Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Nyronus

  1. The scene on board the ship is known as the prisoner's dilemma in which you have two parties to stand to gain from betrayal, but will lose if they try to act "moral" or cooperate. Normally there is a small benefit to the cooperation option, only if both parties refuse betrayal, but in the Joker's version the only way to profit is to willingly participate in mass murder. I agree with you that, knowing the Joker, the whole thing was rigged and either the boat that made the choice or both would explode upon detonation. If, in an identical situation, I would not hold that killing the other boat is an immoral choice. It is not moral either. Since true choice has been tossed out the window, ethics no longer apply. So, if you pushed the button, I would not blame you. I would not commend you either. If I were on that boat though, instead of trying to rationalize a moral reason for murdering eight hundred men to keep my own existence going, I would downstairs trying to defuse the damn bomb.
  2. I think that this is a false analogy because we have looked. The best people to judge whether or not a gun is being made went and looked and came back saying that there were none. Iran's posturing strikes me more as Cold-War style arm-chair crusader-ship than deliberate threats. You can make a Hitler analogue, sure, but unless the CIA is so desperate to get back at Cheney for all of the dirty buissiness that supposedly took place around the Iraq invasion, I see no reason for them to lie. Even if you fear the gun that Iran may or may not have, there is a question of how to approach the situation. You could shoot for the head (nuke Tehran without any forewarning). You could place a gun to their head and force a confession from them (international military standoff). You could blow out the man's knee-caps, crippling him and learning the truth while he is incapacitated (surgical bomb strikes with a brief invasion). You could bribe the man (dear god, appeasement). You could threaten him to get your friends to beat him up (diplomatic sanctions). But, I suppose you could argue that since he MAY have a gun, and he MAY use it, you MAY be in danger, therefore you have the moral imperative to blow the bastard's brains out because of the potential for a possible danger. It sounds kind of... well, rash. Also considering the man who first told us about the gun has lied to us about such things in the past, while the people telling us there is no gun (The CIA, not the Media), are normally trusted, and the man who may or may not have the gun is an idiot known for babbling like a wild-man and being laughed at by college students, well... Now, of course, if the asshole draws a gun on you, put two in chest one in the head and leave the corpse to rot.
  3. To clarify D'kian, the weakness of the masses of Gotham is a premise for the Batman story overall. In the beginning of Dark Knight, it was stated that things were getting better. With the appearance of the Joker though, a lot of Batman's effort's were being eroded, and if Dent were revealed to have gone mad, it would all be for naught. A huge part of these movies is the nature of Symbols. Batman is a symbol for the secret courage of Gotham, while Dent became a symbol of hope. The Joker is in turn a symbol of utter anarchy and destruction. He is Dent's Anti-thesis. If the Joker could courrupt Dent, could turn Dent into himself, he would have taken the hope of Gotham and destroyed it. He would have done more than erase all of Batman's work, he would have sent Gotham into a lower state than when Falcone ran it. Batman, instead of letting that happen, chose to lose some of his status as a symbol to the people, in order to save Gotham's "soul" as it were, but, as hinted by the kid, I think there will always be people who believe in Batman. In what he represents. Essentially, the scene at the press conference, which is what I assume your referencing when you speak of Gotham's people turning against Batman so easily, they do so out of fear. Essentially, the Joker has all of Gotham in a hostage situation. He has a gun to each of their heads, and as observed by Rand, people under force cannot think clearly and can only do what the man on the other end of the gun wants them to do. They turned on Batman out of fear, because they feared the Joker and saw Batman's demise as the only clear way to safety. They weren't thinking straight. The only person who was, was Dent, and that was because he understood the concept of the sanction of the victim. He wouldn't give into the Joker unless bodily forced, at least until his mind snapped. As to the ending; I understood what Batman did and in all honesty I cried the second time round. Semantics aside, the only thing that really bugged me about the ending was that, well... Batman didn't really think things through. His solution was a good one... there were just others. They could tell the truth, not just the blatant facts, but the truth, and that is that the man who killed those five people was not really Dent anymore, and that to think of him as such was not only fallacious but was to concede to the Joker. They also could have just passed the killings off on the Joker. Granted, the latter might not work as well knowing the Joker's love of flair. It just seemed like Batman came up with the idea and did not think things through. Eh, whatever. It was a good movie. For some reason, I liked it a lot better the second time.
  4. Perhaps I should clarify what I meant. One of the purposes of art, as stated by Rand if I remember (I've yet to read TRM, I'm drawing on memory and general knowledge, so if I am wrong, tell me), is that art was to represent something. To metaphysically express the values of an artist. Sculpture, Architecture, and Painting all follow a chain of observation, cognition, emotion. You see it, understand it, and reaspond. Music, on the other hand, follows a chain of observation, emotion, then cognition. You hear it, react, then come to an understanding. Music often lacks a concrete message without lyrics. Abstract art is like lyric-less music. It lacks concretes and as such can only evoke emotion. I remember one story from an art class I took in high-school. One painter had trouble selling his pieces and suppousedly, in his anger, took buckets of paint and sticks and the like and just went to town on his canvas, putting his anger into the act. The "painting" or whatever it was, was to convey his frustration and rage. If I remember the tale correctly, it worked, and sold well. I don't remember his name and as such couldn't tell you what to look for. So, in closing, an abstract painter could make "art" if he so chose. If he could, through color and form alone, evoke in other people concepts and emotions, then he could be considered an artist. I will say that this is probably a rare case in the field of modern art. I often have a far great appreciation for the skill and meaning of pieces crafted on the internet just to "look cool" than most of the stuff I have seen linked in this thread (note my snide comments about the man at the art show). I may be operating from a different definition of "abstract art" than other people though. I, like Jake, have very little experience with art, particularly hand painting. To invoke the cliche "I don't know art, but I know what I like." That might not be quite right, but I am, admittedly, a novice. I was merely positing an idea based on my limited observations and knowledge. Oh well, carry on.
  5. And therein lies the contradiction of your stance. You claim that there is no such thing as biological determinism, i.e., man has no higher nature than reason and volition. Yet, in your condemnation of homosexuality you claim a violation to a nature that, implicitly, must be higher than that of choice or reason for choice to violate it so. If there is such a higher nature, then what stops it from swinging one way in the other, I ask you? You are in contradiction. Another poster cites hormones as an influence upon sexuality, yet seems to scoff that genes, which control such hormone production could have any, any, influence at all. And what is wrong with Hedonism, I ask you? Being happy is what living is about. Even in production we should be happy. Are you so driven to condemn men because they do what gives them joy in life? I hold that this appeal to nature is in fact a bare assertion. So far all you have said, ad infinium, is that homosexuality is in violation of "nature" (while brow-beating and condemning those that say that the nature could be homosexual as well). You have not, before me, defined this nature. Others seem to think so as well. We're the ignorant ones here. You have something to prove, and, until you give us proof, we can only sit here and scratch our heads in confusion. That is why I want to see that essay. So I can see, as you claim, what you really mean, but, be warned. You say you refuse to go through scientific evidence because it is contradiction with your philosophical presuppositions. I have no such qualm. I will come at your paper with a scalpel. If your paper is concurrent with the facts of reality, I should not be able to touch it. Oh, but heaven help you if you're wrong in the slightest.
  6. I consider high quality abstract art to be equivalent to classical music or movie scores in that they invoke emotions and subtle abstractions as opposed to specific concretes, but I must draw a line between good abstract art, which uses colors and shapes and assorted images to evoke emotion... and the idiot I once saw at an art festival charging three hundred dollars for poorly done canvas paintings of silver squares outlined in blue.
  7. Oh yeah, a poorly handled and needless war, that we were only losing until very recently, getting Americans killed without any benefit to anyone coupled with the expansion of theocratic policies and an expansion of government in direct violation of individual rights. Definitely worth lower taxes. You either have not been reading this thread right or your plain lying. Many people have offered different arguments for the amoral nature of sexuality, and I know one who offered moral reasons for being a homosexual. As far as I can tell, your argument for the immorality of homosexuality is that, essentially, tab A should always go into slot B. The basic is claim that homosexuality is unnatural, which implies that man has a nature beyond choice, by the very fact that he can violate it by choice. I hold a challenge to you EC, to demonstrate, without refrencing terms such as "natural," why homosexuals should take up a path that leads them to misery and discomfort and still call themselves Objectivists. You rail against the lack of evidence for the opposing position, yet you present, as of yet, no evidence that homosexuality is based off of evasion except appeals to man's "nature." I understand though that I lack evidence as to the particulars of your position, hence why I am waiting for that essay. If I am making straw-men it is because you've yet to clarify your real position and have instead spent time being snarky and tossing up red herrings.
  8. And you know that a Kerry presidency would be a disaster how? Certainly could only be about as bad as Bush... oh, wait. I could care less what you say this person says or what that person didn't say or how you, EC, throw in red herrings to avoid defending your position. I am still patiently waiting for that essay. I am eager to see how you reconcile your view that sexuality is within the realm of choice, and how, at the same time, homosexuality violates some sort of intrinsic higher nature of man, as is implied by your previous arguments.
  9. I actually think there could be money made in a Bible themed amusement park. Think about it. For rides, you could have a Pillar of Fire themed sky-drop. Or a chariot roller coaster that ends with the parted Red Sea collapsing on park-goers. For park games you could have your classic strong-man hammer game, only you pound nails into the body of Christ instead of hitting a plastic button. Or you could have a battle game in which you play Joshua on a mission to slaughter the heathen hordes who dared to sleep with Jewish women! What do you sell at the concession stands? Why, gram-cracker crucifixes and chocolate covered communion wafers of course.
  10. I think your the one who is attempting to have your cake and eat it too. You say "man has no nature but choice." We all agree there. You saying removing homosexuality from volition is contradictory from man's nature, that it is genetic determinism. Correct? I think that the point is debatable, but as of now I do think that homosexuality is a still rooted in choice. So we agree sexuality is a matter of choice then. Now, here's where you slip up; So then, based on the structure of single organ (which in turn will dictate several other things at puberty), man has an irrevocable nature outside of both choice and reason. Because he has a penis, he must always be attracted to people with a vagina, otherwise he is acting in contradiction to his nature. This sounds like intrinsicism. You deny that genes or hormones are above man's choice, yet you claim he has some higher nature that makes it a contradiction to be attracted to the same sex? A nature which he violates by the choice of homosexuality? I am sorry sir, you cannot have your cake and eat it too, either man, through induction, reason, and choice, formulates his own values and as long as he remains reasoning and moral within what he values he is moral, or he has certain predilections that could as easily turn him to homosexuality as make it a violate of heterosexuality. You cannot have it both ways. Either men have natures beyond choice and thus out of the realm of morality, or men make choices and it is up to you to demonstrate why they are immoral. If the latter is the case, as far as I can tell there is no reason for homosexuals to be condemmed as they have (Not by you EC, but as I have seen by others), especially if the logically own up to their tastes and act within the realm of reason.
  11. Nochrieaz, Your petty psychologizing and arguments from intimidation win you nothing. You have, in a stroke, just accused me and half the people who have posted in this thread of cognitive dissonance at best, and being closet nihilists at worst. Congratulations. If nihilism not possible consciously, then why do so many people tote it? No one says that someone who believes in nothing is consistent. The Joker seemed pretty conscious of it. Unless you mean total and utter nihilism, at which case sir I point you to the suicides. You accuse me of making straw men, but I hold that it you who do that and in turn use them as red herrings. I am not, nor have I ever said that men's reactions to art is irrelevant. What I am saying is that it is impossible for you, a lone human being who I doubt has a degree in philosophy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, or any other field which would give you leverage into the minds of men, to be able to judge so utterly and perfectly, the secret souls of an entire audience of individuals who you've had no prior relation to declare, as you have done, that they (potentially) believe, deep down inside below even their very consciousness, in nothing and would not fight for nothing, all based on a single reaction to a single scene in a single movie. It is ludicrous. The premises you propose for your logic are narrow and arbitrary. The Joker is evil and does funny things, ergo, he is not funny. Laughter is for good things only, and is not, at all or could ever be, a reaction, to shock, surprise, absurdity, mockery, irony, or justice. Therefore anyone who laughed at the Joker is secretly a sub-conscious nihilist. The very fact that you claim to accuse them of sub-conscious nihilism or potential nihilism renders your arguments nil. Nihilism is a matter of belief, and belief is conscious. Since nihilism is a term in belief, and is a form or basis for a code of conduct, then it is in the realm of morality. Ergo, to accuse someone of nihilism is to make a moral judgment. Unless what you mean by "subconscious" is that they are utterly cognitively dissonant, but I don't think you have enough evidence for that either. Mockery and sarcasm aside, I do think you are wrong. I think you have utterly misjudged me and hundreds, perhaps millions, of people. I think your position is untenable, and you lack. evidence. for. your. conclusion. That is all I have ever said (so consider that next time you put words in my mouth). Your premises are bad, horribly so, and when I go after them, you accuse me of being an artistic nihilist, and imply that I am a morally bankrupt. Wonder why it seems I fly off the handle? I am offended. I do not appreciate being accused of rationalization by a rationalizer. You have something to prove my friend. When I said non sequitur, you stated that anyone who holds my premise is immoral. My position is, once again so you get it, that you do not have the proper evidence to make the claims that you do. You do not know these people, yet you make claims about their subconsciousness. You do not know me, yet you claim I am rationalizing. You do this based off of a narrow definition of what you think should be funny, completely ignoring that people notice and draw different things from different situations. You saw the Joker's bone depth evil, I saw the absurdity of the situation. I laughed, you didn't. To accuse me, or anyone, of any type of nihilism or because I noticed and drew something different from our completely separate observations of a single scene is the worst type of psychologizing and moralizing. I'm going to kindly ask that you stop making such statements until you can provide more complete, thorough, and logically sound evidence to back your claims. That's it. I am done. Nyronus~
  12. I think I may have to side with Odden on this one on account for tribalism. Consider the two most successful producers of our time; Bill Gates and Sam Walton. Walton only went to the University of Missouri, and look out how well he turned out. Gates left Harvard and only just got his degree, yet he was on top of the economic ladder for a time. Even though Gates is the father of the computer industry, and Walton's company makes the back-bone of the lower/middle class economy, neither gets that much media credit. Gates is even an accomplished philanthropist, and that only gets him one or two TIME magazine mentions. In the end, truth is truth. If you can gain that, it really doesn't matter where it comes from.
  13. For a while I was trying to decide if you really were trying to put words in my mouth and imply a sort of moral depravity on my part. I've decided that, yes, yes it is. My refusal to define nihilism is not a moral failing on my part, or one of ignorance. If I failed to understand what you mean by nilhilism, that is your fault. I actually did go back and read everything you said. I still do not understand why you keep accusing me of not knowing nihilism is. I know what it is, but if it will satisfy you; "Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy." From The Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy This is what you have called these people. Hundreds of people whom you do not know. Where did you do this you ask? Well, remember this? That seems like a pretty barefaced moral condemnation of the entire audience, and anyone else who laughed. You talk of the Joker "inside" these people coming out. You are, implicitly, stating that the audience is really, deep down, nihilistic, and that they were reacting with, it seems if I judge your words correctly, pleasure at seeing one of their own. They may not be committed to destruction, but that doesn't change the fact that you have, with one fell swipe, declared them all so morally bankrupt that they no longer even believe in the term. Who and what am I defending? Not people, at least not directly. I can't defend what I don't know. I am defend the sanctity of moral judgment against what appears to be your rash psychologizing and rush to condemnation. I am defending morality against those who would give credence to nihilism by wielding morality as a club. I have no idea what your logically saying here. I believe I understand the emotional message underlying your words, but not what twisted channels of logic used to reach it. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the exact spot where you are putting words in my mouth and accusing me of, at least, subconscious, nihilism. I have no idea what has lead you to this conclusion, but, if I am reading the implications of the sentence correctly, I am to be very, very insulted. I ask that you not make statements like this again, unless you are prepared to actually come out and say what you mean and demonstrate exactly where I said nihilism is impossible or where I said heroism is impossible.
  14. I have no idea what this challenge relates to. Can you clarify for me? I don't understand this either. I understand the Objectivist view of art. I have no idea what you mean by this unless you are trying to imply that I am a nihilist, or at least am when it comes to art. It was hostile in tone because I do not like the idea that you have judged the totality of the morality of the audience in such a black category because they found a scene which was most likely engineered to be funny... funny. You are the one here who has something to demonstrate, that the "Joker" "inside" these people were coming out when they laughed. You are making the assertions, and I simply came along and attempted to demonstrate the your assertion was untenable via the evidence you presented in that one post, thus rendering your aforementioned assertions bare. I did not realize that the debate about this had stretched so far back. I only popped in and found your post and made all arguments independent of everything but the evidence you presented and my own experiences. If people keep finding the same problems with your arguments, why do you keep repeating them?
  15. My initial reaction to this laughter was terror, but I forced myself to believe that these fellow viewers, as you said, just missed the point. That they don't understand the true nature of evil on a philosophical level and I do, and so to them an exposition of it is so ridiculous, so impossible, that they laugh at it. But then I realized that my explanation is exactly what I thought they were doing by laughing! I thought that my conceptual explanation was equivalent to their emotional reaction. I felt terror from their laughter, and so I immediately said "no, it couldn't be that I'm sitting here in a theatre full of nihilists" and so I decided that they had decided "no, it couldn't be that the joker refers to anything in reality" and that that was why they laughed. But your words made something click in my mind just now. I realized that the Joker DOES refer to something in reality. I realized that these people WERE laughing, just as the Joker laughs when he does something evil. I realized that there was no thinking underlying their laughter, in order to make the act of laughing their defense against the Joker. I realize now that that laughter I heard was REAL. It was the Joker inside them which was coming out. They hadn't missed the point, they had been awakened to it. Unlike myself, who was revolted by the Joker's actions automatically - they laughed. No, these people are not philosophically committed to the destruction of that which is valuable, but neither are they committed to it's preservation. If they were, they would have bothered to learn the true nature of evil and their revulsion to it automatized. It would have been a byproduct of their passion to understand the nature of good. True, they also clapped at the end when Bat Man proved victorious. True, that is just as real. But make no mistake about it: Just as the Joker cannot FULLY practice nihilism lest he would just kill himself and that would be it, no real-life nihilist can be utterly devoid of some short-term semblance of reason, purpose, structure, and value. Or it could be that, instead of these people all being nihilists, they could have seen the absurdity of the situation. Here is a man, with green hair and makeup on his face, wearing a female nurse's outfit, trying to blow up a hospital, and the bomb isn't working and he reacts like a normal man with a wonky cell-phone. The image is so ridicules its laughable. Not to mention that no one was in the hospital. When you take away the danger to the people inside, the image becomes just silly. Don't go asserting that everyone in the theater with you was a butt-load of half-baked nihilists because they find the absurd amusing. Because the absurd IS amusing. The scene with a pencil was also absurd, but I'll give you that it was also so sudden and terrifying that there was little time to laugh. I'd be careful of what kind of philosophical labels you toss at people because your one interpretation of a single reaction to a single scene of a single movie. I honestly think your way, way, off base and your original conclusion, that they saw the absurdity, the lack of reality, in the Joker's actions and laughed at them, was far closer to being correct.
  16. He is an odd character. He asked me to be his friend on facebook, and then requested that I help him get onto the presidential ballot for the state of Louisiana. I accepted the friend thing just because (I thought) he was an Objectivist. When he requested that I help him get onto the ballot, I considered it. Helping out a presidential canidate (even a third party one) would look good on my resume, and perhaps I could have bargained for monetary compensation as well. I decided in the end against it though, as I would feel somewhat uneasy about helping a man run for president who I was not, in the end, going to vote for. I still have him as a facebook friend, and as of late I notice him hopping in and out of various Ayn Rand related groups, including weird ones such as this and this trying to drum up support for his party. He's also part of a large number of Louisiana based groups, including this little ditty. While I do not necessarily think that open Objectivist political activism is a bad thing, I do not think think that a political party is the right way to go about it, or that this strange man of Tom Stevens is the person to do so.
  17. Aha. I spot what may be a contradiction and the point that he misses. In his first bit he states; "Mr Peikoff claims that the embryo "exists as part of the woman's body." True or false? False." Yet in this one he openly admits that "Granted, the fetus does not yet possess volitional consciousness." So in other words, even though the embryo is still not "part of the woman's body" in a very, very, very narrow sense of the term (because, granted, with modern technology we can take any organ and put it successfully in another human being with little to no mishaps, so his woman to woman argument does not fly at all), the fetus isn't human yet either. It has the "potential" to be a human, but potential means jack squat. He is also lying blatantly about the fact that if "left alone" it will grow into a baby. If "left alone" i.e. if not given what it needs to survive, it will die and the woman will have a miscarriage. His potential argument is also equally flawed in that he completely leaves out the care and attention a developed baby needs to become adequate, let alone rational and good. He is essentially making the fallacious Beethoven argument. What he fails to acknowledge that while a fetus COULD be the next Beethoven, it also has a very, very, real chance to become the next Adolf Hitler. His analogy about the sleeping man is fallacious at best. He fails to acknowledge the difference between sleep, which is a temporary subconscious state, and the fetus, which lacks consciousness completely. In the early stages, a fetus lack's a brain for Christ's sake. Most of his arguments rely on a fallacious equivocation of late term abortions, in which the baby is almost fully developed, with all abortions. I can't see how he can justify his anti-abortion stance within the first month when the fetus is not fit to even be called an animal. The rudimentary brain doesn't even appear until week three. It doesn't even finish developing until week thrity-five (at least as far as I can tell from wikipedia). He attempts to make some arguments but falls short. In the end he is still making the faulty "fetuses are human too!" argument. Don't let him get away with it.
  18. I used to be some sort of socialist. I think my idea of what socialism looked like was actually some sort of construct of my own making. Looking back on how I thought it should work and what I know now, I really think most of my ideas were wishful thinking tacked onto a well-known group. Luckily a high-school economics course corrected all those bad ideas and a reading of Atlas Shrugged set me straight.
  19. You have to ask yourself if you, as a rational producer, would feel morally wrong about dumping garbage in your neighbor's yard, or at the privately owned crematorium. Even without the prudent predator principle warning you of a hedging lawsuit against you by your neighbors, most people would pick the crematorium. People don't sit down and go "Let's destroy the environment because it is funny!" This isn't an episode of Captain Planet, after all. Some people will drop the ball and do some damage to the ecosystem and what not, but I guarantee someone will come along behind them and fix the problem for his own advantage. You see, it is selfish to want a clean environment. The problem is is that the new Green movement demands that we all pay for their ignoble selfishness masquerading as high minded altruism, and that, is wrong.
  20. You really don't need a website program. I find most of them extraneous. I'd recommend getting a html tutorial and notepad. That's how I coded my old website. Davesite works well. You can also usually get free hosting somewhere. I wouldn't get Geocities. They tend to suck. If your lazy you can make a O.B.A.M.A. blog utilizing any number of free blog sites and software.
  21. Not really. I was kind of curious how he followed up with that last bit.
  22. I agree. There is no reason puppies are superior to farm animals as far as food is concerned. Which is why I would not be adverse to eating the little buggers if it came down to it. We like puppies better because they are cute, loyal, and fun. A pig will lead a socialist uprising against you. Hence why we eat them and not puppies. Which is also why I would advocate medical testing on life-term prisoners. I honestly don't trust that dog-kidneys will function like mine will. I want to see some human kidney usage before I put any pill in my mouth. What's good for Hitler is good enough for me. Actually, its a less than one percent difference that is, for the most part, hormonal. As opposed to the three percent difference between a man and a chimp (two and a half if you write articles like this). I really have nothing funny to say about this one. ---- Yeah. This is the same course with your jolly good friend who we dealt with previously, huh? While animal abuse is something of a contemporary ethical (non)-issue, if all they show you is this crap... Yeah, not a great course. I would hardly call it indoctrination. They have yet to sit you down and begin the brain-washing drug-infused torture session yet. Oh well, three credits are three credits.
  23. I think I may take that last paragraph as a compliment. You see, whatever your intent was, to both me and Tenure, it appeared as an insult. There is more than one reason why. To begin, you picked a really, really, bad spot to propose your idea. You don't debate someone on one thing, and then turn around and question his ethical premises. For, example, let's say that, oh, a socialist and an Austrian school economist are debating tariffs. Both men are reasonably honest, and are, for the most part, acting logically on the knowledge that they know. They go back and forth for a bit, then, suddenly, the socialist raps his fist onto the table, sits up, announces; "I have a theory." "What is that?" "Its something about the nature of capitalists. I have this idea that maybe there is a problem with capitalists in that their drive for self-satisfaction may end up being seized by their id and that their self-interest could, could mind you, override their rational faculties and render them unthinking!" Now, no matter how honest this man's statement is, and as inoffensive as he meant it, or how honestly he believes it, the fact of the matter is that everyone watching this debate is going to hear "Capitalists (can be) irrational!" This idea undercurrents his opponent's authority, and, even if our dear misguided socialist did not mean to, will no doubt offend the economist because he has just been called, by implication, irrational by default. This is what you have done. You have, in the middle of a debate with Objectivists, made a statement that implies that Objectivists, by their very nature, are (or have a strong possibility to be) mentally handicapped by their belief systems. The only reason I could see you doing that, at that exact moment, is that you were making an argument from intimidation. That you were attacking Objectivism at its root in order to undercut the arguments made against you. That was the only logical reason I could see for saying such an offensive thing at that point. The reason I became upset is not really that I was vain (although I can be vain), it was because I pride myself as begin a truth-seeker first and an Objectivist second. I am an Objectivist because I am a truth-seeker, and it is what I have found to be true. I make a point to study the particulars of Objectivism and attack viciously any point I disagree with until I can either see the reason and accept Rand's logic, or synthesize my point that I find to be true. It is a private goal of mine to rebuild Objectivist from the ground up to make sure it is in fact the truth. Your statement, by implication, is that, as an Objectivist I may not be able to "handle" the truth. It attacks the very foundations of what I believe and what I seek to achieve. That is why I grew upset, and that is why, furthermore, I went out of my way to emphatically demonstrate that my qualm of you was not one of you attacking Rand, but of you very possibly being wrong. Even now it is hard not to feel insulted by you. You speak down me and whoever else you address. Just look at this; "Tenure's reply, unlike yours, is devoid of argument or evidence, except if you take it as evidence that I am right and some people just cannot handle debate over important matters. It's too scary for them." (Emphasis mine). What it sounds like your saying is that people who disagree with you are close-minded and incapable of handling the truth. Your language sounds condescending, and, as active-minded as you claim to be, it is beyond unfair to call Tenure a small-minded fool because of one reaction he had to a demonstrably offensive post. Even in your apology/explanation you still talk down, stating that anyone who drew a conclusion like mine was not acting on evidence (once again, was not thinking), and it is only on some other evidence that you "assume" that my error was "honest." The others you take as "evidence" that you are "right" and that Objectivists can't handle ideas outside the box. This is still offensive language and do not be surprised when people take offense to it, and just because someone becomes offended, it does not mean that they are small-minded or ignorant. I will agree with you that some Objectivists can be hostile to other schools of thought (although there is ample good reason), and that there are some people out there who call themselves Objectivists and are both small minded and stupid (but I have a feeling the latter overrides the former, not visa-versa), but to state that you feel that Objectivism "may" cripple a man's ability to think, which is, ultimately what you were saying, in the middle of a debate with an Objectivist, is a very poorly planned out idea in the first place and I am surprised that you take shock in people getting upset with it. Now, for a final point, before I go to bed... Physics is the study of the concretes of existence. Metaphysics is the study of the abstract nature of existence. If you can find an answer to a problem the realm of concretes, why create an abstract independent of it? Its like three men are trying to solve a math problem, one sees the error and solves the problem. Two of them have walked away, and the third remains. A half hour later, the third comes rushing back claiming to have fixed the problem, and while he has reached an identical answer, but he has completely rewritten the problem (and mayhaps math itself) to do it. Physics, via atomic-theory explains how traits can repeat. Metaphysics, via cause and effect, explains why traits repeat. I could take your ideas to be a poetic metaphor of the same argument I make (We are all pieces of the universe, i.e. made of the same stuff, ergo, the same things are bound to happen), but your insistence that I missed a point somewhere makes me think not. While you have come up with an elaborate and unique solution, your problem was that there never was a problem. I solve the problem of universals by realizing that similarity and uniqueness is natural and that universals are in my head. There is no problem of universals at all. If you want to convince me that your solution is correct, you will first have to convince me that there is a problem worth solving. Until then... Nyronus~
  24. Ah, I see. I really need to learn the mathematics behind these kinds of things so that I can understand them better.
  • Create New...