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Everything posted by TuringAI

  1. It's all in this article. I got this from a libertarian social network but that doesn't matter, since this is a true case of government abuse and we need all the help we can get. http://citypaper.net/articles/2010/08/19/blogging-business-privilege-tax-philadelphia Personally, while I believe all taxation is theft, it's especially wrong to tax blogs because it stifles the free speech of those who may have no other outlet.
  2. Hedonistic perhaps? Solipsistic? It depends on WHY they are acting 'selfish' but it usually boils down to either not recognizing that anyone other than themselves exists, or not caring because they're getting pleasure from the deal.
  3. Why don't you trust them? They are acting as faithful defenders of America and the U.S. constitution in combat, why shouldn't they be allowed to do the same outside of combat?
  4. Getting something for nothing is not intrinsically immoral, even if the one who got nothing for something believed they had made an even exchange. Compare this to a scenario where a business owner promises a team of interns that one of them will be hired, when said owner has already determined in advance which one will be hired. While I will accept if both the bookstore owner example and the team of interns example implies the immorality of their exploiters, and I will accept it if neither is immoral, you can't claim that one is okay and the other isn't.
  5. How do you know? Have you read the hypothetical bookstore's return policy? You can't have done that since it's a hypothetical example. Since you only have limited information you should make a judgment based on what you know, not on what you don't know.
  6. Yet if the bookstore had voluntarily made a refund policy a part of the contract, that's essentially the same thing as making payment optional.
  7. If the book store owner voluntarily decides to enact a policy whereby they make payment for the book optional, how is it fraud, or even acting in bad faith, to hold the book store owner to a situation to which he or she consented?
  8. Good job at removing the only relevant part of the analogy! Here, let me be more clear. Both buying a book and paying for someone's labor are voluntary transactions. Paying less for a book than the bookstore deserves and paying less for the labor than the laborer deserves are equivalent harms/vices.
  9. The analogy isn't between book returning and all business activities. The analogy is between book returning and a business which specifically pays its workers less than the employer has judged the employees are worth.
  10. You're the one attacking a straw man. I never said all business owners were dishonest. I said not all business owners were honest. Furthermore, I never justified that it was okay to be fraudulent, in fact there is no fraud in the legal sense of the term involved. I still think it would be dishonest to treat a book store as a free library but that's different than violating the terms of a contract. In fact this distinction isn't relevant in this context since I clearly agree that it is dishonest. Please read more carefully what I am saying next time alright?
  11. It's only flawed if you think that every business owner in the entire world doesn't cut corners and place money on a pedestal above morals. A lot of employers believe the myth that profit maximization is the same thing as having a productive business. It's not, and even Ayn Rand would agree that businesses need morals other than 'make the most amount of money without breaking the law' to flourish. The Enron Business Model is not moral. I think that the same fallacy is in play here for the person who believes that reading a book, benefiting from the value of the book, and and returning it just so they don't have to pay anything is moral. Suppose there were no laws in effect forcing the businesses to do that. How long can this kind of behavior hold? Either people will smart up to you and your behavior will bite you in the ass, or you'll get away with THIS but be led to do other corner cutting things that are more obviously immoral.
  12. The only aid they should get is to protect them from nations who threaten them. They do not deserve any other kind of support. Furthermore, we should require that they not squander the money by scaling back their own funding of their military. Their violations of rights in that region does not deserve support, and we should be careful not to inadvertently enable them.
  13. I was drawing an analogy, and it was a perfectly good one too. If as you say the worth of the labor is determined by the laborer in that respect, I say that the seller does value something more than the money paid to him or her for books otherwise he or she would not have such a policy in the first place. What it comes down to is that the book store owner getting the perceived worse end of the bargain is the same as the laborer getting the perceived worse end of the bargain at least with respect to the principles of justice since there is nothing more moral about being a book store owner than a laborer, at least not universally.
  14. The business is not MAKING them work for less than they deserve, but rather exploiting the fact that they do not know what is at stake and what their labor is really worth. In the very same way, the bookstore does not know that it is not worth it to have a 30-day return policy and they do not know that the buyer intends to read it and return it, but the buyer here is exploiting them nonetheless.
  15. I think a double standard is being presented here. If a business were exploiting its own employees, paying them well below what they deserved given the type of job they had and not giving them the benefits they did deserve, anyone here saying that it's immoral to do it even if they didn't claim it should be illegal would be cast out and branded as an anti-capitalist of sorts.
  16. Well actually, the scientist in choosing to combine them (provided he does so physically, not on pencil and paper) will affect their behavior. Otherwise they would remain uncombined. Furthermore, the manner in which he chooses to combine them will lead to uncertainty (since the tools he uses have a limit as to their 'fineness') in both position and momentum, in a manner such that the uncertainty in one multiplied by the uncertainty in the other have a minimum. Again, this has nothing to do with pen and paper but with the fact that there is a quanta of coarseness, a level of interaction that cannot be further divided.
  17. I accidentally double-posted. I don't know how to delete it myself so could you please delete this specific one, and not the next one? Thanks!
  18. Let me rephrase that. A sequence that reaches infinity would be a contradiction. Numeric sequences that apply to finite numbers that don't terminate aren't contradictions, but mathematical inductions only applies to the finite numbers since that's one of the premises, whether it's realized or not, of the logical chain. What I mean specifically is that logical chains that begin at some number and apply to all subsequent numbers do not apply to infinity because there's a fundamental discontinuity of the type of 'number' under consideration.
  19. The store doesn't set those policies, the law does. It would be like trying to organize a union under the premise that the law gives you that right. In reality laws cannot give you rights they can only protect ones that already exist.
  20. We do this by taking a short cut rather than counting every single instance. Since counting is by definition a finite process we can't use that method. Rather, we exhaust the set or sets under consideration by applying mathematical tools that apply to both finite an infinite sets. Of course I don't think 'mathematical induction' (which isn't the same as logical induction) applies because it requires a sequence and all sequences are finite otherwise it implies a contradiction. Rather we have to use something else.
  21. That's a ridiculous claim that it's wrong to challenge the law. He should have filed an appeal and gotten the government to pay for all aspects of that appeal. And by that I mean not that the taxpayers should pay for it but that whatever money is budgeted for law enforcement should go to aid his defense. Regardless, you shouldn't bargain for your rights. They're your rights, after all. What you have done by accepting community service and then not doing it is declared your rights a gray area. Negotiating with a guy who has a gun to your head isn't moral, it's cowardly. You should make a choice and either abide by the decision all the way and not try to get out of it, or absolutely refuse the punishment as openly as possible and threatened to challenge it using legal procedures. To do otherwise is to offer a compromise of your life to the government.
  22. I think the main point to address here is that even though no entity or collection thereof can be infinite, not all existents are entities. To claim that entities are the only things that really matter, in this debate or anywhere, is to have a materialistic bias. All numbers exist in the abstract terms of them being potentially reachable. Infinity shares some qualities with numbers, and has identity but not as a number. It is kind of like a 'broken unit' but really it's not broken, just unorthodox. There are a number of unorthodox things, which have tangential usefulness as a concept, which is to say not that they are useless, but just that they don't tie into the mainstream. I think play is necessary for some things, and that includes making concepts. Even if you can't convince other people to accept a concept or make extensive practical use of it doesn't mean the concept is invalid. I think that's where 'infinity' falls into place.
  23. Okay, let's skip all the drama. The decimal 0.(9) is referring to a 'completed' infinity. The most important question to be asked is this: Since you can't measure something with infinite accuracy, does infinity itself have a valid meaning in a purely mathematical concept? This touches the idea that there can exist things in mathematics that do not DIRECTLY apply to anything in reality. I don't accept Ayn Rand basing ALL of mathematics on measurement. Rather I think that the mere notion of an entity as having an independent existence implies the notion of wholeness, or of something corresponding to an integer. Furthermore, math is purely deductive. It tells you, IF you take certain things as premises, where those premises lead. So really what we should be asking is this: Is math any more fundamental than Ayn Rand's definition implies? If you have dealt with any advanced mathematics you have no choice but to consider infinity as something with some semblance of identity, and that contradict Ayn Rand's theory. If someone closes this thread at least split this off. Everybody here is attacking method but nobody's actually going to convince anyone of anything by doing so. Please consider my offer to start a new debate about where mathematics ACTUALLY fits into the world versus where Ayn Rand put it in her philosophy.
  24. Okay, here's a question. Do you mean 'objects' when you say that or all existents, ALL of them? You do realize that between any two objects there are numerous relationships, and between those objects and their relationships there are further more relationships, and that the process of relating relations and the objects or other relations that gave rise to them is non-terminating, don't you? Sure some relationships may be arbitrarily constructed but they nonetheless exist. Or, if I may use numbers here, if the number 1 exists, then the number 2 exists, and so on and so forth. There are an infinite number of finite numbers. Unless you want to claim that numbers don't exist, you have to accept that the universe contains an infinite number of elements. In fact, set-theoretically, you can't even construct a universal set from the axioms, there are paradoxes which make it contradictory to the axioms. So you can't talk about a universe as being the sum of all that exists, unless you're just talking about objects.
  25. There is a fine conceptual difference between 'identical' and 'equal'. The proof is that when we say "this is identical to that" we are saying they refer to the same thing, IE, they share an identity, whereas when we say 'this is equal to that' we are positing a weaker form of identity, IE they share certain properties which are essential in this context. Imagine someone claiming that 'man and woman are identical' versus someone else claiming 'man and woman are equal'. Clearly the former is false, since a man and a woman are anatomically distinct. However, the latter is true, since both a man and a woman possess the same fundamental rights, IE the right to life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness, all apply the same to one as they do the other. I know that that had already been covered but I want to ask something. Does this necessarily mean that an object, which necessarily undergoes constant change through time in terms of nonessential properties, remains equal to itself through time but is not identical, since identical refers to all aspects of an existent whereas equal requires context, including the context in which a conscious entity is observing it? If a stone falls from a height, it is 'the same' in a sense when it was up there as it was when it is down here, but various things have happened to it even apart from its movement. Microscopic changes have occurred that do not change the conceptual identification of the object but which change its structure in terms of fine differences. IE pieces may have flown off during its fall time, and the position of all of its constituent parts may be slightly off WRT their position earlier, et cetera. My question is this: is this a proper understanding of the law of identity? Is identity narrow in scope or is it broad? That's what I'm asking.
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