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Young

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Everything posted by Young

  1. Just as a bump and to share some of my own thoughts, few people known of my beliefs, though I am fairly certain that my advisor shares at least some of them. When I discuss certain principles of Objectivism with students they are receptive but I don't think it quite proper to be introducing or advocating positions to them in an introductory class . It seems to me that the greatest amount of discussion of principles comes from speaking to work colleagues but even then in depth discussion doesn't usually occur.
  2. So I was thinking with various means of potential exposure from non-Oists to Objectivism/Objectivist principles (everything from the video game Bioshock to the AS movie which may or may not come to fruition) what kind of exposure do users of this board experience and create? A couple of questions I have include: How many people are aware of your beliefs? What type of impressions do others take away from meeting you regarding Objectivism (I was particularly wondering whether anyone has experiences which contradict the stereotype of Objectivists as selfish in the Kantian sense)? What do mo
  3. This topic probably bears on Metaphysics as well but I think its specific enough that it would probably be discussed with regards to psychology. Does anyone know if Ms. Rand ever made any comments on the nature of physical addiction or dependence? Was she aware of neuropsychological findings regarding either? The answer to either these bear on various questions regarding consciousness, can ability to focus be quantified, do altered states of conscious affect volitional choices, can rationality be assessed for someone in an altered state of consciousness (and whether there is any way to de
  4. Green Lantern. Particularly the former Hal Jordan Character. Sure he hangs out with ultra rich commie Green Arrow but his powers came entirely from his strength of will, bravery, and pride in himself. What's more if you ever read the series in which he goes 'rogue', emerald twilight, there are many parallels to the Fountainhead. Namely, rather than accept the traditional stance of the guardians to act like an intergalactic even-more-impotent UN, he chooses to put his own values ahead of everything. Plus, power wise he's the ultimate in rational superheroes, the extent of his powers
  5. I think we might be discussing this with different definitions of determinism at this point. Determinism means that every event has a cause. Indeterminism means that not every event has a cause. Free will means that our actions are caused by our self, but our self has no cause.
  6. Young

    Media

    Thank you for your post. My questions were more toward why Good journalism as you describe it should result from rational self interest. Specifically if it is to my benefit to leave out that the forest being knocked down will allow for a highly efficient factory because of my tree-hugging readership, why shouldn't I? Wouldn't it be to my advantage to write things my readership will like (and hence attract better advertising)? Are lies of omission in this business tools of the trade? Where does bias arise from and how is it beneficial? Does being corporately owned require that you hav
  7. While there are some interesting thought experiments going on here I think it might be fruitful to other implications of deterministic vs non-deterministic systems. Specifically if we are in a completely materially deterministic system then mental states have no causal efficacy, aka Epiphenomenalism. An epiphenomenalist can not argue that they have any responsibility for any actions, hence any form of compatibilism, like that espoused by the article you linked to Martian, is meaningless. If you are going to argue that we are conscious and that we are determined, anything mental about us is
  8. Young

    Traffic Laws

    I assume you are asking if I think there is something beyond existence (rather than asking "why" I do, which would imply that I did). I wasn't implying, and indeed it would be nonsensical to imply that. I was stating that if extended you could say that you can violate others rights if you are certain that there is no chance of it diminishing your chance of survival. For instance if I developed a special 'Young' gun which when fired would reduce everyone to obeying me it would still be wrong to do so, despite the fact that it would greatly increase my chances of survival, etc. Your goal sho
  9. I agree, the machine specified could not exist but that only addresses predicatability as a practical notion. I think there are some advantages and at times some necessity to supposing people will act in accordance with the way they believe they are 'meant' to act at times. For instance if you give me sufficient evidence that you are a killer on the loose it is to my benefit to consider you a dangerous person and prepare much more for the eventuality in which you would choose to kill me than the eventuality in which you would choose not to. Past choices don't dictate future ones but it
  10. I disagree, a fair amount of our ability to form concepts is informed by perceptual processes and these and certain abilities that approach abstraction are found in animals. Evidence for separate coding of different forms of numerosities are found in the animal brain (and much debated in humans). And the work which helps us distinguish between concept knowledge in humans and lack thereof in animals is very important, almost equivalent to that which helps us distinguish between adults and children.
  11. Young

    Media

    The case is often made that in our current culture that News Media is owned by companies with agendas. Many news outlets cater to specific populations or ideologies, it seems, in their political bent, etc. Is it possible to find really objective news sources or resources that have equivalent coverage to major news networks that don't have 'agenda'? The greater question is in a free market capitalist society what incentive is there to offer news free from a corporations advertising? Do you imagine in an idealized society that news outlets will compete amongst themselves to be the most 'obje
  12. Besides this point it really comes down to what defines a hero, is it simply dying for something you believe in, was he not acting heroically/virtuously before he died? This term is bandied about too much, in the news victims, martyrs and heroes are equated so often that they become indistinguishable.
  13. I think this is impracticable at the moment, what's more the idea of a country comprised of people who respect each others rights would have to come long before an Objectivist-based country.
  14. It doesn't address the validity of a claim that everything is determined but it yet again affirms that you can't have responsibility in a world in which you have no causal efficacy.
  15. I certainly agree that many primatologists are looking for profound conclusions. On the other hand looking at the way in which for instance primates or ravens can use numbers give us a better understanding of how our own concepts develop and their form.
  16. Young

    Traffic Laws

    This is confusing, it smacks of the Ring of Giges. Is there anything else you would add to 'ultimate goal and choice'?
  17. When does biochemistry end and free will begin? Or are you saing that there is no way to possibly ask/answer this question?
  18. Young

    Traffic Laws

    I think you already have your answer, which is that these rights are the ones endangered when you break speed laws. Now they may be arbitrary in many cases but I ask, in a situation without private roads, shouldn't the people who live in the area, have greatest danger on those roads, and pay most local taxes have the greatest claim to 'ownership'. This, I assume, is why 10 soccer moms can get a speed limit reduced around their cul de sac while all of us together wouldn't stand a chance of changing national speed limits.
  19. How are these arbitrary? If you look at a mitochondrion it is not alive (even if it might have been when it was an organism all its own) because of these rules. Please look up the word 'irreducible' and tell me if makes any sense to you.
  20. The more I think of these the more I feel that something like this has to have been done, by 'psychologists' as early as the behaviorists. But how would you ever know that abstraction was going on? How do you know when the rat who has been so trained to press the second button continues to do so when you change the way the button looks, etc. that they are really abstracting? Could your experiment be falsified?
  21. Young

    Traffic Laws

    I apologize, I typed that fast without realizing it would sound so derisive. In any event with better and better vehicles accidents are becoming more likely to result in greater damage to your property and insurance (which is outrageous) than to you.
  22. Young

    Traffic Laws

    Oh I'm sorry, are the other people on the highway floating around on indestructible magic carpets? What about the safety of other drivers' vehicles(on top of their rights)? Perhaps in a new thread I should ask when can you really separate your rights from your property rights in the real world.
  23. Sorry, when you said series I assumed you had meant more beyond that. Again there is some admittedly weak evidence of a chimp (Ai) being able to extract some meaning from a number of objects and extend it to different types of objects. However this does require quite a lot of training and seems to have failed when 'zero' was used so I'm not certain if it is a clever hans type situation or not.
  24. Young

    Traffic Laws

    No, just as bumper cars are not a violation of rights.
  25. Young

    Traffic Laws

    Other drivers potentially? This is an exaggeration, but if you were to consider that everytime you get in a car and drive recklessly you are doing the equivalent of waving a gun around, the extension to application of force is not hard to see.
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