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Everything posted by RationalBiker

  1. First the government itself is far from benign. The government is the one the generates and enforces laws that ultimately serve to protect individual rights or destroy individual rights. That is a power that is far from benign, in scope and/or in practice. The fact that they are lobbied by big business DOES NOT mean they have to cater to what big business seeks. Individual politicians CHOOSE of their own volition to allow "big business" to use pull; thus indicative of a corrupt politician. This is one of the very reasons why government should not be in the market, because of the potential of immoral people using government pull and corrupt politicians allowing it. That is very much present in the theme of Atlas Shrugged. When you remove government intervention in the market, there goes that big business pull. You are putting the cart before the horse. I don't deny that there is big business interference in government, I place the responsibility of allowing it to happen where it belongs; on the government.
  2. I'm on book 5 of the Dexter series. I have no inclination of becoming a serial killer. While Rand may have intended AS to be a fictional extension of her philosophical beliefs, that does not mean the reader is going to read it with the intent of accepting it as more than "just a good story". On the other hand, the Bible is not presented as a fictional story, it is presented as reality with very scary eternal results if one does not heed its instructions. There is a huge difference there in the amount of psychological coercion going on.
  3. Are you familiar with the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept? How does one precisely and scientifically use "self-delusion" or "over-confidence" without using rationality as a primary? You are positing a contradiction, that one can choose to be rationally irrational. Additionally, how does one choose to delude oneself IF they KNOW they are deluding their self? Earlier you made the claim that the information in those studies was easily and readily usable. I doubt that claim. One cannot just make themselves over-confident if they are not in the first place. One cannot simply ignore reality if seeking reality is something they already consider important. What in particular are you saying is a fact and real feature of the human mind? Self-delusion and over-confidence or the results of the studies you referenced? Are you still not seeing the contradiction created by your premise and the "results" of those studies?
  4. It's hard to claim it was "seized" when the Native Americans didn't even recognize or understand the concept of private property. That came with the Europeans. Additionally, whether or not the government was the initially seller of private property BACK THEN has nothing to do with the propriety of government's place in the market NOW. It is improper to compound one's errors simply because that was how it was historically done. You might as well suggest we just trash all the knowledge we gained from then until now.
  5. If your premise is that self-delusion is ultimately more successful in achieving happiness, and assuming you yourself are in fact happily self-deluded, why are you seeking to determine the best means towards happiness with an objective line of questioning to determine the reality of your premise? In other words, you appear to seeking truth according to what is objectively real while denying that is necessary to be happy. There is a contradiction at work here with your premise and these studies you reference. Is it not the purpose of the study to determine what the reality is in this situation? Why is it important to validate that reality if delusion is sufficient to begin with?
  6. Corresponding to the "productiveness" over "family" argument, there are a number of studies out there that indicate people who retire early generally die sooner than people who retire later in life. Why? It is generally considered that they've lost their sense of purpose. http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20051020/early-retirement-early-death
  7. The big difference is that many people don't "believe" in theories, they recognize that they are theories, not claims to proof or knowledge. Additionally, we've had several people come into this forum claiming a rational case for a creator but have each time fallen short of establishing that case. Usually it depends on how much assumption you are going to allow in one's logic in order to consider it rational or not. Other times it involves ignoring contradictions created by their alleged logic. Also, one needs to make the distinction between people who may be generally rational (and highly educated) and presenting a rational argument. Otherwise rational people can present irrational arguments and hold irrational beliefs.
  8. Of the Catholics that I know, I'm certainly not impressed with the consistency of their behavior to their claimed beliefs. I'm equally unimpressed with Avila's opinion that Catholicism is any less subjective than protestantism.
  9. Wow, thanks for sharing that. I am looking forward to this movie as well.
  10. I don't see where you are getting any of this from what he said. It is kind of presumed when talking about Objectivism that if one has a rational goal that is their passion, one must still remain alive and healthy enough to pursue that goal.
  11. One need not change people like one makes a bow in order to be able to change people. Some people are capable of being "changed" through rational reasoning and some people are not.
  12. In which all of these "various methods" (none of which you have expanded on) require force as the backbone in order for the concept to be called "enforcement". Please explain these other various methods.
  13. No, I'm pretty sure I'm not making a mistake at all. The distinction between "enforcement" and what you are suggesting, which is essentially telling or requesting, is that force is necessarily the stick behind the request or demand to comply. That doesn't mean that force has to be used in every instance of seeking compliance, it means that in every instance of seeking compliance force is the ultimate measure to be taken behind whichever other method is used to gain said compliance. Enforcement necessarily requires a "you will do this or you risk X happening to you whether you consent to X or not." I'm not smuggling anything in, I'm recognizing 26 years of experience in "securing compliance with the law".
  14. I think enforcement DOES necessarily imply force. I'm not sure I see how "enforcement" implies submission or compliance. They are on the other side of the equation, so to speak. Enforcement seeks submission and compliance, but submission or compliance comes from the side that is the target of the enforcement. The "stick" (force) is always present as a result of not complying.
  15. They "rarely" live to the age of 25? I'm sure it's rough in Southside Queens, but "rarely" living to 25 seems exaggerated.
  16. Perhaps people can be greater than you think they can be. Pervasive in the biography of Steve Jobs is the theme of his tyrannical style of leadership. Yet equally pervasive is the theme of his ability to inspire people to do things they didn't think they could do. While likely less tyrannical than Jobs, perhaps in Mr. Allison's case he sees reading about the ideal to be more valuable than you see it to be. When one sees the problems of presented in AS, perhaps one would also see the need to emulate that ideal as best as possible, even if they don't initially think they could achieve the same level of greatness exhibited by the characters. That said, you are certainly free to avoid any requirement by an employer that you are personally uncomfortable with.
  17. Thanks. My son was accepted at Tech prior to the 2007 shooting, and started attending classes the fall afterwards. Many people asked if I was worried about him going there in the wake of that massacre and at the time I was not. The likelihood of having another such school shooting at the same location is very minimal. However, since he's been there, there has been two more shootings, obviously not mass shootings like 2007, but still more than I would have guessed.
  18. http://abcnews.go.com/US/virginia-tech-shooter-deadl-lock-lifted/story?id=15114257#.TuEzRJh0uIE They think the second victim is actually the suspect. I'm hoping my son will graduate soon and get the heck out of there.
  19. RationalBiker

    Traffic Laws

    So some people told you they have a quota and you believe them... got it. Did you get a ticket from these quota-crazed cops that don't care about safety? This is the third time I've asked now. Initially, in the thread where you complained about being targeted for racism, I defended your position until someone suggested that you were the common denominator in many of your problems. I see that now.
  20. RationalBiker

    Traffic Laws

    I simply asked a question because I didn't know the answer. So you are saying that there are cops in that jurisdiction that told you they have a quota? Interesting. That could be great for you in court. You didn't answer though, did you get a ticket? So you must live in a dry area where parents don't keep alcohol in their homes. I didn't know that. Either that or the younger people there are not very resourceful. I live in an area that is not dry and it is possible for an under 21 folks to have been drinking and they sometimes have been. Rather than assuming someone is "ditzy", it's probably smart for the officer to ask them before proceeding further in a DUI investigation. Officers typically enforce laws that they think are violated in front of them rather than waiting the next "worse" violation. DUI drivers and other traffic violators often ask why an officer isn't arresting drug dealers, murderers or rapists. Many people that get stopped think the officer could be using their time to be arresting someone else that is doing something that is "more dangerous" than what they themselves are doing. I recognize that as your opinion, but I would ask for a more substantive argument that is the case. With 26 years in law enforcement, the vast majority of guys I worked with thought, whether misguided or otherwise, that the enforcement of traffic law is one way of trying to make things safer. Certainly some laws are more tax revenue generating than safety enhancing, but enforcing "tailgating" is not one of those laws. Rear ender accidents are among the most common types of accidents. And I've heard that some places, Delaware being one, are much stricter in their enforcement efforts. So, was you dad exceeding the speed limit by 5 mph? Yes, law enforcement does require some amount of "being in the right place at the right time" since they can't generally enforce violations they do not witness.
  21. RationalBiker

    Traffic Laws

    You say you got pulled over, but did you actually get a ticket? Lots of places do not have quotas. What leads you to believe this jurisdiction has a quota? Also, there are people who've been drinking at 2:30 pm. Asking someone if they have been drinking is minimally invasive in terms of investigating the possibility. Why would you be offended by that? The officer does not know you personally. You thought it might be a scam, but you elected to pull over anyway? What changed your mind? What does texting drivers have to do with whether or not you were following bus too closely?
  22. You can think of it however you like. I don't invoke context, it exists independent of me. If you can't get your mind around that, that's not my problem. Have a nice one.
  23. Why is it important to get a nod that rain is good? You sound like you are taking something personally when all we (or perhaps I should just stick with I) are trying to do is put something into an objective perspective. Hurricanes and flooding resulting in death and property loss occur several times every year, so cases of rain threatening property and life are not so "extreme". Evaluating whether or not something is good or bad requires a context. Though you seem to keep resisting that idea, you keep providing a context every time you explain why rain is good to you. Rain is rain. Sometimes it is good for some people, sometimes it is bad for some people. Why is that idea so offensive to you?
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