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About poohat

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  • Birthday 06/04/1982

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    Imperial College, London
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    maths, science, philosophy, linguistics, logic, go, fitness.

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  1. Theres no advocation of either Christian science or magic in the book. There is a fair bit about yoga/meditation/psychology/etc, but his attitude throughout is always 'try it yourself and form your opinion' rather than 'believe what I say; it is true!'. On a sidenote, I personally believe that 'non-aristotlean' logic (which he does talk about at length in Quantum Psychology, but not in Prometheus Rising iirc) is far superior to classical logic in most areas, although you have to understand that 'logic' in this context does not mean the same thing as 'logic' in Rand's writing (ie its referr
  2. Its one of the best books I've read, and I'd thoroughly recommend that you check it out. I wouldnt use the word 'mystic' to describe it at all; RAW tries to keep everything as 'scientific' as possible throughout, and while his ideas do differ somewhat from established thought, they didnt come across to me as being in any way irrational. I'd also recommend Quantum Psychology from the same author (and pretty much everything else he's ever written). I havent read Timothy Leary's own exposition of the 8 circuit model, so can't really comment on that directly.
  3. Here in the world of science we often refer to this as a 'hypothesis'. They're generally considered to be essential to any significant advance in knowledge.
  4. Didnt Rand claim in IOE that it was possible to measure things like 'love' (she took a behaviorist view iirc)? Would happiness be any different?
  5. Can't these things be controlled though? Some people have 'taught' themselves to be able to go without sleep for very long periods of time, or to 'conquer' hunger. Wouldnt this bring these urges partly under the concept of volitional? Nah, its too much of a coincidence. Most men are attracted to women, and vice versa. If this wasnt the case, then both their genes and the species would die out. Furthermore, most men and women are generally attracted to the TYPES of sexual partners that an evolutionary based study would predict (strong, 'protector' types in the case of the female, and good '
  6. This seems like a false dichotomy, since it doesnt have to be one 'or' the other. It could easily be partly genetic and partly volitional (ie you are able to choose, but your choice is partly limited by your genes). Only if he is control of those problems, otherwise you are seperating volition from morality. People can only be morally responsible for their CHOICES, not for what they are. Its strange terminology, but it kind of makes sense. He seems to be using 'direct volitional' to refer to short-term choices (such as "should I go and get food?") , as opposed to 'long term' choices
  7. Your insanity is amusing. If this were to happen, I suspect the US would disappear overnight in a nice cloud of mushroom smoke.
  8. It 'taught' non-human animals how to hunt and survive. I doubt that humans magically forgot this genetic 'knowledge' as soon as they evolved volition. Humans came out at the end of a very long evolutionary process remember - whatever humans 'were' before they 'became' humans obviously 'knew' how to hunt and survive, otherwise it wouldnt have survived for long. If consciousness/volition automatically resulted in the loss of this knowledge, it wouldnt give any benefits from an evolutionary standpoint (and would probably even be a major disadvantage). (please excuse the anthropomorphic termino
  9. Criminals value thievery and murder by conscious choice; there is no criminal gene... Lazy fools value idleness and sloth by choice; there is no laziness gene... Fat people value overeating by choice; there is no obesity gene... Sick people get sick by choice; there is no sickness gene. Stupid people are stupid by choice; there is no stupidity gene Two legged people have two legs by choice; there is no two-legged gene Am I doing this right?. Do you seriously believe that once a genetic organism reaches a level advanced enough for volition and consciousness to arise, the
  10. Of course rights stem from the difference in biology between man and beast - consciousness and volition are biological phenomena. Theres nothing special about man that makes him more deserving of 'rights' than any other conscious/volitional animal - we have simply yet to encouter any non-human animal that we think possesses consciousness or volition.
  11. Well the problems here are that a) Marx said a lot of different things about a lot of different subjects, and most proclaimed Marxists today arent really following in the footsteps of Marx anyway. Marxism (as the term is normally used) in a sociological/political sense can really be split into 2 distinct parts: normative, and descriptive. By 'descriptive' I mean a description of the state of current Western society, and by 'normative' I mean ideas about what society should look like. Most of the anti-marxist posts in this thread have attacked the normative side. For instance, when someone
  12. Well often different words/phrases can identify the same existent/concepts, but have different semantical meanings. To use the classic RAW example, if you went into a restaurant and were offered 'a bloody hunk of meat chopped off a castrated bull' you might not find it too appealing, whereas a 'hamburger' may do more to whet your appetite.
  13. Its not meaningless, it has a clear and unambigious meaning, which has been posted several times in this thread. Rand arguing the semantics of 'selfish' was completely different, since her point was that the word 'selfish' referenced a hodgepodge of distinct and unrelated concepts without any clear unity, hence making the concept of 'selfishness' (in standard usage) invalid. I would agree that this thread has deteroriated rapidly since my first post though. Most advanced fields of study generally evolves its own vocabulary over time. I agree that modern philosophy does tend to take this
  14. The term validity' has (to the best of my knowledge) always been used since its inception to refer to a correctly deduced logical argument regardless of the truth values of the premises, which is how I initially used the term in this thread. I am not the one who tried to 'undefine' the word here, I simply mentioned the pointlessness of substituting a completely different linguistic sound to refer to the exact same concept. I dont really care which word you use to describe "a correctly deduced logical argument", and debating which word is 'best' to use is a fairly textbook example of 'arguin
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