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Economic Freedom

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Economic Freedom last won the day on May 17

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  1. >Instead of evidence you produced evasions, misrepresentations and ad hominems No, I produced links to eye-witness testimony, which rational people consider to be a robust form of evidence. Either these eye-witnesses are lying for some reason or you're not rational. I'll accept either explanation. I don't know what "misrepresentations" you have in mind. I simply restated the evidence as presented by the historical facts and the testimony of eye-witnesses. As for the "ad hominems", I think you mean "insults" (not quite the same thing as an ad hominem). I was merely stating the facts of the matter regarding your evident fear of doing your own research. Clearly, you're afraid to get Red Pilled over the Ukrainian issue. So are most people.
  2. I should also add -- for those who harp on the issue that "Putin is not the legitimate leader of the Russian Republic" -- that not only (as posted earlier) is Zelensky not the legitimate leader of Ukraine, but Joe Biden is not the legitimate leader of the U.S., so the lend-lease arrangement recently made between the U.S. and Ukraine has no "moral legitimacy" either. You really believe a guy who stayed in his basement during most of the campaign phase, and made a few public appearances in which a dozen or so people showed up, each one sitting compliantly with a face mask, and separated by one another by six feet, sitting in a chair with a circle drawn around it -- that he got 80 million votes? The most popular POTUS in history? Even more popular than Obama? When Trump would speak at rallies in various cities, each filled with capacity crowds, e.g., when he spoke in Butler, PA, there are almost 60,000 people who showed up. And yet Biden won in a "secure, fair, and honest election"? I don't think so. Watch "2000 Mules".
  3. >it's only FOX News That's a mistake. FOX (as well as its conservative competitor, Newsmax) is controlled opposition: it's permitted by its sponsors to criticize certain things, but not to criticize -- or even mention -- other things. Examples: a year ago, Newt Gingrich was a guest being interviewed by commentator Harris Faulkner. When Newt started to mention the funding by George Soros of local Attorneys General who were radical lefties, Faulkner cut him off and told him that "we're not going to talk about Soros..." At first Newt laughed, thinking this was some sort of joke, but then he realized that FOX was simply censoring his statements: he was not permitted to mention the name "George Soros". More recently, Catherine Engelbrecht, a founding member of True-the-Vote (investigating the fraud of the 2020 presidential election) was on Tucker Carlson's show. She was told by Carlson before the show not to mention Dinesh D'Souza's recent documentary on the fraud, titled "2000 Mules", which used cell-phone tracking data to track thousands of ballot-harvesters ("mules") who went back and forth to ballot drop-boxes in many states, and then picked up more ballots (with names of dead people on them, or names of out-of-state people), to drop them into the ballot drop boxes. The documentary also tracks them going to various NGO headquarters where they picked up the ballots and were paid per ballot. FOX and Newsmax have stated publicly that they will not air the documentary or even mention it. As stated earlier, both FOX and Newsmax receive millions of dollars in sponsorship from Big Pharma (mainly Pfizer, it appears) and thus will not honestly criticize the so-called "vaccines." In that sense, FOX and Newsmax are no different from CNN and MSNBC. The only way to watch these venues "objectively" is to start from the assumption that they are presenting propaganda promoting someone's interests that are most likely not your interests. Wake up.
  4. Something the monkey excerpt above fails to mention: Most of the biochemical processes involved in life are "reversible", and would reverse themselves unless held in equilibrium. To make the monkey example relevant as an attempted explanation that life arose by chance, we'd have to add the following: every time a monkey randomly typed a character, it would also type a backspace key and type over the letter using the correction ribbon. There are as many forces in nature that undo built-up arrangements of molecules as there are forces that do the building up; probably more (that's why the 2nd Law says that entropy moves from low to high, and not the other way around, at least not without purposeful action to maintain the earlier low-entropy state). So the assumption that, if only given enough time, random combinations will inevitably build up arrangements that are functional (e.g., proteins) and meaningful (e.g., literary novels) is a non-starter.
  5. >-Incorrect. Past events have run out of time, and "given enough time" should be realistic. I agree. I was clearly being provocative in my previous assertion since most people incorrectly believe that as long as some event can be shown to have a non-zero probability of occurring, it will occur if given enough time. We both agree that's untrue. >The chance that left to themselves all the air molecules in a room where one is breathing will come to reside in a one-cubic-inch volume in a corner of the room is so small, one shouldn't get nervous about it or give it a second thought. I also agree. The reason that we shouldn't fear air molecules randomly aggregating in the corner of a room (thus suffocating us to death) is that there are vastly more combinations of air molecules not aggregating in the corner than there are combinations of molecules aggregating in the corner. Simple statistical mechanics. Similarly, there are more combinations of molecules of stone and plaster comprising differently shaped piles of rubble than there are combinations of stone and plaster comprising inhabitable structures like The Parthenon, which explains why structures like the Parthenon go from being low-probability-low-entropy arrangements of molecules (the structure as it appeared in antiquity after it was built by intelligent minds) to lying in partial ruins (as it appears today), and not the other way around...even though by hypothetically assuming the other way around, no physical laws are being violated. As Feynman pointed out in his Cornell lectures, if you saw a film clip of a tornado tearing through a pile of rubble and a perfectly assembled barn is the result, you'd understandably claim that the film was being run backward, because in our experience, non-intelligent forces like tornados don't take arrangements of things that have a high probability of appearing on their own (piles of rubble) and converting them into low-probability arrangements (barns). It's called "statistical mechanics" and it provides a compelling illustrating of how things break down over time when left by themselves without intelligent intervention to maintain their low-probability arrangements, as well as illustrating how things cannot go from high probability (high entropy) arrangements to low probability arrangements (low entropy) without intelligent intervention. I.e., without purposeful, goal-directed, teleological action. The same arguments apply to the origin of life, as well as the diversification of disparate species.
  6. >What point are you trying to make? Objectivists live in an echo chamber.
  7. >There is no evidence of any sort of purposeful being guiding evolution. There's also no evidence of any sort that a person named Ayn Rand engaged in teleologically mystical and goal-oriented action to write a book called Atlas Shrugged. Eye-witness testimony from someone claiming to have typed the manuscript? That's not objective proof worthy of being accepted by an Objectivist; that's just someone saying she did something or saw something. Imagine if we all accepted such eye-witness testimony as "proof" of anything! We'd probably have to accept the eye-witness testimony of survivors of extermination camps during WW2 (and there are many deniers who do not accept such eye-testimony as proof of anything except, in their view, the willingness of some people to lie); we'd probably also have to accept the eye-witness testimony of Ukrainians who say their cities and homes were shelled by the Ukrainian army or that Ukraine is a central hub (by virtue of its geographic location, as well as by virtue of the general anarchic and corrupt state of affairs in its own government) of child trafficking! Just imagine all of the ridiculous things we'd have to consider seriously as being plausibly true if we accept eye-witness testimony as evidence! It's not fully and majestically Objective, so the whole issue is a non-starter. The reason we don't have to resort to such a mystical explanation as "someone named Ayn Rand intelligently-designed Atlas Shrugged by means of purposeful, goal-oriented action" is that the entire book, all 1160 pages, can be shown to have a non-zero probability of having appeared simply by pure dumb luck by means of naturally occurring forces. And you'll have to admit that as long as there's a non-zero probability of anything occurring, it probably will occur, given enough time. Right? As far as the text itself goes, it can all be explained by very simple probability: 1) The book is about 1160 pages (hardcover might have a different page count from paperback, but 1160 pages is not too far off the mark). 2) There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and we use another character -- a space -- to separate groups of letters (called "words") from one another. So if we include a space as a character, the English alphabet can be said to comprise 27 discrete characters. There are also punctuation marks, of which I include the following 11: period, comma, colon, semi-colon, exclamation point, question mark, apostrophe, open quote, close quote, open parenthesis, close parenthesis. We might include the open-and-close brackets and the diaresis but I'll skip those since they don't change the outcome by much. Also, I'm omitting the fact that there are actually 52 letters in the English alphabet, not just 26, because each letter has a majuscule (upper case) and miniscule (lower case) form. So the total number of characters in English is the following: 26 letters; 1 space; 11 punctuation marks; Total = 38 characters. There are no physical or chemical constraints on any of those characters; i.e., any character can precede or succeed any other character. True there are mental constraints on the order of characters determined by mental considerations such as grammar, syntax, rules of spelling (e.g., in English, a "u" must follow a "q" 100% of the time, or in others, with a probability of "1") but mental considerations are irrelevant in this calculation, which only considers physical or chemical constraints -- the same kinds of constraints that come into play in biological systems. Now, how many characters are in the complete work known as Atlas Shrugged? Hard to say. I guess we could find an online version and do a character count but this is just a "back of the envelope" calculation, so I'm going to "guestimate." I'll guess that there at least 300 characters per page (probably more); since there are about 1160 pages, the total number of characters would be around 300 x 1,160 = 348,000. Now: just taking into consideration laws of physics and chemistry -- not "rules" of spelling, grammar, etc. -- what is the probability that the entire string of text, from "Who is John Galt" to "traced the sign of the dollar" arose purely by dumb luck? It's very easy to calculate: Think of those 348,000 characters as being "slots" waiting to be filled by a character spit out by any physical force we imagine (naturally occurring ink blown by tornado, for example. It could happen, right? It's not completely impossible, right?). So what is the probability that the first character we see in a current copy of the book -- an open-quote, or " -- could appear in the first position of the text (i.e., the first "slot")? It's not hard to figure out. If there are 38 characters, then the odds of one of those characters appearing in the first slot are one-in-38, expressed arithmetically as "1/38." This means: there's a 1-in-38 chance that the first slot in the text will be an open-quote. The 2nd slot in the novel shows the letter "W" (i.e., "Who is John Galt?"). What are the odds of that letter appearing (after being blown in by some tornado or storm from a pool of inky substance that just happens to be lying around on the ground) by chance? Same as before: there are 38 characters total; "W" is one of those characters; so the odds of that character appearing in the 2nd slot are 1/38. Now: what would the odds be of both of those characters appearing by chance? It's a simple probability product: " = 1/38 W = 1/38 " and W (whether in temporal succession or simultaneously, it makes no difference for the calculation): the word "and" in probability means "times", so we simply multiply the two probabilities: " and W = " * W = 1/38*1/38=1/1,444. So there's a 1-in-1,444 chance of a " and a W appearing by chance in the first 2 slots. What about the 3rd slot, the letter "h" ("Who . . .?"). Same thing. It's also 1/38. And so it is for every character in the entire string of text, from "Who is John Galt" to "traced the sign of the dollar." Since we're guessing there are about 348,000 characters total, the odds of the entire text string appearing by chance must be 1/38 multiplied by itself 348,000 times, or 1/(38^348,000). It's a bit easier to conceive of the denominator if we convert it to base 10, so we do a little junior high school log arithmetic: 38^348,000 = 348,000*log(10)38 The log(10) of 38 is about 1.58 (i.e., 10^1.58 is about 38); So 38^348,000 = 348,000*log(10)38 = 348,000*1.58 = 549,840; or 38^348,000 = 10^549,840 And since that number was in the denominator, we have the odds of Atlas Shrugged having come into existence completely by random processes and pure dumb luck as being: one chance in 10^549,840, or 1/10^549,840, which is NON-ZERO. And because it is a positive Real Number, we cannot simply dismiss it as impossible (which would be a zero probability), and therefore there's no need to trust unreliable "eye-witness" testimony as some sort of evidence in favor of a mystical force like "teleological, goal-directed action" to account for a 1160-page novel, which after all, is really just a very long string of characters, and ink is just ink; a liquid with chemical properties, capable of taking many shapes from completely random physical forces. We don't need anything other than those physical forces and the chemical properties of liquid ink to account for a long text string like Atlas Shrugged. >There is no need to suppose such a being, since genetic mutation and natural selection are enough to account for evolution. Just as random physical forces, the chemical properties of liquid ink, and the ironclad math of simple probability are enough to account for the appearance of a long string of text we have named "Atlas Shrugged." See above.
  8. You haven't explicitly answered the question: Direct evidence such as eye-witness testimony?
  9. >which is objectively evil Russian aggression As a response to objectively evil Ukrainian government aggression against other Ukrainians who are ethnically Russian. If you study some history of the subject instead of watching CNN and MSNBC you might learn something and arrive at a conclusion more consistent with the actual historical record. This is known as the "correspondence theory truth," in which "truth = correspondence to fact"; as opposed to slavishly following MSM, which is known as the "coherence theory of truth," in which "truth = beliefs and statements that are not only internally consistent but concur, and are consistent with, stories and viewpoints espoused by pundits on MSM." As an example of the latter, when Brian Stelter on CNN went to one of the areas that were rioting after the George Floyd killing, and with a straight face told the cameras that "this is mainly a peaceful demonstration" when viewers could plainly see buildings burning in the background and people rioting violently in the streets, there were many viewers who, to this day, deny that there was any violent rioting in the streets because Brian Stelter -- Johnny-on-the-Spot -- told them what to think, and told them how to interpret what they were seeing. That's called "controlling the narrative." It's like the scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where the little terrier Toto pulls back the curtain, revealing a harmless old man at a machine that amplifies his voice, making him sound menacing, and who then shouts (as a last-ditch attempt to "control the narrative" of Dorothy and her companions), "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" >war crimes, and atrocities False flags. For example, the maternity hospital that was shelled several weeks ago, with reports of dead women and babies, and blamed on Russian forces by western mainstream media, had been evacuated several weeks earlier in February and was being used as a headquarters by Ukrainian military and the Azov battalion. That's why it was shelled by Russian forces. But women and babies were not among the casualties. The online newscast called "The Hill: Rising" hosted by Kim Iversen had a webcast at the end of February about some of the fake images and newscasts coming out of Ukraine and promoted by mainstream media, such as spectacular nighttime rocket attacks that were actually images from a video game; images of "brave" president Zelensky donning military gear, apparently "ready to appear on the front lines to support his troops" that were actually recycled pictures from a year ago of a training exercise; etc. See link. The more recent hysteria by MSM over Russian forces "about to attack a nuclear power plant" was a false flag, too. Ukrainian military took over the power plant and fired on Russian forces hoping to goad them into returning the fire (they didn't). Nevertheless, sleepwalkers in the west who swallow Blue Pills handed out to them by MSM got to shake their heads and virtual-signal to one another, "I just saw on The View that those nasty, nasty Russians were about to attack a nuclear power plant! That Putin guy sure is nuts!" Etc. Controlling the narrative. >that are clearly reminiscent of those of the 3rd Reich That's for sure! The members of the Azov Battalion are the scions of WWII-era Nazis (can't even call them "neo-Nazis; they're actual, old-style Nazis, and they even don some of the runic symbolism on their military gear). So when Putin declared that one of the aims of the incursion would be to "de-Nazify" Ukraine, he was being literal. The Objectivists on this board are simply uninformed. It's understandable, though. Ayn Rand hated Russia, so followers of Ayn Rand should also hate Russia. That seems to be about the extent of "research" most Objectivists here have done on the topic of Ukraine. As for Tucker Carlson: he's a good interviewer and very likable. Many haven't forgiven him, though, for the insulting way he treated attorney Sidney Powell after the fraud of the 2020 election started to become known (see Dinesh D'Souza's recent documentary on that, titled "2000 Mules" showing video evidence of massive ballot-stuffing by Democrats). The problem isn't Tucker; the problem is that Fox is really part of MSM now (it was been for a long time), whose function within that space is being seen by many (including me) as being "Controlled Opposition", i.e., a venue that is permitted to voice opposition to some of the prevailing narratives but only within certain limits. This applies to Newsmax, as well. Both Fox and Newsmax have taken large sums of money from Big Pharma so you won't hear a peep from them regarding the poisonous effects of the mass vaccination and mass boosting programs, and both news venues have demurred on the January 6th "insurrection" at the Capitol, and the 2020 election fraud. Regarding the vaccines: as Edward Dowd (former managing director at BlackRock) has said, there's been a 40% increase since the vax rollout in 2021 of "All Cause Mortality" in a demographic that shouldn't be having such an increase: working age adults between 18 and 64. This was first reported a few months ago by the CEO of OneAmerica, a large insurance company headquartered in Indiana. A 40% increase in All Cause Mortality is about 10 Standard Deviations on a Normal Distribution, indicating an event that one wouldn't expect to see even in 200 years. Other insurance carriers, both US and European, have noticed similar kinds of increases over the past year. There are probably several causes (the lockdowns, for sure) but the injurious effects of the mRNA technology on causing long-term damage to the immune system, as well as contributing to blood clots and myocarditis, has now been admitted even by Pfizer during its recent FOIA releases of its trial data. Dowd and others (MDs and PhDs) are expecting huge numbers in excess mortality -- in the many millions, possibly more -- to die in the next few years. Unfortunately, many of those will be children. Alternative viewpoints that aren't censored or controlled can only be had on alternative platforms such as Rumble, BitChute, Telegram, Gab, Gettr, Parler, Truth Social (Trump's platform), Frank Speech (Mike Lindell's platform), and maybe a few others. Under Elon Musk's helmsmanship, Twitter might rebound as an actual mainstream platform promoting free speech, hence, alternative narratives, but we'll have to wait to see how that all plays out in the next few months.
  10. >We have direct evidence that Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged. Such as eye-witness testimony of persons claiming to have witnessed Ayn Rand actually hand-writing the manuscript? That sort of "direct evidence"? Specify, please.
  11. >and that one (Russia) was wrong for starting it, Actually Ukraine started it back in 2014 when it started shelling the Donbas region populated by Ukrainians who are ethnically and linguistically Russian. The Ukrainian military has killed at least 14,000 civilians there, possibly more. So Russia is simply responding to long-time Ukrainian aggression against ethnic Russians.
  12. >The reason is very simple: Putin is not a legitimate ruler and the Russian government is not morally legitimate. Neither is Zelensky and neither is the present Ukrainian government. Zelensky was chosen by Igor Kolomoisky (a criminal oligarch living in Switzerland) because 1) he was a popular comic actor starring in a popular tv show so he had a high public profile; 2) he had no political or executive experience at all; and 3) he's a known cokehead. Upshot: Zelensky is very easily manipulated. Many Ukrainian civilians, especially those living abroad, have stated outright that the election was fixed and that Zelensky was essentially installed. "Deep State" players (including those in the U.S. such as the Biden crime family) like weak, easily manipulated leaders of foreign countries. It makes money laundering so much easier. So the issues of "rights", "moral legitimacy", etc. are irrelevant in this conflict. The only issue that matters is to understand motives, not to agree with them. Russia views Ukraine as a necessary buffer between itself and NATO. Understandably, Putin does not want western nukes on his border, for the same reason the U.S. didn't want Russian nukes in Cuba, just 90 miles from its own border. Putin also doesn't want western-financed bioweapons facilities on its border (there were about 30 of them, last I heard), labs that the U.S.'s own Victoria Nuland admitted to in front of the Senate several weeks ago (much to the surprise, it seems, of senator Marco Rubio). If Zelensky were any kind of a leader at all -- legitimate or not -- he could negotiate peace immediately and save many Ukrainian lives. All he would have to do is agree to keep Ukraine neutral. He won't do it because he can't do it: he's just a popular-tv-actor-coke-addict-figurehead and is not the one actually in command of the government. The intent of those who are in command, is to keep the conflict going as long as possible to create a proxy-war between the west and Russia; i.e., specifically, between the U.S. and Russia. Lots of people in the west like that idea because lots of people can profit from war. Objectivists should check their premises before apologizing for a regime run by absentee oligarchs, brutal thugs, and explicit Nazis.
  13. >If you are saying evolution is guided by purposeful choices, please explain why this is not just a form of mysticism. "Atlas Shrugged" came into being by means of purposeful choices. Please explain why that is not just a form of mysticism.
  14. >It would be more precise to say "Teleology – goal-oriented approach – has no part in Darwin's view of how human morality came to exist." It would be even more precise, as well as more accurate, to say "Teleology – a goal-oriented approach – has no part in Darwin's hypothesis of evolution." For Darwin, evolution is a process of pure-dumb-luck plus determinism taking place very slowly over long periods of time. He was wrong, of course, but his hypothesis has sure gotten a lot of intellectual mileage, especially in academia.
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