Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Seeker

  1. There is no reason why a free market couldn't handle these issues. The dirty little secret here is that folks move onto thier little residential plots of land counting on unearned value, namely, something pertaining to how the guy next door or down the street is going to use his plot in the future. To secure that value, they should all have to pay by purchasing from the appropriate landowners the specific right-to-develop in question, stipulating the permitted uses. What needs to stop is their transforming the enjoyment of the unearned into a right by which they can make unjust demands on othe
  2. I daresay that if the authors of textbooks on Discrete Mathematics would just admit this outright, instead of hiding behind the notion of vacuous proofs as their justification, then this entire conversation would have been unnecessary.
  3. Individuals do not have the absolute right to choose which government they wish to be governed by. By your reasoning, my next-door neighbor could (by a 100% supermajority of himself) "secede" at any time, exercising his own force-monopoly within his house and yard. If he happened to murder a visitor, the town authorities could not prosecute him (because they would lack jurisdiction, because there can be only one force-monopoly in a given territory). Extending this principle would result in a patchwork of "governments" competing for individuals allegiances (like the Crips and Bloods). In short,
  4. There is no freestanding right of secession, so my offhand answer is no, but if you want to build an argument that somehow incorporates an objectively provable relationship to Russia contra Georgia, something along the lines of "this is what makes a nation-state possible, it's a prerequisite, etc." -- a common language, for example, might be an objective criterion -- that steers clear of subjective whims and preferences, that might be an interesting argument. Of course it cannot be agnostic to the question of which government is more just and rights-respecting, so I am for the moment assuming
  5. If I have anything valuable to add, then you have discovered the mathematical root of humor. Ha-ha. My Artificial Intelligence textbook suggests that "P=>Q" makes sense (i.e. relates to reality) if you think of it as saying, "if P is true then I am claiming that Q is true. Otherwise I am making no claim." Thus, since there are no seven-legged alligators, I am making no claim about them all being pink. And, since no element belongs to an empty set, I am making no claim about all of its elements belonging to every set. Yet, that is what my Discrete Mathematics textbook (like yours) essenti
  6. Then they ought to be satisfied with representatives who maximize the return of expropriated money to their own district, since that is what they are voting for. You have yet to establish that "voters are deeply dissatisfied with their so-called choice".
  7. Congress' approval rating does not indicate that voters in a given district are deeply dissatisfied with their choice, it indicates that they are dissatisfied with the institution of Congress. Given a reelection rate of 94%, this indicates that they are very satisfied with their own representatives, it's those other guys' representatives they can't stand. Money spent in their own district is a worthy expenditure that provides jobs, money spent in others' districts is pork. Across the board what you see reflected is the overwhelming preference for statism. Has anyone ever lost a seat in Congres
  8. There is also the ultimate power of the people to make and break governments which entails the right to arms, which is arguably even more fundamental than all the others since they ultimately depend upon it.
  9. If you write a topic that says "existence does not exist, let us discuss the ways...", and others point out to you how existence is self-evident, and you continue to deny this then the topic is going to be your denial of the self-evident no matter how much you insist otherwise. Similarly, if you write a topic that denies that free will is self-evident in order to discuss a cultural determinism thesis, and others point out to you how volition is self-evident, and you continue to deny this then the topic is going to be your denial of the self-evident no matter how much you insist otherwise.
  10. Still? I explained to you that the topic as given presupposes the denial that free will is axiomatic, contrary to Objectivism. Indeed, you yourself acknowledge this point, which is why this in the debate forum and why the conversation will invariably return to getting you to revisit your incorrect premise rather than proceeding with the topic as you have tried to frame it. This is especially true because one must deny an axiom in order to engage the topic as given. No rational conversation could possibly proceed on that basis. Agreed. I think that you were right the first time an
  11. How do you know when someone's voliton is impaired such that they are not responsible for their actions? I have in mind the example of an adult who throws a fit when verbally provoked, who is known to be on medication to treat depression and is getting psychological counseling, and is known to be sensitive and prone to violent emotional outbursts. In general, they have low self-esteem, their social skills seem to be at the level of a child, they tend towards pessimism and negativity, are generally difficult to deal with, and have a world view that entails not holding weak people responsible fo
  12. Seeker

    Psychological Harm

    I agree that this is important, even essential. An important concept that has barely been touched-upon here is that of consent. I think that consent, especially given expectations in a particular social context, should make a difference regarding liability. There should be no liability if consent for the otherwise-wrongful act was given. I think that this has enormous implications in the area of psychological harm and actually obviates the eggshell skull problem significantly. If it can be shown that the victim should have expected the act that resulted in harm given the social context and cho
  13. Seeker

    Psychological Harm

    As I read the order (also not being a lawyer), the show itself will eventually become part of the record. At this stage of the proceedings (this is where it gets tricky) the Defendants tried to introduce the show as evidence, though the Plaintiffs had not, which would have changed the issue from the sufficiency of Plaintiff's pleadings to a summary judgment. Later stages will include discovery, motions for summary judgment, trial and so on. Most certainly these will include the contents of the show. See, e.g. note 8 ("While there is no doubt that the broadcast of the “Nancy Grace” show will be
  14. Seeker

    Psychological Harm

    For those who are really interested, I downloaded the judge's opinion refusing to dismiss the case from PACER and posted it to my blog. Enjoy! Duckett vs. CNN
  15. Seeker

    Psychological Harm

    On a related note - Lawsuit against Nancy Grace, CNN moves ahead
  16. Seeker

    Psychological Harm

    As I understand it, the tort of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" is actually disfavored in the law, precisely because it is so hard to objectively prove. Furthermore it is difficult to see how the victim in such cases (excluding children) is not in a certain key respect directly responsible for the harm to themselves by failing to responsibly process the allegedly hurtful cognitive inputs. For example, the proper reaction to the wax sculptures would not be distress but contempt. This is how a confident, upright, rational person deals with irrationalities of all sorts. "Letting it
  17. It is indeed the end of our conversation on the topic, but beyond that it ought to be the end of the conversation with any Objectivist. You admit this, which leaves you in the position of proposing a discussion among non-Objectivists only. Since you can have this anywhere else on the Internet, I am left wondering why you chose to bring it here to the debate forum, and the only answer I can think of is that you wish to enjoy the value of Objectivists' intellectual labors while simultaneously denying their validity. That's the real insult, and none of us here should stand for it.
  18. Now that's a laugh-out-loud. Suppose you wanted to discuss an infinite god, and noted that you do not accept the axiom of identity at the beginning "in order to obviate that issue and focus the conservation on the topic I posted". Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You cannot have a discussion that entails cutting off the means of discussion at its root. The only proper thing left for a rational participant to do is point out your egregious error. Others may "discuss" the infinite god with you, but it will not be a rational discussion.
  19. I'll grant that reproduction is what caused sex to exist in all animals along with its secondary characteristics like size, strength etc. I'm not sure how that helps the argument that homosexuality is contrary to man's nature inasmuch as man chooses his values including sexual values. To say male and female are complimentary either means "fit well together" and/or "fit better together than same sex". If this is some sort of appeal to natural/evident functions of various body parts then the argument fails, because homosexual sex is a natural/evident function of the parts used in that case. In o
  20. Before concluding that a political campaign can be educational (which I am sympathetic to) let's look at the way in which the quoted statement is valid. The ultimate goal of an educational campaign is to inform. The ultimate goal of a political campaign is to win an election. In a rational society, these goals may coincide. In an irrational society, they will conflict. One way to interpret the statement is that one cannot run a rational campaign and an irrational campaign simultaneously. With this we should agree. This leads to more questions. What are the realistic chances of a rational p
  21. I think that politicians so rarely set out to educate the public that it's hardly any wonder the two would be seen as mutually exclusive. The fact remains however that politicians possess a rather unique platform for addressing the public through policy speeches, debates, and addresses, all of which can be used to teach. I can foresee a rational politician conducting something of an educational campaign on rational principles one day. Indeed, Ayn Rand herself exemplified that education is not confined to the four walls of a classroom, as illustrated by her novels and newsletters. Galt's an
  22. The answer is: free will does not violate causality but is an instance of it wherein you are the cause, you determine the outcome, and do so by choosing, wherein your choice did not have to be what it was, i.e. it could have been otherwise. Which is to say that it was not wholly necessitated by antecedent conditions, a proposition that you can validate for yourself in the applicable context. And thus: you could help it and you did cause it. No catch-22 here.
  23. Since you use the phrase "outside evidence" here to refer to others' perceptions of reality vis-a-vis your own, the answer is: of course you rely on your own perceptions of reality without others' perceptions all the time. You don't need others' perceptions of your own existence to know that you exist and possess consciousness, do you? Of course not ("generally unreliable"?! You cannot be serious, unless you generally see things that aren't there, like ghosts). Free will is an attribute of your own consciousness. You definitely do not need others' perceptions to validate the concept, only your
  24. It should be stressed however that observing others' behavior is not the means of validating free will. The validation of free will is by introspection. I would say that others' behavior reflects, rather than implies, free will. The concept is valid regardless of that. At the same time, I would not expect others to accept the concept without properly validating it for themselves, which is why introspective validation is the critical element in this discussion. There are indeed quite interesting ideas to discuss about cultural influences around the world, but aleph_0 has tied this discussio
  25. Nevertheless, the central topic of this thread is your unwillingness to accept free will by performing your own act of introspective validation; the rest is just window dressing that serves to obfuscate by pretending that there is anything else to discuss once the validation has been completed. Validate free will and your cultural determinism thesis becomes as irrelevant as the argument by neuroscience does, which is why I chose to focus on validation and its consequences. It makes no more sense to entertain fanciful ideas of an infinite god given the axiom of identity than to entertain the no
  • Create New...