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Everything posted by hunterrose

  1. The human body is a physical system Every action of a physical system obeys the law of gravity The law of gravity is deterministic and/or stochastic The actions of the human body are deterministic or stochastic
  2. Whom are you referring to by "we?" If an Objectivist can't draw a particular conclusion definitively, then he certainly can ignore it. And a determinist can ignore scientific findings precisely because he can't draw any conclusion definitively. May I rewrite this paradox? Suppose science one day someone does explain cognition in purely physical terms; it would therefore follow that volition is an illusion. But the determinist can't know whether this is true or he simply is determined to believe it is true, and the volitionist can't ignore objective scientific findings. The paradox does not present problems for volition. If science could and did prove volition was false, then it's false. You meant that there is a paradox for determinism? With what scientific evidence are you reconciling human determinism with physics??? 1 and 2 do not imply 3, let alone 4.
  3. How could this paradox come into being if we are never able to amass all of the data necessary to make the following conclusion?
  4. How does the determinist apply reason if the determinist can't tell the difference between what is objectively reasonable and what is "environmentally reasonable?" Why? Isn't this, again, fallacy of composition? You implied that these are the same things. Lest anyone be misled, they aren't the same. I'm only slightly acquainted with the Gödel's Incompleteness, and I haven't read the Merrill article yet, but I find this to be a very interesting point.
  5. fallacy of composition You mean prove that every thought is reducible to specific environmental factors?? Can any type of lab experiment possibly prove that? If what you are supposing is in fact beyond the power of science, then there's no paradox. IMO scientifically proving human determinism is just as impossible as scientifically proving human volition. For what it's worth, I don't think Rand's statement - that a determinist ultimately believes his arguments for determinism aren't the result of careful independent thought, but rather the result of his environment - was her argument against determinism. That was only pointing out an interesting side thought, not her actual philosophical case against determinism.
  6. Too late to elaborate? For the sake of argument, say there are 4 types of reactions to the Objectivist concept/definition of selfishness: man on the street thinks positively of selfishness before he knows of Objectivism and is willing to understand what an Objectivist means by "selfish." man on the street thinks negatively of selfishness before he knows of Objectivism but is willing to understand what an Objectivist means by "selfish." man on the street thinks positively of selfishness before he knows of Objectivism but is unwilling to understand what an Objectivist means by "selfish." man on the street thinks negatively of selfishness before he knows of Objectivism and is unwilling to understand what an Objectivist means by "selfish." Case #1 is unchanged by using RSI in place of selfish. Case #2 is unchanged by using RSI in place of selfish - since he's willing to understand what "I am selfish" means when used by an Objectivist, it doesn't matter whether it has a positive/negative connotation beforehand. Case #3 is unchanged by using RSI in place of selfish - like RSI, he likes selfishness until he knows what Objectivists mean by it. Case #4 is the only case where using RSI in place of selfish is advantageous - the lunkhead who thinks selfishness is stoopid and doesn't want to be confused with the facts. Is there some other advantage to using RSI in place of selfish? Or are we giving up the term selfish in order to appease folks who think Objectivism is bad before and after Objectivism is explained to them?
  7. You seem to be concerned with the fact that some people, before they even know what Objectivism is, think negatively of the word "selfish", and thus think negatively of Objectivist selfishness. But once a person finds out what the Objectivist concept of selfishness is, it no longer matters whether "selfish" has a negative connotation or not. Similarly, once a person finds out what the Objectivist concept of RSI is, it no longer matters whether RSI has a negative connotation or not. For anyone disinclined to understand what an Objectivist means when he says "I am selfish," how will taking the negative connotation from a definition change anything?
  8. Personally, I don't think either needs to be redefined. But both selfish and RSI use the concept of "one's own advantage." If people agreed as to what is to one's own advantage, people would agree on what it means to be selfish. Same thing for RSI.
  9. Do you mean "is the popular conception of rational self-interest equivalent to the Objectivist concept of selfishness? I'd say no, as large numbers of people, e.g. Christians, prudent predators, etc., have rather popular conceptions of RSI that do not coincide with that of Objectivism. IMO RSI has to be redefined as much as selfish does.
  10. I find this ironic. Do you really think that what you consider to be in your "rational self-interest" is that same as these average people who blank out when Objectivists use the term "selfish?"
  11. Everyone believes that they act with a reasonable or understandable concern for their own advantage and well-being. Where do you go from there? Do you make it debatable by adding positive or negative modifiers - good rational self-interest, greater good rational self-interest, nihilistic rational self interest, etc? That would mean that, like giving up the term selfish, you'd agree that there are good forms of rational self-interest and some instances where acting in your rational self-interest is immoral... Or do "rational", "understandable", "advantage", and "well-being" already involve the type of value judgements you exorcised with "selfish?" RSI either is just as debatable or will be debatable before it has any philosophical relevance.
  12. There are people who think religion is rational; they include worshipping dieties as within their rational self-interest. You'll find hedonists who think that anything they're interested in is in their self-interest. You'll find collectivists who think self-interest isn't rational unless it serves the greater good. If you're giving up on "selfish" because it's a debatable term, why should these people accept your debatable definition of "rational self interest?"
  13. Wouldn't you have to explain what it means to be rationally self-interested?
  14. ????? I see neither socialism nor altruism in what Rand did. You may be creating a bigger problem in trying to eliminate "selfish", "altruism", and other debatable philosophical terms. In Objectivist terms, selfishness is good and altruism is evil. What you're doing, though probably unintentional, is blurring the moral line between selfishness rational self interest and altruism coerced charity. You creating a system where Rand can be "selfish yet rationally altruistic" and be a capitalist with unavoidable elements of socialism. In worldly terms, selfish people like Rand are bad influences and people like Catherine Halsey are heroic ideals. But calling them similar or equal may be worse.
  15. Compulsion doesn't effectively apply to an individual who is choosing (i.e. not compelled) to act selflessly. "Selfish" and "unselfish" are not philosophically inconsequential as you imply. Lest you inadvertently give someone the wrong idea, Selfishness doesn't preclude devotion to the welfare of others in instances where it is advantageous to oneself. Disregarding (i.e. paying no attention to) others precludes initiating force against (i.e. paying attention to) others. It would be self destructive to refuse to do any thing that had a benefit for another. It would be self destructive to hedonistically regard others as sacrificial means to one's pleasure. Outside of that, selfishness - acting for one's own advantage without regard for others - is benefical. "Selfish" and "unselfish" are bastardized only when self destructive acts are falsely legitimized as being selfish. That's the opposite of the dictionary definition of altruism. Disregard for the welfare of others is not altruism. She gained financial and egoistical benefit from her writings. That's the opposite of the dictionary definition of altruism. Selfish regard for the welfare of others is not altruism. By your own dictionary, there's no way Rand could be considered an altruist.
  16. I just saw it. It was pretty good to me. Kirk's badass.
  17. PSN: EmotionalContent I don't have any of those games yet, but CoD is on my to-get list. I play just about anything though: Burnout, Lumines, Bioshock, Warhawk, etc. Waiting for Resident Evil 5...
  18. I have to chew on the FRB money supply effect and the other contrasts you mention. With that said, it seems to me that the depositer potentially gains from having his money in a fractional reserve bank. His alternatives (e.g. put it under a mattress, personally invest it, put it in a CD) are all worse in ways that might make FRB advantageous. Do those contrasts (money supply effect, pricing signal distortions, bank risk) always outweigh any advantages to a FRB depositer? Your post was detailed enough for me, thanks!
  19. If failure constitutes not prescribing a wrong choice for a particular situation, I suppose it does fail. But why must there be a wrong choice in this burning building case? I don't think going into the burning building proves that she values the life of a strange man more than her own physical survival. Supposing this woman knew with 100% certainty that she would die as a result of saving this stranger, then that might be a different story. But otherwise, risking your life in and of itself doesn't mean that you value something more than your physical survival.
  20. Doesn't that, in and of itself, mean that fractional reserve banking is not fraud? I don't understand this part. Suppose my banker invests some of my deposits in stocks. As we're both benefiting, how is this a negative-sum game?
  21. Risk is being underpriced? How so? I don't see the contradiction. What written contract do you get with bank accounts? I can't recall having a contract with any of my banks that guaranteed that I would be able to get all of my deposits at all times of my choosing.
  22. I wouldn't exactly call it taking advantage of others' irrationality, but IMO the best way to beat the market is to simply invest with a longer term outlook than that of marketeers. Suppose the bigwigs are urging people to sell stock X right now, because they believe it's going to underperform over the next 2 years. If you can see that it will outperform the market over, say, the next 5 to 10 years, you'll come out ahead eventually. The masters of the markets aren't nullifying a strategy that's beyond their outlook.
  23. I know! That's the saddest part of this. Republicans are going to continue losing elections as long as they go about as half-baked Democrats.
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