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Everything posted by ~Sophia~

  1. His immorality did not come from working for a public institute. He turned into a looter-politician and he believed in using governmental force to advance the cause of science.
  2. In terms of anti-terrorist security measures , one has to ask: Why such focus of the government on "public safety" while flying? There are more people in a mall on any given weekend in America, or in a football stadium during a game or a concert, or using ground transit during rush hour. There are plenty of routinely much more crowded places than airports which can be a target of possible terrorist attack. Somehow the public remained safe for 10 years without these invasive measures. TSA excuses make no sense.
  3. A very smart move to go after the American sense of life in this way. Not something expected from a disintegrated or pragmatic leftist, or anyone caring about their own political popularity (as in contrast to possible long term gain for the "movement").
  4. Frequency of lung cancer in the population (which would be a function of how many people in the population do not smoke - since that is the major factor) is irrelevant to one's chances of developing lung cancer from smoking. Across the developed world, almost 90% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking. And once you get it here are your adds: Year: 2010 (CANADA) Cases of lung cancer Males Females 12,900 11,200 Deaths 11,200 9,400 5-year survival (2002-2004) 13% 17% US based: Of the 180,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States alone each year, 86% will die within 5 years of diagnosis.
  5. You did not answer the question why you chose lashes for lying rather than, for example, loosing your trust (of course the value of which he would first need to understand). Possible consequences of loosing your trust are much more severe. Given the choice, I would have taken lashes any day if by doing so that could "wipe my slate clean" with you as a parent. A smart and strong kid can use lashes the way Christians use confession. Furthermore, if the motivation for not lying is primarily external - there is no barrier to lying when one knows they won't be found out. You want your child to be motivated by the benefits of honesty rather than external consequences of lying. I think you should re-examine your position on this. Never arguing or disagreeing is not the reality of relationships. You child can tremendously benefit from learning from you how to rationally handle and resolve disagreements (if you don't apply this standard when you argue with his mom then I agree he should not be exposed to that). By having this rule you are taking away from your kid a very important learning opportunity. It is useful to keep asking yourself - what is that I am trying to accomplish by X - and whether or not doing (or not doing) X actually accomplishes it.
  6. Some of this is a repeat of what others here already said but I will say it again anyway. It is important for your kids to understand how you as a parent arrived at the limits and guidelines you set of them. It is important for them to grasp that these are not just "your rules" but that your thinking is reality-based. It is important for them to make the connection between these rules and their self interest. It may help your situation to go over these rules with your kids (preferably not in a moment of conflict) and re-examine them together and agree on a set of conditions, through negotiation, which, as a set, are acceptable to all. Where you think you reasonably still can (because your kid's point of view is not so unreasonable) "given in a little"; where you think you should not - explain why; if one of the important limits still sounds unacceptable to them - ask what form of it would be acceptable - have a discussion about it. Write it all down together. You don't have to do this all in one sitting. This can be a process and you may suggest to have a "meeting of the minds" every now and then to update the "constitution". That is what I would try and see what happens. For both children and adults alike, the more we feel like something was a result of our choice - the more we are likely to comply.
  7. It can be: if you ask which parts he finds valuable and for what reasons.
  8. It is unreasonable to be assessing a scholar in the way you state above simply based on the fact that he finds some value in the works of a particular thinker. Many thinkers, despite being wrong on many things (and usually someone who's philosophical views are explicitly formulated and well grounded in reality can see through their mistakes), can otherwise still be a source of valuable insights. I am not in the position to comment on Whewell but I came across a post on Noodlefood about his work. This is what the poster wrote:
  9. The answer, at least partially, can be found in the introduction to "The Night of January 16th". I know that it was mentioned in the journals but I highly recommend reading it in full. The way I understand it is that Hickman was an abstraction. The attraction was not conceptual (and thus details of the case were not relevant) but emotional, on a sense of life level. She used this case for her projection - like one can use a piece of art (even if the artist intended/meant something very different (even opposite) than what you getting out of it - it happens to me a lot). This was about the idea of individualism/independence - about the psychology it requires to be daring in this way. She did not admire this particular man. Her comments are not identifications about this particular case - but rather a hypothetical - conceptual exploration of emotional reaction. Rather than repressing it - she explored it. Sense of life reaction is not conceptual - one may react positively even though the details are horrifying. In my opinion this is a testament in a way to her underlying positive evaluation of herself (deeply rooted conviction "I am good") because I think many would have dismissed the feeling due to the details of the case. It is very likely that the same is true of her journal comments related to society. It could have been her projection in relation to society's reaction to radicalism, toward those who boldly project that they don't need the approval of society, toward those who reject the notion that consensus, the majority of opinion - is a valid standard of truth and value. It could have been an exploration of the reaction of society when it realizes that it lost it's grasp over the individual.
  10. And the same principle applies to judging an organization. This whole thing can be seen as an important lesson in objective judgment. In order to support an organization you don't need to agree with every single action they take. It is possible to even strongly disagree with an action or a position and still find such organization worthy of your endorsement. Objective judgment requires us to consider what is characteristic about an organization (or a person) and that sets the context of our judgment. I support "you" except on the issue of X is a valid position. One has to decide whether the X is a deal breaker or not.
  11. What Diana, Paul, Shea, and Craig Biddle wrote publicly about this incident reflects the views, judgments, and concerns of many of ARI supporters. I am one of them. From what I gather (second hand) all of the people mentioned above were strongly criticized during the call, however, going after the messengers, without bringing more light to the issue, does not make those concerns go away.
  12. What aspects of Dr. McCaskey's criticisms of the book do you consider as evidence of a moral breech? Please explain.
  13. Ayn Rand on the issue of trust: Taken from Letters of Ayn Rand edited by Micheal S. Berliner, introduction by Leonard Peikoff. (This letter was written by Ayn Rand in 1949 (so after publication of The Fountainhead) to Archibald Ogden. She writes about what she expects from others in relation to her work and her judgment (even though they are familiar with her previous work - and her history of judgment about it)) on p454: (then she goes on to say that the same applies to publishers and their honest intentions to do their best with a book for the purpose of mutual profit. Her point is: there is no place here for "trust") then later on page 455. This is what Ayn Rand wrote about herself.
  14. I meant to write: Dr. Peikoff does not have to provide his reasons If possible, I would appreciate an edit by one of the moderators.
  15. That is the thing... if your aim is objectivity - we should not have to (and ought not to) assume anything either way! We ought to judge people based on the demonstrable facts of what they have actually said and done and not based on assumptions that some other facts may exist. Dr. Peikoff does not have to provide his reasons but at the same time he accepts the consequences of Objectivism supporters having to judge based on what they do know. Assumptions of whether he does or does not have valid reasons are absolutely arbitrary and can not be a part of my and other's objective evaluation. Trust, objectively, should never go that far as to accept someone's moral denunciation of a person without a shred of evidence - when that judgment is in a direct contradiction to everything known about this man. From Leonard Peikoff, “The Philosophy of Objectivism” : I am not going to ignore what Dr. Peikoff taught me. Judgment ought to always be based on facts. This is NOT equivalent to a situation in which two of your friends accuse each other of immorality and the evidence of each side contradicts the other so there is no way to know by the facts which side is right or wrong. In such case, you have no other choice but to go by who you judge as the better person (his past reputation with you, in your estimate the clearest epistemology of ect) In THIS situation the evidence of immorality was not provided. It is not equivalent. Facts do not cancel each other out - there is NO FACTS presented by the accusatory side. For those who clam that there is not enough information to judge. We can always make a judgment. Judgment is always contextual. What can be lacking is evidence to change that judgment. Objectively, that judgment is innocent until proven guilty or not qualified until proven qualified.
  16. If they started using unfair tactics against each other it is likely they will try whatever they can against Republicans. Blogs are reporting on numerous strange things. I am not sure if things like that happen in all elections, perhaps they do to some degree, but in light of the current atmosphere I think it is worth paying attention to. For example, There have been other incidents reported involving what appears to be attempts of manipulation of the electoral system connected to the SEIU. In Houston, an investigation revealed that 23,207 of the 25,000 voter registrations submitted by a voter registration group headed by a SEIU employee were invalid. Mi Familia Vota is also accused of turning in 6,000 bogus voter registrations in Colorado. Bucks County, Pa: and from same county:
  17. There are many such examples (for example, when the negative consequences of breaking it outweigh the benefit of violation). If you still can not think of any such cases - there were many examples presented here with explanations as to why (in fact, in my opinion, it is hardly ever beneficial in today's context living in America when you objectively evaluate all of the context) There are at least two relevant threads I am familiar with: Immigration Law in Arizona Tax Avoidance -------------------------- "Is the rule of law of greater value than justice?" Part of the context when answering this question is the fact that: Justice in a society can not exist without the rule of law. The rule of law does not guarantee justice but it makes justice possible. When laws are moral there is no value conflict between the two and no problem to solve. When laws deviate from justice - the answer overall, on a large scale of things, depends on the degree of this deviation and only temporarily. By temporarily, I mean only for short period of time while maintaining the intent of establishing the rule of law (proper law this time) again.
  18. That is not always true for reasons which have been presented numerous times on this board. For those interested - please use search function.
  19. Craig Biddle personal statement I wholeheartedly agree with Craig Biddle on the issue of supposedly "not having enough/complete information to judge" and moral neutrality. (I also personally agree with his judgment.)
  20. Have you seen it? "We are not angry liberals; we are disappointed Democrats, who love our country and feel the DNC needs to stand for truth, care about its voter base and stop committing actions worse than what we only thought possible of the worst Republicans." Democrats reporting voters fraud in the Democratic Presidential Primary 2008
  21. That is not what I meant by my analogy. It was a response to your false claim that inherited genes are causing substance dependence without the physical influence of such substance. Genes make responses to outside chemicals possible by producing proteins which are the actors in all of this (in this way genes are like carbon - actors need to be there for any action to happen) but not necessarily cause such responses to happen (cause can happen downstream from the influence of a gene) and certainly not in the absence of this outside chemical. Going back to my example above....perhaps that naturally occurring molecule is a bi-product (waste) of some pathway only present in higher animals and absent in less complex species. Because this pathway is not present there is no problematic bi-product and no mechanism to get rid of it. In such case this lower animal would not be affected by this synthetic substance able to mimic this bi-product in humans. A fact that we can be affected by a chemical x (and perhaps in a way different from other species) is in no way necessarily an indication of genetic selection for this trait. As explained by my example - it could be an unintended consequence.
  22. Jake Ellison, Alcohol and other similar substances if consumed frequently enough will cause addiction in most if not all humans. For some humans it will just be harder to stay away. It is not an evolutionary trait the way you are making it to be. Your last statement above is meaningless really. It is like saying no life is possible without carbon thus carbon is causing x. We have developed certain set of genes which create proteins that interact with each other in a complex biochemical system for other much closely related to survival reasons. It just happens that some substances affect our biochemistry in a way which makes us addicted to it. There are many possible mechanism but, for example, some substances affect us because they just happen to be close in their physical molecular structure to another molecule naturally produced in our body - close enough that they can mimic it's function. That naturally occurring molecule is produced in a much lower quantities so the effect of it on our proteins is much less (our normal state) but that outside substance enters our body in unnatural/much higher dose (because it was synthetically produced), mimics that naturally occurring molecule, and creates a much more pronounced/stronger effect or even a completely different never intended effect (abnormal biochemical state - which we experience as more pronounced physiological effect). No specific trait selected for during evolution was involved. Biochemical ability existed for different reason and was hijacked if you will. This is the case more often than not. We sometimes make use of this on purpose - when we look for new, never existing before, drugs. (P.S Molecular biology and genomics is not a just a hobby for me. I have a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and I have been working in the field for almost 10 years now. I am not a specialist on addictions but I do have a good grasp of the connection between genes and environment)
  23. This is false. It is not like food. Unless a baby was physically exposed to the substance there is no craving. Unless exposed in-utero, that first decision to take in the substance is not affected by biochemistry - it is a free choice. Addictions are biochemical changes in the body cased by the substance. Without the influence of the substance there is no addiction. Those reported correlations are only relevant in the presence of the substance and in many cases in light of repeated exposure. Otherwise they are not relevant. There is no gene which makes someone pick up that first or second drink. There are mutations which alter the metabolism of that drink in some people once digested which may influence their "will power" to stay away from it (and still NOT in a deterministic way).
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