a quid pro quo with Ukraine corrupt money for his son, and possibly himself, to the tune of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Trump didn't do or intend anything corrupt like that - all he asked was for it to be investigated, which is totally part of his duty as the chief executive. Investigating corruption, even as a quid pro quo with a foreign power, is totally legitimate and within Presidential power. In fact it's the duty of the executive to do things like that. There's absolutely no crime here - at least not by Donald Trump. Quid pro quo is a norm in foreign policy, we always demand things in exchange for aid. There's nothing wrong with quid pro quo per se. The question is what is the nature of the deal - if it's a deal made for personal gain, say millions of dollars to a family member for doing nothing, then it's corruption, pure and simple. If the demand is that they *investigate* corruption, well that's an absolutely positive thing and in many ways a normal and necessary part of foreign aid packages - after all, if we are giving money to a corrupt institution which is simply going to steal it and squander it rather than use it for the purpose they claimed, well how can we do a deal like that? Demands to investigate corruption in exchange for aid are normal and are a healthy and positive kind of quid pro quo when it comes to foreign policy. The Ukraine president was elected on a platform of fighting corruption, so this is especially appropriate in this scenario. As Trump said, this was a *perfect* call, and he wouldn't and shouldn't change a thing about it. It's not something he's hiding or covering for, he's proud of it, he released the transcript day one. Trump is 100% right on this one. The left is playing a game of blame the other guy for what you did. It's a classic move on their part.
  17. intrinsicist

    Ocon 2019

    I've aged out of the discount price, so for me the cost is outrageously unreasonable.
  18. What's your definition of "rational animal"? Why is a late-term fetus (say, 1 week before birth) not a rational animal, whereas a post-birth infant (1 week later) is a rational animal? In general, what is the metaphysical nature of the being in question at various stages in the process? If we break this down, we are starting with a sperm and an egg: two distinct beings of certain kinds. Next, upon fertilization, these two combine into one single being of a certain kind, a zygote. This zygote goes through various developmental stages, from an embryo, to a fetus, to an infant, to a baby, a child, then finally an adult (and lastly, after the adult dies, a corpse). I can see three main perspectives on the various states of metaphysical nature here: 1. At the point of a conception, there is a new living organism that is genetically human. This is one and the same organism from conception to adulthood. This argument seems to be the most defensible from a metaphysical standpoint in my view. 2. At some stage in the development of the fetus this organism attains consciousness, which fundamentally alters its metaphysical nature (this has been known since the time of Aristotle as "ensoulment", usually identified somewhere between 40 and 90 days; or under common law the "quickening" which is identified between 14-20 weeks). This argument is at least defensible from a dual-aspect metaphysics point of view (where the physical body and the consciousness both have basic metaphysical standing), however I see a difficulty in explaining how the post-ensoulment being is not in fact still one and the same being as the original organism, just at a later stage of development. Why is the mental/conscious aspect of its being not relevant or applicable prior to it being fully functional and active? 3. At sometime during post-birth childhood development, the child becomes capable of fully conceptual consciousness, at which point its metaphysical nature is fundamentally altered, since it has obtained the key feature of moral personhood. At some number of months of age (or perhaps years), the baby's consciousness has exceeded the purely perceptual level and is capable of understanding and communicating with language. This position shares the same difficulty as #2, although it seems less defensible metaphysically as the baby already has consciousness at the base level, so there is an even bigger question as to when and how something has truly metaphysically changed. It also raises the question of whether the child may still have conceptual consciousness prior to it's capability of effectively demonstrating it in communication. Based on your metaphysical stance, there would be different moral implications as far as where the line is drawn for a rights-violating murder: 1. Abortion is wrong beginning from the point of conception 2. Abortion is wrong after some point during the first or second trimester 3. Abortion is categorically permitted, as well as infanticide up until some number of months or years in childhood development. There is an additional factor of uncertainty - if you are uncertain whether or not some action is murder, should you do it at all? I think its morally indefensible to commit such an act. So even if your best guess is that #2 is the case, unless you can attain certainty that #1 is not true, you shouldn't engage in abortion at all (likewise if your best guess is #3, unless you can be certain that the consciousness isn't conceptual sometime at or after point #2, you shouldn't engage in abortion after that line). Setting the standard based on "birth" or "independence" isn't basing it on the real issue of its metaphysical nature, so I don't think these lines are defensible.
  19. We already have established elsewhere that you're okay with violating others' rights, up to and including stealing and even murder, for the sake of your own survival, so I doubt flipping a switch would pose any trouble for you. For me it's a serious question, and I have to wonder how I managed getting on a trolley in which I'm strictly prohibited from pulling any of the levers in case of an emergency (that for the sake of argument would be perfectly reasonable and safe to pull, if only I had the permission); it sounds pretty improbable to begin with.
  20. @Easy Truth I'm not following your description... let me try to clarify and tell me if this helps with your question. Let's take a given universal, like say, Man. There is a root metaphysical substance, i.e. manhood, or manness, it is the essence of this universal Man. This metaphysical universal has two aspects: a physical aspect and a mental aspect. Whenever we deal with individual men embodied, each one is an instance of this metaphysical universal, which we are aware of in its physical aspect. Whenever we deal with the concept of "man", this universal concept which we hold in our mind is this same metaphysical universal, which are we aware of in its mental aspect. The universal itself is real and we can be aware of it in both its physical and mental aspects. Neither aspect is more real or more fundamental than the other (that is, it's not the case that the physical is metaphysically real and the mental is epiphenomenal, or vice versa), but rather they are both aspects of the one underlying metaphysically real thing.
  21. @Valdis I've tried to provide some philosophical clarity on this issue on my blog here: Closed Borders: A rights-based defense You are 100% correct in thinking of the US border as the "geographic´╗┐ limit of the jurisdiction of the Federal´╗┐ government´╗┐". However, this is precisely what makes it "our property", because we've delegated our rights to the US government for the purposes of defense. Defending the border is in essence what we're paying the government to do. If that's "collectivist" than so is any agreement amongst a group of people, and we might as well advocate for abolishing all corporations while we're at it.
  22. Exactly. If the lever is owned by the train company, what right do you have to get involved with the workings of their property?
  23. No I wouldn't say that everything "possesses consciousness". These things all posses a nature or essence, which is part material and part formal (or mental).
  24. Like begets like. How can a combination of simple elements combine to form something which can't be explained by the nature and actions of its elements? Logically there would have to be some other element that comes into play, hence the conclusion that this idea of "emergence" is magical or superstitious.
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