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Everything posted by LogicsSon

  1. "Because they will grow up some day and become a voter." Funny and scary.
  2. The very basic error of the question, "Why is there something rather rather than nothing?" is that it treats nothing (no-thing) as if it were an alternative kind of something or existence, therefore it is inherently equivical. What would it mean to have nothing prior to something? Moreover the very concept of nothing is logically dependent upon something. Ayn wrote in her epistemology book, "Non-existence is not a fact, it is the absence of a fact, it is a derivative concept pertaining to a relationship, i.e., a concept which can be formed or grasped only in relation to some existent that has ceased to exist. (One can arrive at the concept “absence” starting from the concept “presence,” in regard to some particular existent(s); one cannot arrive at the concept “presence” starting from the concept “absence,” with the absence including everything.) Non-existence as such is a zero with no sequence of numbers to follow it, it is the nothing, the total blank." She described this as the Reification of Zero, "A vulgar variant of concept stealing, prevalent among avowed mystics and irrationalists, is a fallacy I call the Reification of the Zero. It consists of regarding “nothing” as a thing, as a special, different kind of existent. (For example, see Existentialism.) This fallacy breeds such symptoms as the notion that presence and absence, or being and non-being, are metaphysical forces of equal power, and that being is the absence of non-being. E.g., “Nothingness is prior to being.” (Sartre)—“Human finitude is the presence of the not in the being of man.” (William Barrett)—“Nothing is more real than nothing.” (Samuel Beckett)—”Das Nichts nichtet” or “Nothing noughts.” (Heidegger). “Consciousness, then, is not a stuff, but a negation. The subject is not a thing, but a non-thing. The subject carves its own world out of Being by means of negative determinations. Sartre describes consciousness as a ‘noughting nought’ (néant néantisant). It is a form of being other than its own: a mode ‘which has yet to be what it is, that is to say, which is what it is, that is to say, which is what it is not and which is not what it is.’” (Hector Hawton, The Feast of Unreason, London: Watts & Co., 1952, p. 162.) (The motive? “Genuine utterances about the nothing must always remain unusual. It cannot be made common. It dissolves when it is placed in the cheap acid of mere logical acumen.” Heidegger.)" Maybe some of you are already familiar with this, but there is a joke about Sartre that I think helps elucidate the absurdity if the basic existentialist premise: Sartre walks into a cafe and is seated by his waitress. She asks him if she can start him off with anything to drink. To which Sartre replies, "Yes i'd like a cup of coffee with sugar, but no cream." Then the waitress go to fill his order. She returns to the table minutes later and says, "I'm sorry Mr. Sartre we're all out of cream, would you like no milk instead?" Pretty funny Hope this helps.
  3. As I see it, all of the attempts to give god 'unlimited' attributes, are really attempts to immunize the concept of god from criticism. When something absurd surfaces these all encompasing traits 'help' to override the technical difficulties. For example, when Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ...) was asked whether or not the immaculate conception of Jesus was really plausable, his response was (not exact wording here) "Well, I mean God created the whole universe so whats irrational about thinking he could cause a miraculous birth?" ??? Sounds like, "Well my X can do anything and everything in every place forever (lol!) so why can't X have performed y?" Ludacris reasoning. No limits? No identity i.e. no existence. Every attempt to make a qaulity without quantity ends up in equivocation, contradiction, and negation. I love the way Dr. Peikoff words it in OPAR : "An existence beyond existence, and thing beyond an entity, and a something beyond identity." "I'm trying to examine a fundamental creator being: "an intelligent, conscious entity which exists outside of existence, pre-dates time, is uncaused, and creates the totality of existence." Some objections: How have you rid yourself of omni's? How do you postulate a 'conscious entity which exists outside of existence, pre-dates time, is uncaused, and creates the totality of existence' and not consider that omnipotent? With such a description I fail to see how you avoid the same error. You still have the primacy of consciousness at work here, consciousness without content (equivocation) (Omniscient). Pre-dates time? Does this even make sense? (Omnipresent) Time isn't an a metaphysical entity, its as epistemic realtionship between entites. Prior to time means prior to action and change, in which case it is nonsensical to say that god acted prior to action. All of these attributes meet the same criticisms I gave above, equivocations, contradiction, and negation. It is a amazing that these words and statements are meant to convey so much but yet tell very little to nothing regarding its subject. As George H. Smith noted in his Atheism: The Case Against God, these kind of negative and contradictory qualities and descriptions do not bring us closer to understanding the concept, but push our understanding farther away. To be both prior to existence and nature, and having created both, would seem to be "super"natural. Some try to postulate a 'natural god' which is a god who is not pre-existent, all knowing, all this and that... He is a finite being, who created cosmos from chaos, he is restricted by nature and logic, and not an immaterial ghost. But the first thing I thought of when I heard this description was Man. God isn't supposed to differ from man in just a matter of degree, but rather in kind. (G. Smith) Without the qualities of God being predicated on omni's, the qualities somehow become more man like.
  4. Hello, My first time posting. As regards refuting the articles, I read the first article by the 'nihlist', and found it interesting to hear him complain about how greedy Rands philosophy is, while at the same time being a firm advocate of 'nothing'. It reminds me of a food cart here in my city that openly advocates anarchism, yet had sponsered a social medicine campaign ad. Interesting. As for "Mrs. Jones" her criticisms, as noted earlier, are ad hominem in nature. Beyond this I saw some technical criticisms which were misguided. 1. "In a moment when predatory bankers and arrogant CEOs have been revealed as the real looters and moochers, could there be a less likely folk hero than Galt?" Response: The John Galt speech specifically talks about these types of men. They pose as business men; men who act according to objective law and principled economics. They are in fact not business men, but are criminals due to their dishonest conduct in creation, sale, and or profits in business. Coercian and fraud are antithetical to what Rand called the "trader principle." 2. "Perhaps the best-known member of Rand's inner circle—officially, and perversely, dubbed the Collective—was a young economist named Alan Greenspan. As the head of the Federal Reserve for two decades, he embraced his mentor's belief that markets work best when corporations are free to pursue their own selfish interests." Response: A. Alan Greenspans assent or dissent of Objectivist political-economic views hold no bearing on thier truth. The fallacay is the arguement from authority. "But even Anthony Flew gave up atheism"... etc. B. As Ludvig von Mises said, "The issue is always the same, the government or the market." (Here we see the connection to ethics: individualism or collectivism?) If markets do not "work best when corporations are free to pursue their own selfish interests", how then do they work? Mrs. Jones' objection leaves us with no alternative then to create yet another elite group of men, who will have to a compulsary control on the corporations and the market. How will the wrongs that take place in the business world not be carried over into the political realm? She does not explain. We are to presuppose that this group of individuals, who apparently just know whats best and are incapable of error, will be our gaudian angels. 3. "...the Galters are trying to build a populist movement around a character who fundamentally opposed populism in all its forms." Response: Ayn Rand rejected the present society. She did not reject the concept of a society or as Mrs. Jones has it, "populism in all its forms." She did not believe that a proper society could exist without a recoginiton of mans rights. If populism means collectivism, then Mrs. Jones is correct. 4. "Could some Galters be going green without realizing it?" Response: Loaded question. Also how is planting your own vegetables succumbing to the tenents of environmentalism? Beautiful non-sequitor. Thats all I'm interested in. Hope someone finds my thoughts useful.
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