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Everything posted by Maarten

  1. It's interesting that practically everyone who disagrees with the idea that the essence of femininity is hero-worship is male. The vast majority of women who I've seen discussing this agree with this idea. I think that it is extremely difficult for a man to know how it is to be a woman. It's almost like trying to imagine how a blind person would experience the world (in the sense that it's very different from your perspective, and perhaps even unconceivable). If it is a metaphysical aspect of a woman's nature, then how can you introspect this as a man? The only way to experience this is to deal with lots, and lots of women, and then try to draw conclusions on the conceptual level. But needless to say, for a woman it is much more directly knowable. A good analogy here would be the example of the thinking atoms, who could experience reality on an atomic scale directly. We have to develop an advance science to study these atoms, while for them it is virtually self-evident, and vice-versa. But no matter how advanced their science would be that studied macromolecular objects (like humans and trees and whatnot), it would never contradict those things that are self-evident to us, and which we can easily perceive. If a male creates a theory about this subject, then it has to reach the same conclusions as the one formed by a woman (based on more directly perceivable data). Contradictions cannot exist.
  2. I think (and please correct me if I am wrong) that the dichotomy between contingent and necessary truths is related to using a faulty theory of concepts, and before that, of rejecting the metaphysically given. I think this issue is also related to the analytic/synthetic dichotomy, as in that case also there is a split between truths that are given in the concept, and truths that are not given in the concept (if I recall correctly most of these dichotomies could be traced back to some error in metaphysics, regarding the metaphysically given). I think your question is probably answered in detail in Introduction to Objectivist epistemology, but that's not available online as far as I know. I'm rambling a little bit, I'll see if I can dig up some background material tomorrow when I'm more awake
  3. That is not self-sacrifice. I could very well imagine that living in an irrational society would be such a non-value to someone, that they would spend their whole life trying to make it better. Would you, for example, call Ragnar in AS self-sacrificial, because he got little to no values from what he did? I think he literally says somewhere that he is investing in his own future. I do not see how you can say that that is sacrifice, that would mean that the person in question would actually rather live in the irrational society, but he fights for a more rational one out of duty...
  4. How long is the speech supposed to be? If you only have 10 minutes then you might want to focus on one or two aspects, instead of giving a very shallow outline of the whole thing. Otherwise it won't be too convincing, you could mention for example what the proper roles of the government are and then discuss one or two of those in a more detailed manner.
  5. GC, could you explain what that statement is based on? If you already did that, would you mind referring to the post in which you explain why you think this?
  6. If you want to compare the characters it is probably better to compare V with Ragnar, rather than John Galt.
  7. Could you explain how you come to that conclusion? Why should it belong the the next of kin?
  8. I agree, but for that to happen there has to actually be a testament. What I am talking about here is a more fundamental issue, namely, whether or not an individual's rights can still be violated after his death. It was my impression that only a living human actually has rights. So, I wonder in what sense the body still belongs to anyone, because there is no owner anymore. If there is a testament, then there's really no problem, but it could be interesting in the cases where there isn't one. Would the body then become just another natural resource, so to speak, that anyone can "use" if they so wished?
  9. One problem I see is that rights don't really apply to a dead person, for one. No one owns the body, as far as I can determine, so if you took something from it there would be no fundamental violation of rights. This also applies to the government, however, but as one cannot really ask the "owner" for permission anymore it is a bit pointless to talk about taking something against someone's will here. The situation would be far different if they took organs from living people.
  10. Eww, I lost my entire fleet (7 Small cargoships) :/ How can you see what defenses a planet have?
  11. Yes, I do. Do you agree that the only way to violate someone's rights is by initiating force against them? That is clearly not the case with witnesses, so there is no basis for invoking the self-defense right on that part of the encounter.
  12. Obstructing the government's effort and not helping them are very different things, though. One is an action, the other is not. Only an action can violate someone's rights.
  13. Shouldn't we focus on whether or not it is right for the government to do this, rather than whether or not it is the only thing that works? The moral is the practical, but you can't just reverse that and start with a practical assumption. Daedalus, you say that "it may not be possible", but is that sufficient reason to violate someone's rights? I think you have to be able to state that with far greater certainty to start using extreme measures such as you are arguing in favor of.
  14. That's what I tried to say as well earlier. You can't ask someone to prove that his part will not fail. Should someone obtain reasonable evidence that there might be a problem they have sufficient grounds for an investigation, I think. If, for example it is known that the company uses a certain type of cooling mechanism, and new research indicates that it has a severe flaw; then you have a good basis for acting. I agree with mrocktor that government regulation before something is going on is a bad, bad thing.
  15. If someone threatens you, and the evidence seems to suggest that he can back it up then you can defend yourself, but that is not an initiation of force.
  16. It's basically moral relativism what he's advocating.
  17. It is true that Objectivism holds knowledge (including that about morality) as contextual. This doesn't mean that there is no basis for determining right and wrong, and that it becomes merely subjective. Context, in its broadest meaning, is the sum of everything you know to be true (if I remember correctly). Because truth is based on the recognition of reality, it doesn't mean that it depends on what people at the time think. This is the error of placing men above one's perception of reality. The objective standard of morality is man's life qua man, and one of its aspects is that because man's life requires the uncompromised usage of his mind the initiation of force is the basic vice (because you can't force someone to think, thinking is something done by the individual). In the example that you gave there is most definately initiation of force, and taking someone's life like that is immoral. But like Spano said, in OPAR and VoS there is a much more detailed discussion about this subject. I can especially recommend OPAR; it helped me enormously in integrating various aspects of the philosophy. It can be quite difficult to do that from just reading essays about certain subjects. It was very useful to see the philosophy discussed in a systematic manner, starting at the fundamentals and moving up to the last conclusions.
  18. My home planet is 157 I think. Is it possible to change a colony into your home planet later on? I am also building my fleet now, doing my third raid at the moment, and you guys are right, it is good money
  19. It was mostly that it seemed more logical, given the context of the rest of your argument. We wouldn't want to think you've converted to the other side, now would we?
  20. In the context of this discussion it's not very relevant if someone would hate to be a heterosexual. If I hate to work, does that mean I can sit around all day and do nothing and be just as moral as a very productive person? Of course, the situation is fully different, but it's not about the personal feelings here. If you were to show that it is objectively better to be a heterosexual then the fact that someone feels differently about it doesn't change anything. I think it is better to focus on the other aspect rather than this one.
  21. I don't mean to nitpick here, but for the sake of clarity I wanted to ask this. Was this intentional, or did you mean that the body of a man best complements the body of a woman?
  22. I thought the discussion was whether or not they should be owned by private individuals. Well, if we conclude that they shouldn't be who else can operate them but the government? I'll go reread the thread then to see what the actual discussion was about. Sorry if I misinterpretated what this was about.
  23. But the various differences between men and women are much more pronounced than those between two men or two women. While you may not be able to conclude that in EVERY case it's better to have a heterosexual relationship, I do think it would be possible to say that generally it is superior. (Given that we agree that it's mainly those things that are different in someone that truly make relationships interesting. Otherwise you could just talk to yourself if you wanted someone who was the same. If we don't agree that it's true that differences add value to a relationship then that should be addressed first)
  24. How much power do solar satellites provide?
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