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Everything posted by Leonid

  1. "The error in sensationalism is reification: the fallacy of taking an aspect of a thing, grasped by mental analysis [color, brightness, roundness], as if it were an entity capable of separate existence." Ayn Rand never claimed that.
  2. "Individual rights are an absolute, not to be "balanced" or limited by anybody. (And don't answer me that an individual's right to murder, for instance, is limited. Such a right never existed in the first place.) It certainly is not the government nor society that "sets up rights for an individual or group." These rights are not "set up" (nor "rigged up" nor "framed up"). They are inherent in the nature of man. Man is endowed with them by the fact of his birth." Ayn Rand
  3. tjfields-In fact you ask-why man cannot initiate use of force to sustain his life? The answer is that man has to live qua man. The man's tool of survival is his mind, not force and this is fact of objective reality. If man lives by force he lives as an animal, not as a man. However, objectively he cannot do that. If he does, he forfeits his mind and his life.
  4. rowsdower "You could only think I imply the latter by assuming that words are concepts." In a sense you are right. Words are not concepts, they are audio-visual symbols which designate concepts. Without concepts words are simply sounds. If your words don't designate concepts, you will speak like Mad Hatter ": 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe." -Is that what you mean by language? Words are means to retain concepts, but concepts themselves initially are pre-verbal.One doesn't need a word to notice similarity or common denominator between 2 or more units, but needs a word to retain it.
  5. Modern psychology doesn't recognize connection between emotions and cognition and this its major problem.
  6. You, I, he, she etc...refer to person or some times to animals and rarely to objects. You claim that they are not concepts? Are, is , be, am-verbs of existence. You claim that existence is not a concept? By-concept of relationship. Cannot see where is exactly your problem?
  7. Empathy/ compassion to whom and for what? Altruist morality presupposes that we should feel empathy to each and every man regardless. Before they supported their claim by religious commandments, today they use social evolution theory for that purpose and therefore see no difference between apes and men. But empathy of course is not a religious imperative, nor it is a social instinct. Like friendship and love it is an emotional response to values. Only such an empathy could be sincere. And man's emotional response depends on his basic implicit or explicit premises. Therefore dichotomy between mind and empathy is a trade mark of altruist. No man could fully internalize altruist morality and live. The requirement of this morality to feel empathy to just every man on earth is simply impossible to accomplish.
  8. Objectively the lack of solitude is not a threat to your life and solitude is not a necessarily requirement of your life. Your hierarchy of values is arbitrary and subjective. This is the source of contradiction.
  9. By using your argument I can claim that physical beauty is my ultimate value and on this ground I can kill the neighbor next door because he is ugly. Your fallacy is that you substitute objective value-live with your subjective value-solitude. This is a philosophy of subjective irrational egoist. For him the ultimate value is anything which he wish to be. Even if you claim that your very life depends on your solitude, it won't give you a moral right to kill since such a claim has nothing to do with objective reality. Feelings are subjective and wishes are not fishes. As for question of ownership-you can own the whole island if you legally acquired it-bought, inhered etc...But as I understood this is not a case. If there were a case, you wouldn't need to invoke any other reasons except ownership. You would have a right to remove an intruder from your property by all legal means available, although in such a case killing is not an option as long as your life is not in danger.
  10. Leonid

    Animal rights

    If you live on deserted island alone, the question of rights doesn't even exist. This is a need of protection of your life and property from initiation of force against you brings up the whole concept of rights. But animals live by force. Therefore the whole concept is inapplicable to them. In regard to the treatment of animals one should talk not about rights but compassion.
  11. If your life is an ultimate value then you'd protect it by recognition of right to live. By committing murder you forfeit this right. As for ownership question, you should explain how you use and dispose on the whole island single handed?
  12. Leonid

    Animal rights

    Exactly how a caw benefits from the slaughter?
  13. Leonid

    Animal rights

    The concept of rights and ownership on life presupposes an existence of self-awareness and Free Will. Lion doesn't possess that. Moreover, lion doesn't act on conceptual level at all. Therefore to apply these concepts like rights or ownership on life to lion is to turn them into stolen concepts. Using this argument one also could object to the treatment of malaria, since malaria parasite also has " right" to live. But of course you can try to explain to hunger lion who attacks you that you also have right to live and he has to respect it,
  14. By claiming that metaphysically given is contingent they in fact claim that existence has volition on its own. In other words they assert primacy of consciousness.
  15. Even so it's impossible to make all conditions exactly equal. For sure an ass will reach the water in the straight line sight-which he directly perceives.He cannot see the whole circle.
  16. Exactly. That why it's thought experiment.
  17. I never claimed that I intend to re-write Objectivism. My purpose was to highlight certain points.
  18. Leonid

    Animal rights

    Yes. Human is a rational being and as such he developed concept of rights which no animal ever did. Of course man is a volitional being and may choose the path of violation of rights. He may maim, kill, rob or live as a parasite by fraud. Such a man who forfeits his conceptual mind in practice is not different from a wild animal. That why we cage them in prisons, or some time even exterminate them, exactly like animals.
  19. What is purpose of Objectivism? This question is amount to the question " Philosophy, who needs it?". Ayn Rand wrote a book with such a title and I strongly recommend it. In short the answer is that man, been volitional being without inherent automatic code of behavior needs a guidance in the form of explicit comprehensive view on existence. This is philosophy and as such it's not an intellectual game like chess or linguistic analysis, but essential requirement of man's survival. Since contradictions don't exist, philosophy based on inherent contradictions and false premises is a tool of destruction of mind and body. Man operates on conceptual level but lives on earth. To live and thrive he needs a guidance which based on facts of reality and their non-contradictory integration into concepts, including the most broad abstractions like existence, mind and good. This is Objectivism.
  20. The difference between implicit and explicit concepts is that explicit concepts could be retained and communicated by means of words which designate them. The child who is learning to talk may notice and remember that certain objects like chairs have something in common. When he learns the word " chair" he will assign this word to this similarity simply by emulating others. However it is impossible to him to learn, retain and use the word which designates nothing for him. This is the task for a parrot. The cognitive development which allows concepts formation and learning of language is a simultanious process. Feral children which had been raised by animals never learn to speak or think, in spite that their brain is intact.
  21. There is an incredible amount of confusion in regard to animal "rights" . Some people make their utmost to erase the difference between humans and animals. Would like to know what is their agenda?
  22. Ownership means right to use and dispose at will. You alone cannot occupy and use the whole island, unless it's a very small one. Been right ownership also means a freedom of action in social context. Since you are alone and want to maintain your solitude ,the concept of rights and ownership is inapplicable to your situation. Solitude is not an ultimate value, your life is. Happiness is also not an ultimate value, it is an effect of your living your life qua man. The evil is not what you consider to be evil but what is objectively prevent you to live such a life. Finally, contradictions don't exist and rational people have no conflict of interests. If you found such a conflict you should check your premises. In your particular case the premise that solitude is an ultimate value is wrong.
  23. I thought that religion is separated from the state. Am I wrong?
  24. Leonid

    Animal rights

    Free Will is an ability to choose on the conceptual level of self-awareness. To paraphrase Ayn Rand in order to say " I want" one should be able first to say " I". Animals don't consciously form societies, this is an instinctive trait. Rights is a freedom of action in the social context which animals evidently don't have. Does lion respect right to live of his prey? The question of animal rights doesn't exist in the animal kingdom. It's only pertain to humans. As for infants, they are humans, in spite their rights are very limited.
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