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Everything posted by stephen_speicher

  1. Thank you for the very kind words, and to those others who replied here and privately. Since you asked ... Betsy and I have started our own forum for Ayn Rand fans, Forums.4AynRandFans.com. The forum will open for postings on Friday, February 11, but you can visit, look around, and join the forum right now.
  2. Many contrary and provocative comments have been made in this thread, and I will make one final statement in the hope of bringing this all to an end. Betsy and I hold no ill will towards the members of this forum. In the nine months or so that we have been posting on this board, we have seen the membership increase substantially, as has the quantity and quality of posts to the forum. The members of this forum are, overwhelmingly, a bright and good-natured bunch, and, as I have said several times in the past, it is a delight to meet so many intelligent and inquisitive young minds. Nonetheless, Betsy and I will not be regularly posting on OO.net. We have decided, instead, to focus on starting a forum of our own for fans and admirers of Ayn Rand. We think there is room for several quality Objectivist forums. When it is finally ready, we will let you all know. We wish you all well and hope to meet many of you again, in Cyberspace and elsewhere. p.s. I am setting up our Forum so that members cannot edit their own posts. Neither can the moderators or administrators. The "Edit" function has been removed. When any posting is deleted by a moderator, that posting is sent to a "pending" forum. The moderator will then PM the poster whose posting was deleted and provide him with a pointer to the post in the "pending" forum, along with an explanation of why the post was deleted. The explanation will be, primarily, a form which is checked indicating the reasons for deleting the post. The original poster can then fix the problem and re-post.
  3. I have been a prolific poster to this forum and I want to make a public statement in that regard. Unbeknownst to me -- with no notice or warning -- a moderator, NIJamesHughes, has modified the content of some posts of mine. I am only aware of this fact because someone else brought it to my attention. I have no idea what content of mine in any other posts has been changed. Therefore, for the record, I want it to be known that no one should take the content of any previous postings bearing my name on this forum, to necessarily be reflective of my actual views. I take my ideas, and my reputation, very seriously. I refuse to participate on a forum where what I write can be changed without any notice or acknowledgement to me. I am leaving this forum immediately.
  4. Why is that immoral? A lot of radical socialists have a hatred of ability, whether they be women or men.
  5. All I can do is speculate on Ayn Rand's intended meaning, which I am not inclined to do here. But, anyway, keep in mind that these remarks by Ayn Rand were made extemporaneously and should not be held to the same standard as are her written words.
  6. Have you read this earlier post in which I provided relevant information about this?
  7. True hilarity is his "refutation" of special relativity. He does so by reference to his linguisitic interpretation of two words in a popular book that Einstein wrote for public consumption! Truly amazing. The postmoderns strike again! He recently spammed the "Physics Forums," dredging up old posts and dropping his load. Let's hope the moderators here do not let him run rampant with his bizarre nonsense.
  8. But here you are just assuming what I asked you to justify. Well then, your opening sentence sure had me fooled. You said: "If homosexuallity is a psychological problem and it certainly seems that it is- because nature certainly intended for people to be attracted to the opposite sex." Okay, but that is a different question from the one you first posed. In general we hold people morally responsible for the actions they choose, but not necessarily for the feelings they have. The fact that you put "seemed" in scare quotes implies that you may be thinking that such a person is consciously fooling himself. If that were the case, if indeed a person chose to evade the relevant facts in order to rationalize away his behavior, then yes, that would be a breach of morality. But, I would ask you to consider that simply because people may do something that you do not like, that in itself does not indicate any evasion on their part. Especially when it comes to the context you first raised, which had to do with human sexuality. I do not think that the evidence is conclusive for homosexuality as either choice or as biological, and in my view it would be obscene and outright malevolent to expect a homsexual to refrain from acting in furtherance of his sexuality.
  9. Wow. I'm impressed. In only four sentences you disproved "Goedel's Theorem." And this Goedel disproof is even more succinct than your recent disproval of special relativity. What's next on your disproof agenda? How about disproving Euclidean or Riemannian geometry?
  10. I think not. But, if you think so, then perhaps you might want to justify why. Perhaps. Do you have any evidence to offer in support of homosexuality being a mental illness?
  11. (2) This forum will not tolerate posts which contain personal insults or are otherwise devoid of intellectual content. Examples of personal insults include sarcastic comments and accusations of irrationality or immorality. If you disagree with another poster, attack the argument, not the poster. If you think that a poster is behaving in an irrational or immoral manner, contact the moderators. Likewise, all posts must add to the discussion rather than merely express agreement or disagreement without explaining the writer's reasons.
  12. Silly me. I always thought you have to look at reality to determine "whether a given idea is true or false." Now I can save all that time and use the "shortcut" to determine "whether a given idea is true or false." Interesting. Perhaps you can identify one axiom each for "Ethics, and Politics, and the Arts."
  13. If flying is a psychological problem and it certainly seems that it is -- because nature certainly intended people not to fly, else it would have given people wings. Wouldn't a flying Objectivist be moral only if he recognized this? To try and bend reality to suit their desire seems immoral.
  14. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. It is really fascinating to observe how often we hear the claim from anti- or pseudo- Objectivists, that Objectivists march in lockstep and just blindly follow a leader. They obviously are not aware of the debates and disagreements that we have had on HBL and other forums.
  15. (2) This forum will not tolerate posts which contain personal insults or are otherwise devoid of intellectual content. Examples of personal insults include sarcastic comments and accusations of irrationality or immorality. If you disagree with another poster, attack the argument, not the poster. If you think that a poster is behaving in an irrational or immoral manner, contact the moderators. Likewise, all posts must add to the discussion rather than merely express agreement or disagreement without explaining the writer's reasons.
  16. I think you would enjoy reading the section in OPAR where Peikoff discusses these sort of issues (Chapter 2, in the section "Sensory Qualities as Real," pp. 44-48). Personally, I think this is one of the best written sections in OPAR, and, perhaps, an area where he explicates some fascinating issues that were not greatly discussed in the Objectivist corpus. In essence, though, of course there is only one reality -- all that exists -- and certainly shape, size, etc. exist in reality. But it is illustrative to distinguish between form and object, between those things that are tied to our perceptual apparatus, and that which exists apart from us. The former are not primaries -- not fundamental aspects of metaphysical reality -- and the latter are efects -- effects of the actions of primaries on our perceptual apparatus. But calling them "effects" does not make them less real; we explain the reality of these effects by reference to the primaries that cause them. Edit: Fixed wrong Chapter number for OPAR.
  17. A few of "something like it": -- The monster-sized mall, where several roads lead to, finances near-by roads so customers can come to shop. -- The businesses along the routes pay for sections of the road in order to make their stores accessible to the public. -- The roads are financed by advertising along the route. These, or combinations of these (or other schemes that not I but private enterprise will creatively dream up) could make the roads accessible without the drivers paying anything directly.
  18. Thanks for the laughs. (God knows this thread needs some.)
  19. Metaphysics studies the nature of reality from a broad perspective, reality as a whole. So, for instance, metaphysics is concerned with matter as that which all things are made of, whereas the physical sciences deal with the specific forms of matter, the detailed nature of substances. Of course. What else would the physical sciences deal with if not with metaphysical reality? I do not know what you mean by "metaphysically perceive," but we cannot perceive atoms directly with our unaided senses. If we do not observe these entities, either directly by our senses or indirectly with the aid of appropriate instruments, then their existence is an inference whose validity is dependent on the quality of the evidence and the logic of the inference. But, yes, granted appropiate evidence and proper reasoning, an inference can lead to knowledge where we know with certainty of the existence of entities that we have not yet directly perceived. But, the further we get from sense perception the more we require in accumulated evidence. The acceptance of atomic theory in the 19th century is an example of this. Unless we actually look at reality along the way -- unless we get to perceive these intermediate entities, either directly or indirectly through instrumentation -- the more risk we run of rationalistically building castles in the sky. No. We isolate characteristics or attributes of "table," but only in a general way, leaving out specific measurements. That is part of how we form concepts. By contrast physics deals with the detailed nature of the table, i.e., the specific geometrical properties of its shape, the detailed properties of the material of which it is composed, etc. "[P]redictions of tables?" Perhaps you mean: by forming a proper concept of "table" we can automatize that identification and automatically perceive as a table some particular thing that we did not perceive before. Hopefully by now you will see that this is not the case. I do not understand. What else should metaphysics refer to if not reality?
  20. Did you notice what a whole bunch of people wrote here? Namely, that the reason why Microsoft is so successful, the reason why so many people buy their product, is because people do value their product? Argument by repetitive bizarre assertion. Like I said before, enjoy your abacus.
  21. stephen_speicher


    I did not state a definition of a human being; "independent biological entity" is what is meant as the "being" part of a human being. I am referring to biologically independent, meaning an entity whose physical structure, biological structure, biological systems and regulatory functions are self-contained. A fetus is, physically, a part of a woman's body, an organism whose radically different physiological structure makes it biologically dependent on the physical system of which it is a part. For instance, the fetus lacks functional lungs and intestines, and it derives its oxygen from the placenta. This changes when the first breath is drawn at birth, when the respiratory circulation is shunted from the placenta to the lungs. These are the essential facts which need to be addressed. And, please, I beseech you, put aside your borderline cases and focus on the essence of the issue. We define an issue by focusing on it essentials, not what happens on its fringe. Also, just because you may not like the implications of facts, is no reason to reject those facts. If you accept the facts, you must eventually accept their implications, but you cannot go back and change the facts because you do not like the implications. So, for the moment forget about the consequences. Do you see why, because it is not a physically, biologically independent entity, that a fetus is not a human being?
  22. stephen_speicher


    I snipped away your four possibilites and your analysis of such. Please do not interpret this as being dismissive of any arguments, but rather as questioning their relevance. I presented the issue to you in terms of "human being," which you have transposed into "person." By "human being" I mean an independent biological entity of the human species. What do you mean by "person?" Afterall, my claim is that a fetus is not a human being, since it is not an independent biological entity.
  23. I would not make any positive assertions at all about the mode of action of the ultimate constituents, even in the form of possibilities. We simply do not know what action really means when applied to the ultimate constituents. Replacing "which" with "what," I would agree. Since I do not think there are any arguments against this that are fully coherent, it is best left to those who disagree to present their arguments.
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