Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by jedymastyr

  1. I don't think she was attacking boards of directors as such, but rather those like the ones she portrayed--where they didn't really discuss issues or present arguments, but rather others' opinions...and often made up their mind without regard to any arguments that would be presented. I did find the juxtaposition of the quote and link to be amusing, still.
  2. If you happen to have a SoundBlaster card in your computer, there's a nifty recorder that often comes bundled with it for free. It should be under Creative in your Program Files or Programs on the start menu, and then it's called something with Recorder in it. If you don't mind turning off all applications that produce sound, you can record the output of your sound card directly...I think it will create .wav files that you'd still have to convert to mp3 (which there are many free applications to do if you don't happen to have one already)
  3. You're right about it being when she told him of marrying Keating. (I highly recommend the "Objectivism Research CD-ROM" for finding quotes you remember parts of)
  4. Those are all good points I hadn't considered--thanks. (Also, thanks for the exact quote)
  5. The businessman character didn't build the second one--he just showed it to Ellie. There was a quote (I haven't seen the movie in a while, so this is as close as I can remember) something like: "First rule of government spending: why build one when you can build two at twice the price? [followed by something about being able to keep the second one secret]" It was the government that built the second one as well as the first.
  6. Objectivism doesn't declare any natural, scientific phenomena to be false or nonexistent. If many Objectivists think a given scientific phenomenon is nonexistent but which actually is found to exist, keep in mind that it is not a part of the philosophy--science is higher up hierarchically. I haven't heard Objectivists going around denying gravity or anything like that, so I don't really think that will be a serious problem. On the other hand, if a scientist tells you something philosophically untrue, it is perfectly reasonable just to reject it outright since science is presupposed by and depends on philosophy.
  7. I disagree with this--growth is a very important part of life. I don't see how you might be able to argue that growth is not necessary, as it is one of the conditions of things being living. If you have some such argument I'd be interested to hear it, though. I learned in a biology class that there were 5 conditions necessary for life--growth, reproduction, interaction with the environment, metabolism, and a life cycle (including death). Is this controversial or currently being debated by biologists? Have the conditions changed? You're right about the metabolism, sorry. And no, it wouldn't be alive. That is basically the argument I made in my first post on this topic (reproduction was irrelevant to that argument).
  8. In addition it does not grow or metabolize, also conditions for being living.
  9. In the chapter Virtue, in the section on the virtue of productiveness, you'll find a couple pages worth of writing on it. If you're in general at least somewhat familiar with the Objectivist virtues, you shouldn't have to read all of OPAR to get that. It's just a few pages--I recommend reading just the section on productiveness if that's all you're looking for. I don't know of any other places where you could find a longer or more in-depth description of it in the literature, though BurgessLau has provided a lot of useful and explanatory information on the subject in some of his posts.
  10. Thanks. Every time (3) I've brought it up as one of my very favorite movies in discussion with Objectivists I've met, they have had extremely negative responses. Two persistently argued that it was a horrible mystic film that glorified faith and openly attacked reason. The third person, who hadn't seen it before, watched it and later told me he didn't like it at all. I'm surprised (though I probably shouldn't be) and happy that Contact has gotten a more positive response here.
  11. I don't necessarily support a national sales tax--I am undecided on the issue. I can't come up with an argument for it that satisfies me, but the issue isn't fully clear to me. I am familiar with the Objectivist arguments against taxation in general, which I find very convincing. It may be possible to somehow have an indirect tax that require the imposition of force against someone (why would this be called a tax, then, since tax seems to imply force?). The only way I can imagine this not requiring force is if the tax is optional. All I'm saying is that, though I agree with the view that taxes are as a whole wrong, I would want to hear Mr. Salsman's lecture before ever finalizing my position on that. He may only support an optional tax (like that set forth in "Government Financing in a Free Society"), but I don't see why he would call it a tax since the word tax implies a requirement. So, though I overall don't agree with any tax whatsoever, I want to hear Mr. Salsman's talk and consider the issue "open" right now. If anyone has heard Mr. Salsman's talk on the subject or knows his basic argument, please enlighten me.
  12. Perhaps not--but keep in mind, this isn't just a lecture ARI is selling at the ARB. This is a campus talk Richard Salsman is listed as being able to give, and it is listed on the page of campus talks ARI recommends for Objectivist clubs. That of course does not mean ARI endorses it still, but it's a stronger support than just selling the lecture. In fact, I wish they sold the lecture--I would like to hear the talk. He is one of my two or three favorite Objectivist lecturers, so I'm thinking he has at least an interesting argument to offer.
  13. It is impossible to separate life and biology--biology is the study of life. Biological entities are those possessing life (biology is "the study of life"). To say a life is non-biological is to say it is an entity possessing life that also doesn't possess life (or, perhaps wider, that it is unrelated to life). So no, it would be impossible for it to be a non-biological life. I don't really think that's what you were getting at--I think the more relevant question would be: is it alive? And the answer to that, also, is no. Imagine a plant, or a cell, or a human--anything living. Without following a certain course of action, their "lives" will go out of existence but their chemicals will remain. A cell will stop moving, "feeding," photosynthesizing, etc. (depending on the type of cell it is). A plant will shrivel up and stop growing toward light, photosynthesizing, blooming, etc. Humans will stop moving, eating, thinking, etc. Each of these entities has an important trait--life--that is something more than the simple combination of physical elements, and requires specific actions to maintain itself. Unlike the materials it is made of, this life can go out of existence. If you program a robot to respond to certain stimuli in certain ways, you aren't adding "life" to it somehow--you are just rearranging elements in nature so that they will passively act a certain way in response to external stimuli. It is not active at all. If a fly hits it, it will gain some energy and do something. If not, not. Say it waits two years between fly hits...and suddenly starts moving. You see, there is no life that it is keeping--it is not active, not sustaining anything. Its physical structure may be moving, but it isn't self-generated (it is passively responding) or self-sustaining (there is nothing to sustain!). The only threat of non-existence it faces is if its physical structure gets eroded by the environment. Notice that this is a problem that living and non-living entities face--and definitely isn't a characteristic that indicates life. For example, think of stonehenge. A tornado could easily change it into an unrecognizable form, destroying stonehenge, but that doesn't make it "alive." Life is more than just a given physical arrangement that responds to its environment (everything in nature responds causally to outside factors). Since this rearrangement is its only threat of nonexistence, and that isn't enough to make it a living organism, it is not living.
  14. In the description of Objectivist Richard Salsman's campus talk "A New Tax Policy That Advances Capitalism," advertised in ARI's speaker's bureau, there is the following: (It is about 3/4 of the way down on ARI speaking events, and you have to click on the talk's name to get the description.) I have been unable to discover the argument for this policy, an exact description of it, any implications (based on the argument I don't know) it may have on the morality of taxation, or pretty much anything about it... Despite its apparent opposition to Objectivism's "no-tax" policy, it's a talk by an Objectivist I have a great deal of respect for, and apparently sanctioned by ARI since it's published there and in ARI's speaking events, so I wouldn't entirely discount a federal sales tax without hearing more details on this particular speech.
  15. You would be stupid to buy a piece of property without securing also a reliable means of accessing it. To expect the government to give you a guaranteed "right of way" is an abdication of your responsibility to make rational purchases.
  16. I've noticed that as well--I'm in the same class as him at the OAC.
  17. If he's an Objectivist friend of yours, you might recommend that he join the Student Objectivist Society at UA (http://www.uasos.objectivismonline.net/join.php). I haven't seen anyone by that name at any of the meetings--we only get a few people.
  18. Thanks a lot! Sorry, I didn't realize the issue has been discussed before and should have checked. I appreciate the article and your explanation, as they cleared up my misunderstandings.
  19. I realize this is off the exact subject of set theory you guys are talking about, but I think it fits the subject of infinity still. Since the universe has always existed, hasn't an infinite amount of time already passed? Meaning, doesn't time go back forever, to infinity? True--we would never be able to represent an infinite length of time in any compact notation created by counting objects or their arrangements (since only so many objects and arrangements exist), but doesn't infinity still exist in how much time has gone by in the past? I don't think an infinity with respect to time would cause the problems implicit in an infinity applied to physical reality. From ITOE: Time, though, would still be definable, since it is a measurement between two points. Saying an infinity exists doesn't mean that there aren't any two points--but that a "first point" doesn't exist (no creation). I don't think this would be omitting all measurements or all reality, since the claim being made isn't that one can go back infinitely in time, or that one can go forward infinitely in time. It just means that, given that time passes at a constant rate and nothing comes into or goes out of existence, everything must always have existed (infinite time). To say this somehow undermines measurements of time or reality would be a stolen concept. To apply this back to the ITOE quote above, it is not being said to "exist in reality" since an interval of time doesn't "exist" in the same sense that physical objects do. Is this consistent with Objectivism? Is it correct to say that an infinity is applicable to reality in the sense that there is not a finite limit to the amount of time that has elapsed before now? If not, could anyone please help me understand the error I'm making in my thought process?
  20. Notice that all three axioms are repetitive. They are naming a fact--existence, consciousness, identity. Stated propositionally--existence exists, things are themselves (or A is A), and consciousness is conscious. Sure, you can say consciousness exists--but it doesn't mean any more than "tables exist" or "plants exist." These aren't axioms. It's just an identification of an existent (which, by the way, presupposes all three of the axioms, including consciousness). For clarification--I know you aren't saying you support that wording, and I'm not arguing that you are wrong about anything--I'm just trying to add to what you said.
  21. I agree, it is quite objective-- From "The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made": We can see that animals have sense organs, such as eyes, ears, tongues, and noses that we can easily compare to human sense organs. Furthermore, we know that animals act based on these sense perceptions (i.e. a small animal scurrying away when a predator comes near)--that is, the sense organs don't just exist and not do anything. So, we know the animals have sense organs and respond to sense perceptions--so they perceive reality--so they are conscious. Notice that this is a much higher (scientific) argument than the more fundamental issue of a person denying an axiom. It requires more than just the axioms to deduce that other humans are conscious, so someone denying that other humans are conscious is not _necessarily_ denying the axiom of consciousness (there are other places to make errors). Yes--because animals sleep. At night (at least for diurnal species), animals close their eyes, don't respond to senses as perceptively, their heart rates slow, and all evidence points to them being asleep. How, by this sort of logic, could we possibly know that bears hibernate? I mean, after all, since humans don't hibernate and these types of things are introspective, there would really be no way of knowing. The fact is, though, that there is a lot of evidence outside of introspection that goes into making these assertions. Plants react around the hormonal level, and don't have sense _organs_ like animals do. They have no means of _perception_, only a reaction at a more molecular or cellular level.
  22. Welcome! So, you're majoring in physics, and taking Latin/classics/philosophy for fun? Or are you incorporating them into minors and making it official? Sounds awesome, either way. I've met several physics majors in college (I'm studying engineering), and not a single one of them is interested in the humanities--so that's nice to hear. Also, it's nice to see a new person from Arizona--I'm studying at UA.
  23. I haven't taken either of the courses, but I've read many of the Princeton Review/Kaplan books for study guides and have some familiarity with the Kaplan prep courses through the local Kaplan office on my college campus. Princeton review seems to teach you techniques on how to take the tests effectively (rather than learning the material itself). It's not bad--it's definitely good to know about common errors, what types of teaser answers will be included, etc--but don't expect Princeton to give the best review of the material. Kaplan, on the other hand, appears to believe that if you take enough tests, you will get better. Make sure, either way you go, to really go over all the answer keys to the practice tests. I went to a Kaplan center for a day to take a test and sample how they operate. At the end of the practice exam, they gave me the scored sheet and test booklet (with questions)--the score sheet gave a list of my answers to all the problems and the correct answers. Since everyone gets different questions wrong, I doubt either class would go through every problem. I would highly recommend going over all your wrong answers and figuring out what you did wrong, because that way you learn from your mistakes and perform better on the next test. Otherwise, all taking a bunch of practice tests will do is get you more familiar so you're more relaxed and comfortable on test day. Sorry, that doesn't really help you much for Kaplan vs. Princeton Review... I recommend going to a book store (borders is awesome for that) and looking through the LSAT prep books for Kaplan and Princeton Review. What you see in there is a lot of what you'll be getting out of it. Look at the styles and the amount of information they cover versus how much they give you test-taking tips. Pick whichever you think would be more helpful, based on what you know and what types of things you would best use help in.
  24. Denying that person B possesses consciousness is not the same as denying the axiom that "consciousness is conscious." The axioms don't tell you any specific knowledge--about person A, person B, person C...not about anyone. They don't tell you about anything particular; they are general and all-encompassing. The axioms presuppose any knowledge, including the concept "human" and the understanding that other humans possess consciousness. I think you're taking the axioms to mean more than they do (if I understand what you're saying properly).
  • Create New...