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Posts posted by nimble

  1. Well, if someone would like to contact me ASAP we can get this debate going. I would like to complete it before I take a few days vacation. I leave on the 18th of August, and I get back about 5 days later. I don't want to have to end the debate early, so if someone will pick up the other side, that would be cool. Hopefully, I won't be ostracized for my views, but I will forego the need for a pseudonym. I don't mind people viewing what I say, as long as I say it. There is no sense in hiding a fact that I am participating in a debate.

  2. "Nimble", I suggest that you use a specially-created "devilsAdvocate" username, unless you feel strongly against it.

    Why should I use a devilsadvocate name? I will do it if I am playing devil's advocate. But if I take a stance that I hold, then I think it is appropriate to use my name, unless you think it is a bad idea. I am just curious about why you said I should use a different name.

  3. I have a question for you, because I have also felt that way from time to time when I muse about ideas. I was wondering if we shared those same thoughts based on the same ideas. The only time I have ever considered nihilism, or rather just failed to see the point in all things, has been when I thought about the universe. First, I thought about how big it is, and how small I am in comparison, much like an ant must feel. He may seem big in comparison to all the other ants, but really he is just an ant. Second, I thought about that the universe is composed of matter that can't be created or destroyed, which means that the universe has always been and will always be. In a sense, it will last forever, or infinitely long. Yet I am only a finite being whose time in the universe is finite. No matter how long I live, be it 5 years or 5000 years it will still be but one small point in the infinite line that is the universe. Basically, no matter when I die, there is still an infinite period of time after my death that I will not be around for, which makes this life seem very pointless in the overall scheme of things. This is much like a calculus problem, where all non-infinite numbers are unimportant to the equation and are just crossed off.

    However, the important thing to notice is that you do have a life, that it is here now, and that the good is to live it. A philosophy of nihilism or apathy will not enhance your life and the quality of it, but rather ruin and destroy what little time you have here on this earth.

  4. I read an interesting article today that claims from a strict constructionist view of the Constitution that the Supreme Court is not granted the power to rule things un-Constitutional, and not only is it not granted that power, but that power was instead to be granted to the executive branch through the veto power. The article argued that Washington considered the president's main function to be the watching of Congress and the States to make sure they didn't try to pass un-Constitutional bills, thus the veto power.

    After reading this article I skimmed the Constitution until I got to Article III, which deals with the judicial branch's powers, and I found no clause granting them the power to overturn laws. I intend to investigate this further when I have a bit more time, maybe tomorrow, but I was wondering if anyone else had ever heard this argued or maybe knows the Constitution by heart and would have an answer or response for me. I just found that to be a bit shocking, since I consider judicial review to be pretty important and I thought it to be the norm for our country.



  5. Speaking for myself only, I am willing to forgo a new screen name, as long as I can place a CAUTION STATEMENT on my posts. Apparently nimble has no problem with using his screen name as long as the moderators assure him that he won't be penalized for his disagreement with Objectivism.
    Well, I am not here to make enemies, as I have said before, if people are likely to hate or loathe me based on either my convictions or on my devil's advocate arguments, then I would prefer a caution statement next to my posts (when I play devil's advocate).

    Yes, debaters rarely admit defeat. Much easier, though, is admitting that the debate has become fruitless. At least as an experiment in the first debate (nimble vs. x), I think we can rely on at least one of the debaters to say the debate is going nowhere. In a face-to-face debate, a time limit would end the debate. But that isn't appropriate, I think, for an internet debate (for example, because some individuals may be sleeping while others are writing posts).

    I don't think that any debates on this forum have gone no where. Even in my most lengthy debate about fractional reserve banking, almost every post was filled with content, and by the end of it, I think we came to some sort of agreement that fractional reserve banking is not morally wrong/fraudulent, but the fractional reserve bank's fiduciary media would be valued at the fraction of gold that backed the fiduciary media, making the process moot. So the point is, that if I am wrong (like the case that above about fraudulence) I will admit it. And even the other party admitted that the banks fiduciary media would not be valued as highly as other currency, which is a point they conceded. I think rational people will find the truth, and we happen to have a forum full of rational people, which helps our situation.

    Edited for quotation marks.

  6. I would be willing to take an un-Objectivist position, either through conviction or devil's advocate. The only known ideas of Objectivism that I disagree with through conviction is intellectual property rights (in the legal sense) and anarchy, and maybe the Objectivist stance on the killing of civilians in times of war (this probably stems from my anarchy views though). Any other position I would be willing to play devil's advocate, because after going through college, I feel that I know all the common arguments against Objectivist positions. If anyone wants to debate, that would be fine. Before I enter into any debate though, I would like to know that expressing my views will not harm my status on this site. I really like it here (the intellectual atmosphere).

    Also, whoever I debate against, please don't take anything personally...I don't want to make enemies. I respect just about everyone here (except for a few condescending know-it-alls).

  7. The link policy confirms what I suspected: TJS is tolerant of anti-Objectivists -- unless of course they are "notorious" in their "error."

    Notoriety is a matter of degree, that is, of measurement. Whether someone is notoriously anti-Objectivist is irrelevant to the issue of whether they are anti-Objectiivst as part of their function.

    Hal, thanks for the confirmation.

    Wait, is Capitalism.net an Objectivist site? If not, then I don't see why they wouldn't be "tolerant" of anti-Objectivists, or simply non-Objectivists. Plus I think their goal is to reach people who have otherwise never heard of Objectivism or maybe capitalism in the true sense, so they allow reciprocal links to places that other people might just be browsing through.

  8. I think his remark was that the reason people hold flawed political beliefs is because they stem from flawed epistemological/moral theories, not that economics as a science is inadequate.

    try, for example, to tell a liberal that the reason minimum wage laws are harmful from an economic standpoint, using supply and demand charts. It's so easy and simple you'd wonder why you've ever bothered using anything else. However, most opponents of capitalism, while it is true they probably have very little education in higher economics, would probably outright reject you, offering some sort of pragmatic excuse that fancy formulas and economics are not accurate in the real world.

    I've seen it happen before; I took an economics class with a capitalism-orientated economics professor (not perfect, of course, but then again, better than 99% of most college professors out there) where he showed us through detailed economic models, the consequences of minimum wage laws. For the part of class that wasn't actually asleep, they were mostly just doing parrot work, and as soon as class ended, went back to their usual beliefs.

    It's like A.West said, Reisman, Mises, and any economist are useful in providing for and expanding on economic theory, (which is why mises.org is still one of the few op-ed websites I still visit) but to fight the opponents of capitalism requires a philosophically sound foundation upon which to stand, which only Objectivism can provide.

    Thank you for that post, that was very well written and insightful to A. West's point. I just never know what to think when West replies to me, mostly because I think he doesn't like me. So I always feel as if I need to be on defense when he leaves a vague remark like that.

  9. Burgess isn't against interrogation and torture, he is against doing it in a system where it isn't open to the public and it is not subject to checks and balances. You are leaving the torture to the irrational whims of government and military officials.

  10. Do you mean this of economics as it ought to be, or in its current state? If the latter, then in what sense do you mean "adequately predict". Do you mean good economists have reached a stage where they can make general predictive statements like: "raising taxes will slow growth". Or, do you mean they can predict more specific things about the economy, and do so better than a non-economist statistician/extrapolator/correlator could?

    Aside: Somewhere in Reisman's "Cap" book, he cautions against specific predictions.

    By predict, I meant general statements.

  11. Thank you for the link, and as for A West's remarks about economics...why do you think that economics does not adequately represent that people act how they believe? I don't think economics solves or explains everything, but I believe it can adequately predict, represent or explain the area of human actions.

  12. The essay isn't incredibly harsh. It mostly deals with aspects of psychology that Rand never addressed, because she admitted that she knew nothing of psychology so she never made claims she couldn't support. He just talks about how moral condemnation is appropriate but will never change the morally wrong person, thus some other approach has to be taken to get people to change, which Rand never endorsed.

    And this passage struck me as interesting:

    "Ayn always insisted that her philosophy was an integrated whole, that it was entirely self-consistent, and that one could not reasonably pick elements of her philosophy and discard others. In effect, she declared, “It’s all or nothing.” Now this is a rather curious view, if you think about it. What she was saying, translated into simple English, is: Everything I have to say in the field of philosophy is true, absolutely true, and therefore any departure necessarily leads you into error. Don’t try to mix your irrational fantasies with my immutable truths. This insistence turned Ayn Rand’s philosophy, for all practical purposes, into dogmatic religion, and many of her followers chose that path.

    The true believers might respond by saying, “How can you call it dogmatic religion when we can prove every one of Ayn Rand’s propositions?!” My answer to that is, “The hell you can!” Prior to our break, Ayn Rand credited me with understanding her philosophy better than any other person alive—and not merely better, but far better. I know what we were in a position to prove, I know where the gaps are. And so can anyone else—by careful, critical reading. It’s not all that difficult or complicated.

    This may sound like a trivial example of what I mean, but it’s an example that has always annoyed me personally. I would love to hear some loyal follower of Ayn Rand try to argue logically and rationally for her belief that no woman should aspire to be president of the United States. "

  13. I was just curious, someone told me that I should listen to his lecture/speech which gave credit to Mises, Rothbard and Rand as the ones who brought capitalism back into the intellectual arena. I was wondering if anyone knew of this man or had read him and liked him. He wrote "Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics."

  14. I am not sure what i think about this issue. But, I have one question. Suppose that someone was able to discover a very large source of gold and a cheaper than usual way to extract it. In a system 100% tied to gold would this not lead to inflation.

    The answer to your question is yes. An increase in gold would cause inflation. However, this would only be a short run effect. Once inflation set in, the price of gold AS A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE would drop, once it drops below the usefulness of gold for INDUSTRIAL/RETAIL purposes then people would withdrawl their gold from the banks and invest their gold in other markets. These actions of taking gold out of banks and circulation and putting the commodity into retail and industrial uses would then decrease the money supply back to its equilibrium and cause deflation.

    Basically, in a commodity based money system the value of it as a medium of exchange can never fall below its other uses. That is the point of using a commodity based money supply, it has an objective value other than its uses as money.

  15. What are the steps in the Keynesian model? Or, alternatively, in the model you think is right?

    I don't know what I think is right as of the moment, I believed the classical model to be the correct one, until I read General Theory. I still don't like Keynes in general, but he kind of made me question classical theory. So that is the reason I wanted to discuss this issue with someone.

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