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Everything posted by ~Sophia~

  1. It is important to pay attention to the language being used in such studies. When researches write: "Gene X has been linked to....." it is not a causation statement but a correlation statement based on statistics using some type of database. Usually this follows with the sentence explaining the estimated vulnerability odds. For example you may read something like this: "The women with this mutation were almost twice as likely as white men, black women or black men to develop addiction to ........" Notice that this almost twice as likely only is of significance after a person already ingested the substance frequently enough by choice. How the data was gathered (both on the sequencing part and on the life outcome part) is also always significant.
  2. In science (and I would assume the same in philosophy) it is not about having 'thick skin". It is about valuing correct identification of reality above the appearance of being right. This is why the best of scientists value and welcome critical evaluation of their work. They meet at conferences, present their work and open themselves to questions, comments, and to factual review. If it is true - the work will withstand the scrutiny. It may aid in the improvement of the idea or it may improve one's ability to adequately defend it. Sometimes the critics are wrong - other times the idea is wrong. Although errors in this process can happen and are made - overall this process is what made science into our most objective truth teller. Ultimately, the benefit only comes from being in-sync with reality. The question in my mind is: Does this incident indicate that this process can not happen at ARI?
  3. I have not read this book but if this is what the book outlines then I don't see this as anything novel or revolutionary. This is how scientific method looks like in practice and when things can be directly measured scientists apply this process every day without much difficulty. The method has not been under dispute. ----------------- Not that I am stating anything new but what I find is the challenge (and what made Ayn Rand a unique thinker) is the application of this process to integration of abstract concepts, to social and political issues, to those aspects which are not directly measurable in a way science is.
  4. As far as I know The Objective Standard is autonomous. It is not run under the direction of ARI.
  5. Looks to me like an extreme example of "whatever thought I have it is a truth about reality and even more so now that I have said it". He is almost convincing himself of the story as he is saying it. I am amazed that people are buying into this.
  6. I am not saying or implying that. Reasonably excluding some observations does not imply that the conclusion was not based on any observations. ------------------- Going back to Lady Gaga... What I mean by "gaga" level of casual is a total disregard for the emotional aspect of sex (and glorification of such approach because it is "progressive"). Also, Lady Gaga has made statements such as: "I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they’re going to take my creativity from me through my vagina." She also said: I’ve looked every man that I’ve ever dated in the eye and every woman I’ve ever been friends with and there will never be something that I put before my fans. Really? Masses of strangers are more important to her than friends and lovers? Not surprisingly she also admitted that she is perpetually lonely. This is not a healthy approach to sexuality or healthy psychology. I think her music has a nice beat and I do enjoy it when it pops on the radio but that is where it ends for me. As a person she is dysfunctional.
  7. My point was that what you provided as counter evidence is of the same kind to those arguments against honesty and carry the same amount of weight. What people in general population may find acceptable psychologically in terms of their approach to self is not evidence for how a rational person ought to live.
  8. The kind of "validation" that was provided is no different than that for honesty. Similarly, some argue that a lot of people seem happy more than Objectivism would allow when they are able to obtain things or get away with things by not being fully honest or not honest on occasion, and that living with full honesty is in fact making one live with less, or more difficult life - for the sake of principle.
  9. I think there is a big difference between having slightly looser standards and "gaga" level. I have seen the effects of treating sex this extremely casually. I have never herd of a case in which those effects were positive. I know people like this in my life and they all sad cases (especially for women - I can't speak for men as much). I don't see it as possible to live that way and not engage in evasion.
  10. For me, it is not the display that it is an issue. It is her approach to sexuality - and extreme case of mind body split. So extremely casual that it becomes an attack on the value of sexuality.
  11. I also don't find Lady Gaga admirable or even likable despite her productivity. It is not only due to her political views and the fact that she is whoring herself to the masses but for me, mostly due to her choices in regard to her personal life (how she abuses her own body and spirit). (and btw many of her fashion statements are not, in fact,original - just the people whom she copied who inspired her outfits are not as widely known or socially visible today. Of course, there is nothing wrong with doing that - it is just the she gets artistic credit for this non exiting originality).
  12. How do you check if you have the correct understanding of any rational principle? (The validity of the trader principle has been established). Well, for one, rational principles, if correctly applied, can be practiced by everyone, everywhere, at the same time, without conflict of interest. It is not hard to imagine what would happen to bookstores if a lot of people started to engage in the kind of behavior which Jonathan and few others here claim as the correct application of the trader principle. Those actions seem "affordable" (at least to some - I am not one of them) because they are not practiced by most.
  13. That is not a reasonable implication of what I said. It is off topic and I do not wish to pursue this further. --------------------------------------------- I wrote: To which you replied: It is a common knowledge that the intent of trade in places called bookstores is to sell books to customers (because those are the defining characteristics of the concept). We are not discussing some theoretical scenario. The context of the question is today's reality and the type of bookstores which we are all familiar with. In that context, what you describe can not be reasonably assumed by a costumer of such businesses. Such deviations in policy both in terms of reading whole books inside the bookstore and purchasing books with the intent of returning after reading them at home - would have to be explicitly stated by the owner. Grocery store is not a food bank. The nature of the grocery store business is not giving out food for free. Its purpose, its trade intent - is to sell food. Samples are by definition small parts of something intended as representative of the whole. It is not a resonable assumption on the part of the customer (it would be a huge context dropping) that he can just help himself to a whole. How a store owner may decide to deal with such situations is beside the point. The point is that the owner's intent was to give out samples to individuals and not the whole and rational people recognize that fact. In both cases what you describe directly clashes with the defining characteristics of those business and thus can not be reasonably assumed by the customer. The fact that you can get away with it - that the owner may not be likely to take actions against you even though this was not the intent of his offer - does not mean it is right for you to do it. The fact that you can get away with it does not determine the morality of the situation. This has not been the focus of this thread and has nothing to do with the original question. I do not view morality as primarly concerned with my praise or my condemnation of others, or other's judgments about me, or avoiding punishment. Properly the focus of morality is to guide one's own actions according to a rational standard. Rational man acts morally even when nobody is watching, even when there is no threat of punishment. -------------------------------------- I am going to excuse myself from this exchange because frankly I do not find your arguments reasonable. You eagerly drop crucial context whenever it suits your argument as if you don't recognize your audience. It is not like it won't be identified on this board.
  14. I think his arguments indicate skeptical view of objectivity (when applied in practice) and thus rational morality overall. Btw, very good post - Dante!
  15. Moral Objectivist is a redundancy. The nature of the business "bookstore" is not that of a "library" and rational man's actions would and ought to reflect that fact . I am not sure what your point is about "ahead of time" but the answer is YES - in normal circumstances, a rational man would stop himself from reading a book in a bookstore beyond certain point. What is that point? It would be the point - judged by him objectively and honestly - at which he would be able to make a decision whether or not the book is what he is looking for and thus if he would want to purchase it. Table of content, if available, would be a good idea to include as a part of that, to help oneself in that process. What also is helpful is to go to places like Amazon (and internet connection is available in most bookstores now days) and read some of the reviews of those who read the whole thing - then either confirm or refute one's expectations about the book. For me it is never more than few pages or so (it may be slightly more if the book is very long) and not necessarily consecutive pages, but that number is probably not the same for everybody. The fact that that number may vary between people does not mean that there is no reasonable point for each person. An honest man would not have a problem deciding where that is. I do not find this and similar cases to be an issue at all for people of moral character because they do not take the approach of "How much I can get away with?" toward anything they do.
  16. Math-U-See was written by a homeschool dad for the homeschool community.
  17. Good question. I think rational standard is assumed. You may not like the message but as long as it objectively has one.... as part of its identity - not in a way "whatever it means to you". I think the better the art the less this is an issue, even across cultures. The more profound the message, the greater the precision with which it is translated into the art form (and thus well communicated) - the better the art. The point you bring up, could be a bigger issue when it comes to bad art (regardless of the nature of its message). When you get to the point in which you can't tell, I personally find it of little importance whether it is or it is not art - because even if it is art - it is so bad that it is of little value. I am satisfied with "could be" and I just move on. (I am not suggesting that others similarly should not care - just that because I don't I have not spend much time thinking about how to distinguish very bad art from non art). There is this notion (implicit) that just identifying something as art carries a hint of positive value. It does not. It is just an identification of an existent. Value comes after "bad" vs "good' evaluation.
  18. Math was thought like that long time ago. There is a program which teaches this method. It is called Math U See. My son's school follows this program so he does math in a very similar way. I think Montessori also does something similar: kids understand what it is that the "carry over" represents.
  19. I don't think this is about cost. Also communication is a trade here. Value for value. I don't disagree with your first sentence and I do believe based on what I witnessed that such effort is being given. I was defending the position that acting impolitely is sometimes rational and within rights of the moderators. Again, I don't disagree. I think judgment about person's knowledge, what can be reasonably expected, is part of the equation. Sometimes a poster does not deserve such benefit of the doubt (although I admit that would probably be rare). I have seen situations like this. No, I am not arguing that. It is possible but that decision, because both options are rationally justifiable when someone is objectively showing lack of respect, ought to be left to the discretion of the moderator. There is almost always a unique context to every situation and they should be able to act based on their judgment. I don't think that not being rude to a handful of moderators is such a hard thing. If you get carried away when arguing with another poster - have an expectation that it may be removed. If it was done in the heat of the moment, you can always re-post the part that was of substance. Also, I would like to say that moderators are people too. ---------------------- It is a long weekend in Canada and I won't be active here. If I don't respond it is not because I am ignoring your arguments.
  20. You are correct. Art is a concretization of metaphysics. Concretization requires selectivity. Then further, in order to serve it's epistemological role it has to be intelligible/representational. That is the only criteria. As long at it does say something intelligible about some part of metaphysics - it is art. If it is not communicable then it is not art.
  21. You mean the very same consideration and courtesy that was not granted to the moderator who volunteers his time to keep this place from turning into a mayhem? This is a two way street. If you are here, if you read all of the forum rules, lurked for a bit and decided to stay, reasonably you have to have some minimum level of regard for the moderating team, in terms of their rationality and their knowledge of Objectivism. They come with the forum. If you don't - this place is not a good fit for you. Reason would demand that you act according to that judgment which includes (at the very minimum) withstanding from being rude towards them. We did establish that they should respond respectfully if that respect was shown to them. I assure you they are not here to "get" you and they do not get off on insulting people without cause. People can make the mistake of forgetting that this is not a public place. This is like visiting someone's home and insulting people selected by the owner as hosts. The rules here are not up to a vote and unlike it is the case with the police - you actually can escape the jurisdiction of the "law" here and those who are selected by the owner to enforce it. I do not agree with you that it would be reasonable to make the moderators into easy targets for rudeness because that is what your proposal boils down to in practice. As long as someone's offense would not be severe enough to warrant removal they would have to pretend in their response that someone is not being insulting. I see parents sometimes doing this with their disrespectful kids and I feel pity for them. I also have that reaction, for the same reason, when Obama speaks of Islam. There is such an easy solution. It is so easy to never be in that situation. Don't be rude first.
  22. I seriously do not grasp what it is that you mean. Did you fail to understand my meaning? Hanging on to a wrong position is not selfish.
  23. Justice demands that we treat others the way they deserve to be treated based on their actions, based on the moral character they have displayed. This implies not granting others what they don't deserve. If someone is spitting in your face, for example, it probably is irrational to respond back with respect.
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