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AisA last won the day on April 26 2011

AisA had the most liked content!


About AisA

  • Birthday 07/27/1953

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    Sharpsburg, GA
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    Making money<br />Philosophy<br />Flying

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  1. Frankly, what I would find beneficial is a very basic description of the double-delayed-choice experiment, including drawings (or pictures) of the equipment used and the results obtained -- in other words, something I can see and evaluate with my own eyes. For example, there are any number of such pictures and drawings available of the famous "double slit experiment" -- and one look at the results makes it clear what is meant by the statement that light appears to posses the properties of both waves and particles. Are there any comparable visual explanations of the double-delayed-choice experiment and its results?
  2. In addition to all the other points that have been made, remember that in a free market you must compete with other businesses for the labor available in a given area. You have no power to force any worker to accept any particular wage, set of hours or working conditions. You have only the power to offer a trade -- and if a better trade is available to labor at another business, they will generally take it, leaving you without a workforce.
  3. AisA

    A Fetus Is Human

    An acorn is an oak tree "at that stage in its development". However, an acorn is not an oak tree. You are conflating the potential and the actual.
  4. AisA

    A Fetus Is Human

    Untitled, your post number 100 is riddled with context-dropping and conflation. The context-dropping takes the form of isolating my statements while ignoring the complete argument. For instance, you start by isolating my second sentence as follows: Then you react as follows: Thus, by dropping context you leap to a conclusion that is in fact the opposite of the conclusion I reached at the end of the entire post. You then proceed to more context dropping, this time to conflate a reflex with a volitional consciousness. I wrote: You responded: In fact, an 8 week fetus can not react to pain the same way a newborn can. A fetus can only react by a physical reaction like a reflex. But the mind of a newborn possesses the ability to discriminate one sensation from another and begin the gradual process of retaining sensations to form percepts. How quickly or slowly a given child uses this ability to get to the level of perception varies from child to child -- but that development is possible only after birth, when a volitional consciousness first emerges. You conclude by reiterating the claim that my argument supports the notion that parents can leave a child to die. Yes, I did offer an explanation, as follows: (Emphasis added this time.) What part of that last sentence do you not agree with or understand? The decision to birth a child is the decision to create a being that posses all the individual rights of an adult but is unable to exercise those rights and will perish unless someone exercises them on his behalf. Since morality demands that man accept responsibility for the consequences of his actions, this can only mean that the parents -- who bear sole responsibility for the decision to create the child -- must exercise the child‘s rights on his behalf until he becomes an adult. That means -- for instance -- exercising his right to work by working on his behalf, to earn what is necessary to materially support the child. And that is why the Objectivist view of rights -- which is based on the Objectivist view of morality -- means that parents cannot simply abandon their children.
  5. I think you need to re-read my posts. You are dropping context again, which is why it is impossible to settle anything with you. I brought up Saddam's 1991 invasion of Kuwait as evidence that he posed, at a minimum, a threat to our economic interests -- I did not claim that this proved he posed a physical threat to us; in fact, I made it clear that we weren’t certain about the latter. And now that I've listed a portion of his actions that demonstrate his irrationality -- in response to your demand that I prove he posed a threat to our economic interests -- NOW, you wish to switch back to the issue of whether or not he posed a physical threat to "the west". Well, as I said in my last post, if you can look at Saddam's record and not see the risks inherent in letting someone that irrational gain control of a significant part of the world's oil supply, then you are beyond convincing. Essentially, you are demanding omniscience on our part in evaluating the intentions of our sworn enemies. Nonsense. If a man points a gun at your head, and cocks the hammer, then you may properly claim that he is a threat and act upon that conclusion -- even though the fact that you “don’t know for sure” that the gun is actually loaded means that, strictly speaking, you cannot be completely certain he is a threat. Again, the standard you demand requires one of two things: either we be omniscient mind-readers -- or , we wait until an enemy stages a physical attack and kills some of us. Once again, you drop context. Which is it? Are you really unable to grasp the distinction between talking about a principle -- which is what I was doing when I stated that if we are faced with a threatening regime, the proper response is to destroy that regime, NOT adopt a civlian-friendly policy of acting as that nation's police force -- versus the debate about whether or not a particular regime? Or do you just keep switching subjects and dropping context as a means of evasion? I'm inclined to think its the latter -- but either way, the futility of responding to you is becoming quite obvious. I haven't argued against bringing our soldiers home. You need to read more carefully.
  6. Saddam was willing to gas thousands of his own civilians to teach them a lesson. Saddam was willing to send thousands of his own soldiers to futile deaths in an 8 year war with Iran. Saddam was willing to invade Kuwait, then set his soldiers loose to pillage and plunder at will. Saddam was willing to rain down ballistic missiles into Tel Aviv suburbs in an effort to provoke the Israelis into getting involved in Desert Storm. Saddam was willing to set fire to virtually every oil well in Kuwait just to spite the U.S. After all that, you're still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, by demanding that we prove his evil intentions? If you can look at Saddam's record, and not believe that allowing him to gain control over a significant portion of the world's oil supply was a significant risk, then you are beyond convincing. You are dropping context here. I said that Bush didn't know for sure that Saddam had WMD's, especially ones that he could use against us, and that this was reflected in the fact that he described Iraq as a "gathering" threat, not an imminent one. The fact that he quotes intelligence reports indicating that Saddam had WMDs does not contradict this. It means you destroy the threatening regime and tell the survivors that if another threatening regime emerges, we will come back and destroy it as well. No, it means that if we'd been less "civilian-friendly", we could have destroyed the threatening regime with far fewer casualties to our side. I made no such argument and neither did Dr. Binswanger.
  7. Gary, you wrote: And: So which argument are you making? That Saddam was never a threat to the United States -- or that he is less of a threat to you, personally, than our statist government? I think Saddam proved with his 1991 invasion of Kuwait that he was a threat to our economic interests, at a minimum. If we hadn't ejected him from Kuwait, he could have easily rolled over Saudi Arabia and found himself in control of a significant portion of the world's oil supplies. That would have put him in a position to do significant economic damage to the world’s economy – of which we, of course, are a part. Now, one can argue that after we defeated him in Kuwait, the resulting embargo of Iraq’s oil exports deprived Saddam of enough revenue to ever become a threat again. However, we know now that he was cheating the embargo and planned to resume his WMD development. That was one of the conclusions of the Duelfer Report after the war. Would he have been successful at developing WMD and if so, would he have had any means of deploying a WMD against us? I don't know, and neither did Bush when the decision was made to take Saddam out. Bush didn't claim that Saddam was an imminent threat, but rather a "gathering", threat, i.e. a possible future threat. The problem is that the appropriate reaction to such a threat is regime destruction, not regime change. But crippled by his allegiance to pragmatism and altruism, Bush launched a partial, limited, JAG-policed, civilian-friendly war that has left our military functioning as a domestic police force in Iraq and saddled the American people with what is essentially another gigantic government welfare project. As Harry Binswanger commented on his list, consider how much better off we’d be today if, after catching Hussein, we’d simply shot him on the spot – then told the entire world that this is what we do to people we consider threatening to us or our interests – and then come home.
  8. The most damaging aspect of the war in Iraq is that it has served to discredit the notion of using of military force to deal with our enemies. Of course, that is not the proper conclusion one should draw from what's happened in Iraq -- the proper conclusion would be to see it as a grand-scale demonstration of the consequences of both altruism and pragmatism -- but Bush has permitted the left to depict the Iraq fiasco as the logical, necessary outcome of military action. And so now we are in for a period of intense pacifism, probably initiated and led by an Obama administration.
  9. AisA

    A Fetus Is Human

    Thanks for the compliment, Ramesh. The ideas and the logic, of course, are all Miss Rand's and Dr. Peikoff's.
  10. AisA

    A Fetus Is Human

    A fetus is not a being; nor is it human. A being is a biologically independent, biologically self-sufficient, separate entity. A human being is a being that possess a rational faculty, that is, the faculty of reason. The moment of birth is the moment when this entity becomes a being -- it is the moment when it ceases to be part of the mother's body -- and it is also the first moment it becomes conscious of reality and can be said to possess the faculty of reason. The faculty of reason requires a volitional consciousness that can process the information provided by the senses; the moment of birth is the first moment such a consciousness emerges and it is the first time such processing can begin. It is the moment of transition from an unconscious, passive, biological parasite to a conscious, active, biologically independent entity capable of self-generated, self-directed, volitionally-conscious activity. This is the beginning of human life. I am aware that a fetus moves about in the womb, and I am aware of the claims that it reacts to various stimuli such as heat and light. But reaction and consciousness are two different things. Plants also react to stimuli, but they are clearly not conscious in the human sense of the term. Once born, a child has the capacity to be rational, though he must learn how to use that capacity. Prior to birth, the fetus does not even have the capacity to be conscious. The rational is a possibility (as distinguished from a potential) for the child, but an impossibility for the fetus. Now, how does this relate to the issue of rights? To remain alive, man must think and act. He must use his faculty of reason to discover how to produce what his survival requires (or he must use his faculty of reason to learn that knowledge from others). The purpose of the concept of rights is to define the conditions that must exist, vis-à-vis other men, for a rational being to take the actions necessary to support his life. The basic condition that must prevail, then, the basic right that a rational being must possess, is freedom to take action -- freedom from the physical interference of other men. This is the meaning of the right to life – it is the right to be free to initiate and sustain all the actions necessary for a rational being to survive. The right to life does not mean the right to remain alive at someone else’s expense; it does not mean that others must feed, shelter and cloth you. Rights are always rights to action, not to objects. Now we can see why one cannot attempt to invoke a right to life on behalf of the fetus. A fetus is incapable of volitional consciousness, it is incapable of reason and it is incapable of initiating and sustaining any action in furtherance of its own existence – invoking a right to freedom of action on its part is nonsensical. Furthermore, the fetus’ very existence constitutes a physical interference with the mother’s freedom of action. Thus, to invoke a right to life on behalf of the fetus is to claim a right to physically interfere with another person’s freedom – it is to claim a right to the physical, involuntary use of another human being’s body – and no one can claim such a right. Once born, all of that changes. Granted, a newborn infant cannot engage in all the actions necessary for its survival, but it does possess a volitional consciousness and can (and does) initiate the process of learning how to use its rational faculty, even if the first steps of that process are something as basic as leaning how to focus its eyes and how to understand the sensations flooding its senses. Now that it is a human being, the infant possesses all the rights of other human beings. However, it clearly must undergo both physical and mental growth before it can exercise all of those rights. The parents, by choosing to create this human being, assume responsibility for the exercise of those rights until such time as the child becomes an adult. .
  11. AisA

    God exists

    No, I didn't contradict myself -- I merely adopted your standard of proof to illustrate why it is invalid. Are you truly incapable of grasping an example? Do you not see that the fact that we cannot "disprove the existence of god" is just like the fact that you cannot "disprove the existence of gremlins" -- and that the lack of such disproof does not prove that either thing exists? I suspect that you can see that fact quite clearly -- you simply don't want to face its implications. Read what I wrote about the nature of proof in post 9. So now you are saying that existence is dependent on the presence of human life, not human consciousness? Why on earth would you believe such a thing? You have a major problem with the primacy of consciousness fallacy. That fallacy is a rejection of the most fundamental of axioms, the axiom that existence exists. As Miss Rand points out, that rejection leads to the notion that knowledge of reality is gained by looking inward at one's own consciousness (or at revelations from some other, superior consciousness). In practice, what this "looking at one's consciousness" generally means is that one is moved by one's feelings, wishes, urges, etc. -- i.e. one is guided by emotion. That certainly seems to be true of your belief in god. That belief is not based on reason, but on feelings -- which is why, when it is challenged, you respond in all capitals. Apparently, you have never learned to grasp the distinction between your inner world and the existence that exists outside your consciousness. Until you do, you will continue to confuse your feelings with the facts of reality. There is no more disastrous confusion.
  12. AisA

    God exists

    Do you think some amount or portion of reality goes out of existence each time you lose consciousness by going to sleep? No, the burden of proof is on you to disprove the existence of my gremlins. After all, I want to believe in these gremlins -- it's my desire and you've already said that all desires have fulfillment -- so isn't it logical to conclude that these gremlins are just as real as god?
  13. AisA

    God exists

    And the gremlins on Venus studying Hegel are a consciousness seperate from that as well.
  14. AisA

    God exists

    Are you trying to argue that since both consciousness and existence exist at present, this proves that God exists? If so, that's a whopper of a non sequitur. And I'm still waiting for you to refute my claim that there are gremlins on Venus studying Hegel.
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