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Everything posted by Joynewyeary

  1. Ask him to identify some real world mistake that he thinks you have made rather than simply his belief that you have made a mistake. Ask for evidence, but don't debate him if you aren't convinced by what he says. Then consider asking this: "Do you learn more from your own mistakes or more from the mistakes of others?" Then ask him to tell you about a mistake that he made and what he learned from it.
  2. Thank you for being open about your interest. To me, that suggests that perhaps the proceedings so far in this thread have not been "ridiculous" (to borrow donnywithana's word). Also, I owe thanks to whoever created the listing, message, or advertisement that brought you to this message board in May of the year 2004 and to the Moderators who help keep this place civilized ... and organized ( thanks to whoever moved this pre-debate discussion to its own thread!) Most premises of my opponent are likely to play no role in the debate, so I'm not particularly concerned about them. However
  3. Given that the one and only debate I have proposed is a debate about whether or not one particular argument is valid, why would I make an opening statement as to why free will exists? I think that would be surplus to requirements. What do you think? My position is that there is at least one substantial flaw in a particular argument that you wrote. I have already identified (quoted and linked to) that argument that you wrote. I have not clarified my argument because I have not yet presented my argument. I have not yet presented my argument because the debate has not yet begun. When
  4. Yes, if the argument is clear and fixed. However, suppose that the argument in question is not completely clear. Suppose that critical analysis of the argument provokes revision, critical analysis of the revision provokes more revision, and so on, with no end in sight. Given that there is some actual pattern of reasoning that the person has in mind and will keep trying to formulate, isn't it possible that the best way to decisively deal with it is to explain the overall structure?
  5. I request that the honorable member either withdraw the above accusation or explain the origin of the following thread: Belief In Volition... Is it any better than collectivism or mysticism? http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=4644 Does the honorable member donnywithana wish to accuse me of having access to his password?
  6. I accept your apology. Could you please either clarify what you mean by the phrase "necessary property" or revise your statement to avoid using the phrase "necessary property"? For example, how would one go about determining whether or not the statement "the density of frozen water is lower than the density of liquid water" identifies a "necessary property" of water? We started with Argument Version #1: "A brain is a collection of particles. Thus, the brain must operate as physics would dictate that it should. Any cerebral process that involves free will must necessarily allow the
  7. Am I misunderstanding? I'm getting mixed signals. Here is your first premise --> "The mind is a symptom of the physical nature of the brain." Here is your second premise --> "The brain is a physical entity which must behave causally." You used the word "thus", suggesting to me that you are presenting an argument, not "the single premise that [you're] going to stick with." Here is your conclusion --> "The mind must be tied to the cause/effect nature of reality and can not behave otherwise." Questions: 1. What principle of reasoning did you apply to get from your prem
  8. I don't want you to clarify my position. If you wish to revise your argument then do so. When you are satisfied with your argument, post it in this thread. Then my position will be: there is a flaw in your reasoning. Caveat: If you add a whole mass of things that you haven't even hinted at yet and you produce (for example) a four-page argument, then I will (obviously) request that you pare it down before we can begin.
  9. Would it be possible for you to organize with other students, with each student taking on one alleged fact in the model essay? For example, one student could begin with the above snippet from the essay, apply the meaning of the word "maintain" and conclude that, according to the 100% essay, the USA does have a completely laissez-faire approach. Then the entire essay could be devoted to demonstrating that the USA does not have a completely laissez-faire approach. Such an essay would mostly depend upon independent research by the essay writer, but it could also rely upon the 100% essay.
  10. You will see how I proceed after someone steps forwards and offers to become my opponent. You quoted my position statement: "No, it is not valid." Then you said: "Just to clarify ..." However, it would have been sufficient for me to have said: "I say No." The word "No" doesn't need any clarification. Perhaps the question "Is the following argument valid?" was not sufficiently clear. Perhaps I should ask a somewhat different question that might be clearer. How about this: "Is there any flaw in the reasoning that is used in the quoted argument?" My answer to THAT quest
  11. I used the term "invalid" in accordance with what I took (and take) to be its generally accepted meaning. Had I said that the argument is "unsound", I would have been claiming that at least one premise of the argument is false and/or that there is a flaw in the reasoning. I did not say that the argument is unsound, so you may (for example) legitimately conclude that I do not intend to prove that #1 is false. If there is a flaw in my understanding of the word "invalid" or in my understanding of the word "unsound", then I am ready and willing to be corrected. Note: I don't claim that I
  12. Thank you for drawing attention to that. You beat me to the punch. I hope you don't mind if I include, in my comments below, a repetition of your point. I get the impression that you are converting the results of the poll (which has several categories) into just two categories. The first category is: "Yes, [i agree] completely, in every element that I have studied." I would like to draw attention to a couple of possibilities: 1. Some people who choose "Yes, [i agree] completely, in every element that I have studied" might have not studied very much. 2. Some people who
  13. I would like to debate the question: "Is the following argument valid?" (I say: "No, it is not valid.") The argument: "A brain is a collection of particles. Thus, the brain must operate as physics would dictate that it should. Any cerebral process that involves free will must necessarily allow the brain to make a choice as to a certain physical event within it. Since this violates that acting particle's obligation to function as dictated by its nature and physical surroundings, it is an impossible event." Source: from the thread "Belief In Volition..." http://forum.ObjectivismOnli
  14. What justification could there be for special laws concerning contracts with the government that don't apply to contracts in general? If there is an agreement to not conspire on the price, then wouldn't violation of that agreement be a breach of contract? In what cases do you think that a breach of contract should be classified as fraud?
  15. Would you say that tariffs are unnecessary and that, being unnecessary, they should not be used, but that nuclear weapons are necessary and should be used? Of course, tariffs are not a technology. Were you only talking about weapons technology when you used the words "all that's necessary"?
  16. You are certainly free to forget the speculative scenarios, but the scenarios might be helpful for some other people. Here's a question: are good governments supposed to deal with some kinds of problems without doing anything to deal with the source of those problems? In particular, are good governments prohibited from fighting bad philosophy and stuck with the task of dealing with a never-ending series of military aggressions caused by bad philosophy?
  17. Suppose that, in 1923, a private organization in the U.K. was studying the cultural, philosophical, and political scene in Germany and predicted the rise of a dictatorship in Germany. Suppose that the private organization went to the government of the U.K. and requested money from the U.K. government to try to influence the cultural, philosophical, and political scene in Germany to prevent the rise of a dictatorship in Germany. Suppose that the U.K. government refused to provide funding. What is your reaction? 1. Even if a private organization in the U.K. could have prevented the rise o
  18. Introduction to some questions: (Please correct me if I am wrong about anything in the introduction.) Hank Rearden married Lillian and didn't seriously consider divorcing her until after he started a romantic relationship with Dagny Taggart. Francisco d’Anconia's answers to Rearden's questions helped Rearden to understand the mistakes that Rearden had been making. However, Dagny didn't need, in her employment relationship with James Taggart, the kind of answers and explanations that Hank needed regarding romantic relationships. Furthermore, Dagny had no reason to expect James Tag
  19. 1. By what authority would the government make it a crime to rig bids for work that the government wants done? Suppose that a private company that doesn't do any work for the government wants some work done and requests sealed bids. Would it be consistent with Objectivism if bid rigging in that situation were classified as a crime? 2. Would classifying rigging bids for government work as a criminal offense be sufficient to prevent the rigging of bids? For example, consider alcohol prohibition. Is law sufficient if people do not respect the law?
  20. Suppose that a proper government of the sort that Objectivism advocates wants some work done on a military installation and wants to control costs by demanding sealed bids from various private contractors. What ethical and effective methods could such a government use to ensure that the sealing has any significance? In other words, what would prevent bid rigging?
  21. No. I would have to do research to give examples that would make it clear that I was talking about conflicts that do not automatically lead to threats. In the meantime, perhaps we can consider conflicts between businesses. A business may have a conflict with a neighbor, a supplier, a customer, or a joint venture partner. Would you agree that such conflicts typically can and should be resolved by negotiation or by means of the civil courts? I admit that it's a bit of stretch to compare businesses and governments, but isn't it true that many countries have neighbors, countries trade with ot
  22. How would a fully Objectivist government handle conflicts with non-Objectivist governments? Would it have bargaining chips that could be a basis for reasoned discussion? Would it have some alternative besides these three options: doing nothing; threatening other governments; and attacking other governments? For example, would it be possible for an Objectivist government to have a philosophical bureaucracy able to give authorized answers to any questions about Objectivism that a foreign government might have if the foreign government is willing to engage in reasoned discussion?
  23. I'm responding to the following: -- posted by softwareNerd here Here's an idea: a "Borderline Trash" subforum in "Website Policy and Announcements." Messages on the borderline between trash and nontrash could be discussed. Those who wish to categorize a particular message (as trash or as nontrash) will be able to do so from the point of view of Objectivism or from the more specific point of view of the rules of this particular message board. Even if all participants in such a discussion soon agree that a particular message is definitely trash, the discussion itself may neverthe
  24. Is it possible for a country to have a popular political party that is firmly based on Objectivist principles? If it is possible, then what would prevent people who do not fully accept Objectivism from joining the party and using the party as a vehicle for achieving political power?
  25. I didn't intend to add a new assumption. Perhaps I failed to express myself sufficiently clearly. I was responding to the following: "In what way would a Capitalist government be in a position to help in that category of actions? Surely that is something best left to doctors." I thought you were making a distinction between government employees and doctors, as though no doctors would be employed by the government. I suppose that, for the people directly affected, it would be an emergency. However, from the point of view of a country, state, or even city, I don't see why the situa
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