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Doug Morris

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  1. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Sebastien in "Rite of Passage"   
    I would suggest that instead of a brief, concentrated rite of passage, we need an ongoing process of pointing children in the right direction by precept and example.
    Bad ideas do a lot to hold people back from the conceptual level.  As better ideas spread, we will get better results.
    To the extent that we also write and talk, we will help the process along. 
  2. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from MisterSwig in Have any prominent Objectivists addressed this point?   
    Fraud involves indirect use of force, because it involves getting physical possession of another's property and refusing to surrender it to its rightful owner. 
  3. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Boydstun in Objectivists are working to save the world from tyranny--isn't that altruism?   
    Is it in a person's interests to live as a con artist if they can "get away with it"?  Is it in a person's interests to live as a brigand if society is sufficiently nonfunctional that they can "get away with it"?  No, and no.  They get bad lives.
    It is much more workable and much more satisfactory to live in a world where as many people as possible are rational and free than to live in a world where reason and freedom are reserved for an elite and most people are subjugated and propagandized.
  4. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from whYNOT in Do animals have volition II?   
    So by "survival instinct" you do not mean an instinct directly to survive, nor any awareness of the issue of survival on the part of the animal.  Rather, you mean an instinct to perform certain particular actions, actions which in fact improve the animal's prospects of survival.
  5. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Boydstun in Objectivist Mechanical Engineers   
    Actually, before these organisms could do anything, an enzyme from another source had to be applied to break down the polymers into monomers.  I don't know how workable it would be to wreak havoc with organisms producing that enzyme.
  6. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Boydstun in Objectivist Mechanical Engineers   
    I heard something on the radio today about using bacteria to convert waste plastic to vanillin, which has various uses.
  7. Like
    Doug Morris reacted to whYNOT in Ayn Rand Fan Club podcast   
    William and Scott: A contribution to get the ball rolling. Harking back to earlier days, and how much has changed and hasn't. One could start at the 25min mark if time-constrained.
     
  8. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from MisterSwig in Cultural Parasitism   
    With all the arguing about Firefly, I thought I'd look it up on Wikipedia.  I only read part of the article.  What I read cleared up for me what the Alliance was.  It also included "Firefly is an American space Western drama television series, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, " and "As Whedon states in an episode of a DVD commentary, every show he does is about creating a family.[12]"
  9. Thanks
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in What are your biggest issues with Objectivism?   
    What if they set things up so that in order to actually vote (citizenship), people had to demonstrate an understanding of rational politics and take an oath to vote accordingly?  (Perhaps there could also be a background check to catch people likely to have hostile ulterior motives.)
  10. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from William Scott Scherk in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    People were complaining about suppression in a way that seemed vague to me, so I asked a reasonable question about proportions.  Some people think this obligates me to do tests; I disagree.
    In any case, isn't it premature to do tests without a clear identification of what we are testing?
  11. Thanks
    Doug Morris got a reaction from William Scott Scherk in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    Has anyone come up with a more precise characterization of who or what is or is not being suppressed than "rightist" or "leftist"?
  12. Thanks
    Doug Morris got a reaction from William Scott Scherk in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    How are you defining "leftist" and "rightist"?  Where are you hearing about this?
    How many Objectivist pov's have you heard of being silenced?
  13. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Easy Truth in HB v. AB: Is collectivism the greater evil?   
    Has anyone come up with a more precise characterization of who or what is or is not being suppressed than "rightist" or "leftist"?
  14. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in How many masks do you wear?   
    If someone comes up with a toothpaste that prevents COVID-19, I'm all for it.
  15. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from whYNOT in Is Dennis Prager a political ally?   
    A modern physician plunked down in the middle ages might be able to accomplish a little medically, but this would be very limited, because most people would not understand what he or she was saying and would disagree with whatever they did understand, and because there would be no modern tools.
    If we're talking about major change in society, the effectiveness of Objectivism will be very limited as long as most people disagree.  On this scale, the effectiveness of Objectivism will increase as more people come to understand and appreciate it.
    Objectivism is still effective as a tool for living one's own life.
  16. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in How many masks do you wear?   
    The mere existence of germs, poison, fire, etc. does not constitute physical force on anyone's part.  Imposing them on another is physical force.
    Spreading germs can easily do physical damage to a person's body.  Spreading ideas does not do physical damage.  If the ideas play a role in a person's choice to do physical damage, that is the responsibility of the person taking the physical action.
    I considered "physical aggression" to be a reasonable shorthand for the initiation of physical force.  I was substituting "aggression" for "the initiation of force".  I am sorry if this caused any confusion.  One thing that got me into this habit is the idea that in attempting to communicate with non-Objectivists, saying "physical aggression" might make communication easier than saying "the initiation of physical force".
    A necessary condition for something to be physical force is that it do physical harm of some kind.
    No.
    People are responsible for their own actions.
  17. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from DonAthos in How many masks do you wear?   
    Never.   The fact of danger may itself be sufficient to say that a person has initiated force.  The fact of creating an appearance which can reasonably be interpreted as danger may itself be sufficient to say that a person has initiated force.  The fact of fear never is.
  18. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from DonAthos in How many masks do you wear?   
    The mere existence of germs, poison, fire, etc. does not constitute physical force on anyone's part.  Imposing them on another is physical force.
    Spreading germs can easily do physical damage to a person's body.  Spreading ideas does not do physical damage.  If the ideas play a role in a person's choice to do physical damage, that is the responsibility of the person taking the physical action.
    I considered "physical aggression" to be a reasonable shorthand for the initiation of physical force.  I was substituting "aggression" for "the initiation of force".  I am sorry if this caused any confusion.  One thing that got me into this habit is the idea that in attempting to communicate with non-Objectivists, saying "physical aggression" might make communication easier than saying "the initiation of physical force".
    A necessary condition for something to be physical force is that it do physical harm of some kind.
    No.
    People are responsible for their own actions.
  19. Haha
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Easy Truth in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    In 2016 I was still teaching.  Just after the election one of my students asked me if I voted "for Satan or the orange".  I said that actually Satan was Immanuel Kant, not any politician.  I overheard him ask some of his fellow students "Who??".
  20. Haha
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    In 2016 I was still teaching.  Just after the election one of my students asked me if I voted "for Satan or the orange".  I said that actually Satan was Immanuel Kant, not any politician.  I overheard him ask some of his fellow students "Who??".
  21. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from merjet in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    Trump's businesses and family have gained significant financial benefit from his presidency.
    Trump placed a lot of emphasis on personal loyalty to him.
    Trump blew a chance to save at least one Senate seat, and thus control of the Senate, for the Republicans.  He was more interested in repeating and pushing his claim that he really won his election.
    The accusations against Trump are not arbitrary.
  22. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from merjet in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    If Trump had said "I want to make sure this election was fair", that would be much more reasonable and much less destructive than saying that the election was stolen.
    I'm not interested in rehashing that whole other thread, so I'll just repeat my key point.  Subjecting other people to physical danger, including danger of disease, can rise to the level of physical aggression.
  23. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Shameful Display of Anarchy and Violence   
    True and very important point.
    Another point to be considered by anyone who thinks it's time for armed revolution:  If our current government is overthrown by force, under current philosophical and political conditions, what will replace it?  I haven't read or watched The Handmaid's Tale, but based on descriptions I've seen of it, it seemed far fetched to me.  Now I'm not so sure.
    (I should add that it is OK to have a far fetched premise in a work of fiction.)
  24. Like
    Doug Morris got a reaction from dream_weaver in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    The altruistic pandemic is contaminating and complicating responses to the CoViD-19 pandemic.
    The altruistic pandemic is not fueling the CoViD-19 pandemic.  The virus is driving the pandemic.  Fuel is provided by people not taking the pandemic seriously and by people not knowing how to react to the altruistic element in the response.
  25. Thanks
    Doug Morris got a reaction from William Scott Scherk in Reblogged:It Is Not 'Self-Interest' to Take Illness Lightly   
    People are deciding individually how to react to the pandemic as best they know how.  If some of them are letting others do their thinking for them, we need to address that fundamental issue, and to avoid letting it contaminate our thinking about masks.  The only workable way to get the economy going again is to get Covid-19 under control.
    There is big difference between lockdowns and masking.  As has already been discussed, there are legitimate reasons for wearing masks.
    Vaccines will eventually greatly reduce the danger from this virus, and if used consistently enough, may lead to its eradication, as happened with smallpox.  We can reduce the damage this virus does in the meantime by appropriate precautions. 
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