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Everything posted by Nyronus

  1. I call the argument from intimidation. If we were only honest enough (read, moral), we would understand your solution. All of us who have even the slightest qualm are really rock-headed Randroids who can't see the light because we refuse to think outside of our O-shaped box. Boo-hoo! I find this subtle attack against my intellectual integrity to be insulting in the highest. I have stated, quiet clearly, why I think you are wrong, and it has nothing, nothing, to do with Ayn Rand being right. Your wrong because you seek to answer a non-problem based on a Humian assumption that there needs to be a grand metaphysical, boarder-line mystic, necessity behind natural occurrences. Similarity is caused in distinct entities because of identical structures in make-up. You need go no further! Why does it appear in structures? Because structures have similar function. Why in nature? Because evolution capitalizes on the replication of useful forms. Why in the geography? Because rocks are subjected to large and similar meteorological and geological events. Why in space? because the laws of physics function in such a way that planets and things form under certain conditions. In the end, commensurability is a derivative of cause and effect. When you apply a similar or identical cause to similar or identical materials, you get similar or identical effects. In the end, the problem of universals can be explained away by the law of identity. You are right in saying Ayn Rand did not solve the problem of universals, she didn't have to, because once you grasp cause and effect, the metaphysics of universals goes away. I don't know how to explain it any better than that.
  2. So all those black holes they tell us we keep finding? I don't understand how a black hole is a "contradiction in terms." Can you explain it to me then?
  3. Hence why I make it a point to use the term "cosmological universe" when I discuss physics with other Objectivists. At least after the last debacle. Although I do think its a little unfair to attack physics because they use a word to define a different concept. While the black-hole genesis idea seems interesting (it would explain where our own singularity came from), I think the problem may be that, eventually, you'd run out. Black Holes can only form with a huge amount of either mass or energy. In the end, which each subsequent child "universe" having but only a fraction of the mass of the parent, the black hole chain would hit a point at which there would not be enough mass or energy to make more than one incredibly small black hole, and, since, the new "universe" would keep expanding, it could never gain enough of that mass back at one point to create a new black hole. Not to mention that the random variation will make pocket-verses in which black holes cannot form. Eventually, all mass and energy will dissipate and be lost as loose radiation among the various pocket-universes. Unless, of course, mass and energy can travel between each pocket-universe, but then they would all be one unified universe, wouldn't they? While my opinion is not an expert one, I myself am am more inclined to lean toward a cyclic theory in which there is one (or more) cosmological clouds, cycling from expansion to contraction in and out of a singularity. Knowing what I do of physics, it makes the most sense to me.
  4. Which was my point. They assume that there needs to be a "final cause," which, when used in argumentation for God, is to beg the question.
  5. So, if science explains why things are similar... and you agree that it is outside the realm of philosophy... why did you bother coming up with a long drawn out philosophical reason that things are similar? Just curious? I think the whole problem of universals is a non-problem based on an assumption that there is a problem with things having identical or similar traits to begin with. You assume that there needs to be a grand underlying reason for things to be both discrete and similar. It seems like your making a mountain out of nothing. The reason things can be discrete and yet identical is because, using the same materials, you can easily replicate form. There is nothing mystical about it. Everything is constructed out of the same materials, ergo, it is beyond possible for things to have identical traits. As much as you say you have solved the problem outside of realism and nominalism, but, your solution, going by what you say, is nominalistic. You defined nominalism as seeing commensurability as "based on arbitrary convention." You say you don't do this, but your ultimate conclusion is that everything is the same, and it is only our arbitrary perception that produces discrete entities, as implied by your metaphor of the plastic room. If we took another perspective, we would realize that everything is everything, and that is why traits repeat! Since you didn't respond last time, I'll shall bring up again my example of the rock; Now, granted, if I am misunderstanding you, please tell me. If I am reading to much into the plastic room example, tell me and make your viewpoint clearer.
  6. Forgive me if this is thread hijacking, but a few moments ago I posted an essay that I believe is relevant to the topic. It is on why when a theist holds that the universe must have a "why" he is in reality making a circular argument for God, and that the question of "why" is in reality a non-issue when dealing with the existence of God.
  7. I have spent the last few hours listening over more theist/atheist debate, and I have drawn an interesting notion. Theists keep producing one argument, over and over again, and that is a fallacious statement that science has no cause for “why” the universe exists. This question is a curious one. They do not challenge that the universe exists, or inquire as to how it goes about exists, mostly because these are not tenets of Christianity. If and How, are taken as axiomatic, yet Christians constantly asserts that there is an unanswered Why. I will, in this paper, attempt to demonstrate, the fallacious nature of such a question and why it is a non-issue as far as science is concerned. I. Definition Part of the problem of Christianity’s obsession with the question of why the universe exists is a misunderstanding of what exactly a “why” entails. If you have man who has just been murdered, and you are asked “How did he die?” the answer is a rather simple one. He has been stabbed three times in his chest, causing one lung to collapse and damaging the other enough for him to drown in his own blood as he bled to death. The next question you might get is “Why did he die?” ...Well, he was just stabbed three times in the chest... When Christians ask “Why does the universe exist?” they are not asking for “How does the universe exists?” they are asking “What motivation does the universe have to exist?” as opposed to “What causes the universe to be as it is?” This dichotomy of motivation vs. causation, of why vs. how, is vitally important to understanding the fallacious nature of the question of “Why does the universe exist?” II. Causation vs. Motivation Causation can be defined as the totality of how and why something happened. Motivation is simply the abstract reason a volitional being performed an act of its own free will. There is often seen as something of a dichotomous relationship between causation and motivation. There are seen as separate things in and of themselves, but this is false. Motivation is subsumed by causation. As such, motivation is itself only a fraction of causation, and only in relation to volition, which is to say, consciousness. Motivation only exists where there is a conscious mind studying, processing, and reacting. This shows the fallacious nature of the question of “why?” in relation to the causation of the universe. It makes an assumption that the formation of the universe had motivation, and therefore, consciousness, i.e. God. Not only does motivation imply consciousness, but it also implies an outside force. It is no wonder they claim that no atheist can give them a good “why.” It is because no true atheist believes that a why even exists. Now, there may be some objection to my dismantling of the phrase “Why does the universe exist?” Some may raise the point that “why” can also be used as synonymous with “how,” and that I am jumping at shadows. I refute that this is the case in terms of the metaphysical creationist’s constant question. This is illustrated by the constant example of how, when a Christian is presented with an explanation of “how” the universe came to be or came to its current configuration, they often toss this aside and demand, once again, why did this happen? They are not content that our cosmological universe could have rolled out of a massive singularity that has always existed, or that fluctuates between a singular and expansive state, or that was spawned by a larger and older universe. One metaphysical creationist I saw scoffed at the anthropomorphic principle, and then once again posed the question of why. When they are given a purely material cause for the universe’s formation or causation, they deny it out of hand and insert their god into it. They demand motivation for the universe, and to do so is to make a circular argument for God. III. Refutation As stated before, to ask for the motivation for the universes existence is to make an assumption of the universe having a volitional cause. In other words, that a consciousness had a hand in crafting the universe. Creationist dismiss material causes for the universe and demand motivational ones. This is circular logic of the worst sort. They assume their conclusion, that universe was caused by or has volition, force a question upon the rest of humanity that relies solely on the contested premise, and then declare victory when no answer is given. To say that God exists because scientist have no answer to “Why does the universe exist?” is to say that God exists because scientists know nothing about him. It is fallacious, malicious, and ignorant. The universe has no “why,” only a “how” or an “is.” Why does the universe exist? Because it does. It is a philosophical axiomatic concept. Existence exists. To argue otherwise is to commit the stolen concept fallacy. The laws of thermodynamics imply an infinite regression of causation. The totality of existence has always existed, even if not in the same configuration or operation. Sum qua sum. Ex nihilo qua ex nihilo. How the universe goes about existing is a question of its operation and therefore in the realm of science. Which brings about the final point. To ask a motivation question of material science such as biology or physics is faulty in the extreme. The material sciences (physics upwards in scope to physical cosmology) deal with hows, not whys. If one wants cognitive questions, such as motivation one should deal with cognitive sciences. Of course, creationists are not interested in a psychoanalysis of God, they simply want to foist their blatantly false world view upon the rest of us. To ask a material scientists “why the universe?” is idiocy. Their realm deals with “how.” What is worse though is when they declare that since a scientist cannot answer a philosopher’s question, God must exist. The problem with this is that God is a total and integrated system. Total in the fact that it encompasses everything (Omniscient/present), and integrated (Omnipotent) in that all parts are interrelated. God, as described by Christianity, is constant and total. A scientist that demonstrates that God does not exist within biology has no need to answer the question of a philosopher. When God is shown to be absent from a single part of the universe, he must, due to his nature, be absent from all. For a Christian to ignore this fact is to commit a contradiction. God cannot be both absolutely controlling (Omnipotent), everywhere (Omnipresent) and yet not exist somewhere. The question of a volition for the universe is a non-issue for a scientist or any atheist to answer because if he can demonstrate that God does not exist at one point, then he demonstrates that God is either non-existent or not God. IV. Conclusion As stated before, the question of “why does the universe exist?” has been shown as not only fallacious, but a non-issue and a red herring. To ask “why does the universe exist?” in relation to God is to assume that God exists by implication. When the question is used to support the existence of God, it is a very subtle form of circular reasoning. Not only that, but the question is a non-issue as that if God is physically demonstrably false in any manner, than he is false in totality (or, once again, not truly God). In the end, the question of why the universe exists is a question that cannot be answered from where we stand, not without mysticism and falsehood. Truly then, the question is within the realm of religion, and not reason or reality.
  8. This is an interesting idea Thomas. To begin, I will say that I have contemplated a similar metaphysical model before, but for different reasons. Mine mostly had to deal with the behavior of fluids and a re-interpreting of entropy, but that's besides the point. I can see why you came to this conclusion, and how it works. I think though, while you might have grasped the right causes, the effects you describe are, what is the word I'm looking for? Extraneous. While your far end conclusions can be taken in certain contexts as true, in others, it becomes arbitrary. To illustrate, I take a rock off of the ground, break it in two, and hurl each half in opposite directions across the universe. The rock halves fly across the universe, floating in total empty space. Are the rock halves still one rock? Are they two separate rocks? Are they the universe? What about a fleck of iron ore in one rock half? Is it iron ore? Is it a rock? Is it a rock halfway across the universe? It seems that, going by your logic, I can answer yes to any of these questions and not face a contradiction, all dependent on which arbitrary metaphysical viewpoint I take. I think Ayn Rand's answer to the problem of universals did not "answer" it, but it did nullify it. It does not matter that each crow I see has a unique size or shade of black in its feathers, by omitting the measurements, I form an abstract universal crow based the similar form and color. I can then remove even that and add crow to the abstract "bird." I can break it down even farther and come up with "animal." With enough observation I can even take animal and break it down into "living" and from there into "matter" and "energy." Eventually I will hit the abstraction of "existence." I think your metaphysics may be an attempt to do to reality what I just did with abstractions, breaking them down into a common denominator. I do think it is, somewhat erroneous though, as illustrated with my rock, to conclude that we are all really arbitrarily isolated sections of one of solid existence (as is implied with your plastic room example). I think, ultimately, physics has long ago answer why, metaphysically, things can be the same. All of existence is made of the same basic particles governed by particular laws of motion. The moving particles combine in increasingly complex ways until you get the macroscopic complex entities and effects we observe with our senses. Why are existents the same/similar? Its all made out of the same basic material.
  9. Eh, very well then. Edit: Just to be safe and explain what I mean, I suppose "naturalistic pantheist" describes what I meant best. God is, at best, a personification of the underlying order of the universe. I really haven't commented on the discussion because its not really an essential thing and you all made fairly good points. I suppose it was just a very, very odd way of describing things. It didn't really matter. I have a tendency to use words strange sometimes. Sorry for the confusion, I guess?
  10. By Pantheist I really meant that I just dig the universe. That I am a reality worshiper. I don't see the problem with this in terms of Objectivism. I may be using the term wrong. I really, really, am an atheist, I just dig reality and tend wax poetic.
  11. It is not your job to prove against, it is their job to prove for. If they give no proof, then they make a logical fault and succumb to a bare assertion fallacy. Not that it bothers them. They're used to living a bare assertion. They call it faith. I was raised secular. We never went to church, ever. I was forced to go when I stayed with my aunt. The guy at sunday school told me that if I came to his church every sunday I could play play-station forever in heaven. Sweet jesus, that sounded too good to be true. The totalitarian nature of Christianity disgusted me to no end. In the end, I looked at the stories of God and history. Why would God kill a bunch of gay people at Sodom... and not Hitler? That made no sense. As I grew smarter, my hatred for Christianity grew stronger. For a few years I bounced between atheism, agnosticism, and deism. I'm now a staunch anti-theist and pantheists (in the Richard Dawkins sense).
  12. Normally I try to give people like Democrats the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes there are valid problems and, even though they have horribly warped ideas of how to fix said problems coupled with a poor understanding of the world, they are rarely completely ignorant, evasive or malicious. That being said, this video is an irredeemable piece of garbage. I would give it credit if it was some sort of anti-totalitarian motif, but, my utter god, it shows an utter ignorance of the way things are. They show buildings and monuments as symbols of hope. Who built these monuments? Not the wanna-be anarchist punks that you raise up as heros. Not the men who came up the ideology you not-so-subtly raise up. Its like all of the most poorly made old socialist propaganda given a facelift and made to a catchy metal tune. The lyrics and song themselves don't even suggest half the idiocy in the cartoon. What a worthless piece of shit. Edit; Apparently the song is a cover of an old Genesis song. I wonder if this is what they lyrics were supposed to mean?
  13. It was at 2:37 on an autumn afternoon when God got into a fight with a city bus. One day a messiah walked off of the sidewalk and onto the busy city street. “I am the word of god!” he shouts loudly into the air. “And there are no buses!” It was at that point that a city bus turned the corner onto the messiah's street. “Buses are figments of your imagination!” The messiah pounds his fist against his chest, triumphant. “Only trains exist!!!” It was at this point that the bus switched into the messiah's lane. “Truly we should ride trains and only trains because it is only trains that are rea-” It was at the point that the bus engaged God in a contest of strength. To be short, the bus won.
  14. Oh my. Oh my horrible my. There are so many bad arguments in that post that I cannot begin. Red herring; by trying to distract you with the axioms, he avoids having to live up to his own burden of proof. He's playing rhetorical hot potato. I don't think that he's making a package deal so much as making a fallacy of equivocation. He is clearly failing to define the difference between Creation as in ex nihilo and creation as in Construction. When he speaks of painters and builders he uses the term create in the manner that is synonymous with construction. In reality the painter does not create as his god would. The painter is arranging collections of quarks on a page in such a manner that it reflects light in such a way that it creates an effect appreciable by the human mind. God magically farts quarks and does with them as he pleases. Also, its good to note the contradiction in asserting that God can play with quarks without being subject to the laws that govern them. He also blatantly ignores that painters are in fact very subject to the same laws as their paintings. So if I got a petition of 3 billion and one people that stated that I am in fact a god and that George Carlin would return in a year as my resurrected messiah, it would automatically be metaphysically true? Red Herring. He likes this red herring thing. Bare assertion. So does this mean that all the characters I dreamt up, along with all characters in all books by every author ever, really exist? I guess we will find out who would win in a fight between Dracula and John Galt. I wonder if it would be possible to become an Objectivist Jedi... ~*~*~*~ He is clearly an irrational loon living in a mystical fantasy land. Evasion on the highest scale. Tell him to keep his idiot god and hippie messiah son. Go watch a movie or something
  15. Ah. I see. Well then, I have to say that makes a little more sense. I honestly have to think that Christians do o.k. because they already lived by common sense and only take out the bad religious nonsense on sundays and when they get angry. Its the ones who live it twenty-four/seven that really scary.
  16. I'm going to remind you of that the next time they shoot a doctor in the street. I rank people on a person to person basis. Number wise, of the people I know, I have a lot of respectable Christian friend (provided I do not contemplate the bad premises they endorse), mostly because there are more Christians. Percentage wise, I think its pretty even, maybe slightly more tilted in favor of atheism, mostly because I have yet to stumble across these anti-reason nihilistic hobgoblins I keep hearing about on Objectivist related sites. Most of the atheists I know are pro-thought and reason. Very few are anti-thought (although few attack ideas with the same zeal that I do). In fact, I don't think I have ever met an out and out nihilist. Most atheists hold that morality is a human made construct (which it is). I don't think this makes them all neo-mystics. I've met plenty with bad ideas. I try to rectify that. When I meet a bad Christian though, My lord! (No pun intended.) I once had a girl claim, right in front of me, that there should be legal prosecution against the producers of the Golden Compass film because they kill God at the end and it was a kid's movie. In another debate she tried to tell me that the Inquisition never happened and that Christianity did not mandate that all other thought systems outside of it were inherently evil. Honestly I try to make friends with atheists because its people like that girl that have made me deeply uncomfortable near Christians. I can deal with a atheist who is wrong. He knows he can be wrong. I cannot deal with a Christian who is wrong. He knows he is always right! The gross idiocy and evil that Christianity has foisted upon the world gives me an inherent dislike of the whole system. Some of my atheist friends accuse me of an obsession or a vendetta against the whole of Christianity. I do not like it one bit. I guess, ultimately, that some many people can be so immensely and provably wrong, and yet not notice drives me to distraction when I must be confronted with the fact. While good can be drawn from and derived from Christianity, most of it is common sense and in direct contradiction with the bad. Jesus said "he without sin cast the first stone," but the old testament says its really o.k., provided it involves killing an old man who dared to work for his family on the Sabbath. I also find it a little faulty to ask which do I prefer, atheists or Christians, since while Christians is a debatably close knit umbrella concept, atheist isn't. Its like asking, "Which do you like better, vegetables or liquid?" Anyway, thats my uncomfortably bitter two cents. Buy a soda.
  17. Mien Kampf The Witch's Hammer The Communist Manifesto What Is to Be Done? Any Number of Police State Orders The Final Solution The Gulag Failure. Jason needs to go to the back of the class.
  18. I actually think the last one he did before that one was his worst routine ever. I only laughed once during that one. George Carlin was probably the funniest linguist ever to live. I find him funnier when he was younger and slightly less malevolent. While I will agree he was anti-capitalist I think that was less from Marxism and more from a dissatisfaction he felt with the country and the empty promise of the American Dream as a whole. In the end he was a comedic genius. A funny man if a bitter one. We'll all miss him while he's gone. I think I might give him an extra six months, how about you guys?
  19. Is that so honestly surprising. The even the founder of Greenpeace has denounced and abandoned modern environmentalists because of their anti-capitalist streak.
  20. If I remember correctly, the final scene was staged so that Ofelia would either have to murder her brother or give up and die. You can either read into that either some poo-poo altruism or the refusal to initiate force against an innocent. If it makes you feel better, there was healthy dose of justice in the end when the fascist captain gets gunned down while Mercedes walks away with his new-born son. Right after he learns that he has no hope of the legacy he so sought.
  21. Nyronus


    There are alternatives to abortion. There is, for instance, a very modest proposal that has been going around for some time.
  22. I've always been a fan of Nobou Unemastu's work on Final Fantasy. I think my favorites are the soundtracks to VI and Tactics (although he himself did not do Tactics). Also, you have to love V's Big Bridge Battle Theme. Also, Shadow of the Colossus's battle theme's are amazing. Kudos to Koh Otani. Finally is Yoko Shimmora's work. The Kingdom Heart's soundtracks are amazing, but he really shines with the Legend of Mana soundtrack. The boss battle themes are amazing, and the Song of Mana may be one of my favorite video game themes of all time. Great music for a great game. If you haven't played the game, I recommend a purchase, and a listen
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