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Everything posted by Jake_Ellison

  1. Jake_Ellison


    So from that you assumed I didn't read your blog? An alternate explanation is that I didn't consider what you regard as your main points worth addressing. For instance your claim that national security cannot be advanced by torture is not an argument, it's bald assertion. Your "proof" of the bald assertions is youtube videos and links of other people making the same bald assertions. Your blog is full of those, and other fallacious arguments (like the ridiculous claim that sanctioning the torture of enemies makes a country totalitarian). I'm getting tired of addressing them, especially when they're on somebody's 6000 word blog post that starts out with the disclaimer: Important Note: There is a large repository of both news links and quite a few embedded videos that I have provided at the very bottom of this blog post. Don't miss it!. I read most of the link (I skipped the irrelevant parts about Abu Ghraib), and I have not seen anything in it to back up your claims. I also skipped the links in the link to your blog, and the links to the video interviews in the link to your blog. So if you have anything in those (or any place else on the Internet) to address Sam Harris's argument, now's the time to stop linking to links, and start presenting arguments on this forum.
  2. Jake_Ellison


    I'm only interested in a reason why torture of a proven terrorist, to obtain life saving information, would be immoral. I haven't heard any such reasons, all I heard were opinions that torture is ineffective, and that it will be inevitably misused. I don't consider your opinion on that valid (or anyone else's, who is seeking to make that decision from their living room, in the place of actual specialists who could make a better qualified and informed decision on a case by case basis, themselves), and I don't consider endless talk of abuses, starting with the Inquisition all the way to Abu Ghraib, relevant in any way. Your latest link also doesn't address the moral argument made by Harris (that the rational choice is the torture of a terrorist over the death and injury of innocents or the less guilty). Your claim in the essay, that torture is somehow innately wrong because it "breaks" people also doesn't hold up. Damn right I'm willing to break someone who's trying to kill me.
  3. Jake_Ellison


    You don't address that either. And Krauthammer's argument is nothing like Harris's.
  4. I think understanding that you don't have some kind of special responsibility to the customers (because you work for the company, not the customers) might help you go through this less than ideal experience a little better. The company seems to have hired you to pacify those customers the best you can, and to process their cancellations if they want to cancel, not to keep them informed of whatever it is they want to know. That's what you should do. If the clients don't like it, tough. It's not like mail order businesses go around promising full customer service and guaranteed delivery to clients. I would think they all have very clear disclaimers about the possibility of various types of mishaps, and not having fancy client relations when it happens helps keep the costs low. I see nothing wrong with any of that. Unfortunately, it also makes your life difficult, at least until you can find a better job (one with fewer interactions with angry people, for starters). P.S. Great, I basically just repeated Dante's post. In my defense, I didn't know it was there when I clicked to answer.
  5. Jake_Ellison


    There's no mention of Sam Harris on that page.
  6. Jake_Ellison


    Sam Harris - In Defense of Torture
  7. It doesn't matter what you contend. You haven't read what she wrote. I'm not going to post the full entry, because it is several pages long and copyrighted material. You'll have to get it legally, or, if you can't be bothered to do the minimum necessary to understand the subject of this thread, stop posting in it. The fact that you are denigrating her and are allowing yourself to spew emotionalist vomit onto a public forum, without even bothering to read the full sentence you got the quote from, speaks volumes about what your standards are (that much is fact), and, like I said, in my opinion what you posted also speaks volumes about what your basic values are.
  8. That's ridiculous. The problem of honest disagreements is solved through objective laws, written and applied by an objective government. That is very different from a democracy. A majority vote or any other type of "consensus" does not make laws or rulings objective, rational thought on the part of impartial legal specialists, applying objective, publicly available laws based in the principle of individual rights does. What you are suggesting is the straight forward application of Ethical Subjectivism in Politics.
  9. Actually believing what? You made sure to cut off the quote before she explains who and what she was referring to, in the hopes that you'll find a few people lazy enough to believe your lie that she was referring to the "average person". Here's what she was referring to: "Oh, that their best is so very small! Oh, that their worst is so very small! And oh, how horrid it is to be small!". That is from Nietzsche, and it hints to a belief system that is a far greater evil than Hickman's degeneracy. It is something that, in my humble opinion, doesn't fit many people, but it describes one in this thread pretty well: you. Instead of dabbling in more out of context quotes and superficial, lazy, daft observations about them, you should do some reading, understand both the context of the full journal entry (by reading it and the writings of the people she criticized in it), as well as the context of the Nietzsche quote and his overall philosophy. Then you can come back and add a few informed, honest and helpful questions and comments to this thread, instead of this aimless trolling. There actually are contradictions in that journal entry worthy of criticism (Ayn Rand's later work resolves those contradictions). Too bad you haven't gotten around to identifying them, so that someone could direct you towards their resolution. Instead you're concerned with finding something that you can react to on an emotional level, to point at it and hate it without having to actually think. That need for emotional satisfaction devoid of intellectual work is a symptom of our current society (as evidenced by all the "gotcha" style of journalism, directed against pretty much anyone in the public eye), just like it was a symptom of the society Ayn Rand was describing. But it's not true that the average person feels it, it's only a select few. Most people I come across actually struggle to understand things, they rarely have this craving, for a piece of sensationalist meat to sink their hateful teeth into, that you are so eloquently displaying.
  10. So what you're claiming is that the Democrats are all Marxists who reject the notion of private enterprise altogether, and want to institute Lenin's political system, while the Republicans are in favor of a free, capitalist market, and their only fault is that they're harmlessly religious? That is nonsense. There is no ideological difference between the Democrats and the Republican leadership. You're just demonizing the Democrats with cheap buzzwords and exaggerations, and talking up the Republicans as something they are clearly not, out of partisan fervor. Where have you been for the past decade, most of it under Republican control, where the federal government's authority over every aspect of people's lives, including the economy, has been continuously extended? How can you think that continuing to support the same people who during the Bush years almost doubled the federal budget is all of a sudden going to result in "charity extended through private means"?
  11. Obama obviously isn't a Leninist. He's a socialist (he implicitly accepts Marx's philosophy), same as the establishment Republicans. Only someone who rejects critical thought in favor of emotionalism can breeze by that detail.
  12. Although I don't always agree with you, I love reading your posts. You can certainly dish it out, and you can really take it. Keep up the good posts

  13. Straw man. The Objectivist objections to Republicans are quite extensive, and they have very little to do with their personal religious beliefs. I'm not going to go over them again, because when I did in the past, you just ignored my arguments and moved on to a different thread, to post the same simplistic catch phrases.
  14. There is no such thing as "logical extreme" defined in the field of Logic. It is as senseless to talk about "extremes" in logic as it would be in any other science that doesn't define the concept. What would it mean to reject set theory in Mathematics because it's a mathematical extreme? It's a terrible, senseless reason to give, mathematicians would spit on you. It won't work with those of us who love Logic either. There are logical conclusions. If you denounce the logical conclusions of a premise, arbitrarily (or because they seem extreme, yellow or undercooked to you), you are denouncing Logic itself.
  15. I don't understand why my previous answer is unclear. Are you assuming the cop can force you to answer? He can't, you don't have to answer that question. If he didn't catch you in the act, you should thank your lucky stars and, more importantly, stop breaking the rules of the road.
  16. Everyone finds things they don't understand "odd". But then we have a choice: we can be curious and look for the reason someone made an unusual choice, or we can be drones and just superficially dismiss everything we don't understand, with the pseudo logic of thinking by association.
  17. The conservative argument against gay marriage. I agree that most conservatives aren't really bothered by gays, so this is only a parody of the vocal minority. And yelling queer in a Boston accent is just funny, for some reason.
  18. Keeping silent is not an evasion, lying is. Unless there is a good reason for confessing, repentant criminals should exercise their right to remain silent, not help their prosecutors send them to jail. They should of course try and pay back the victim, but to help restrict your own freedom just for the sake of it is not rational. I don't think Miss Rand is on record answering this specific question (after all, why would an Objectivist commit a crime, and how could Ethics have a good answer for someone who's been ignoring Ethics? - so she probably didn't think this was her problem), but she did support the 5th Amendment. My assumption is that she supported it because forcing someone to help their prosecution could mean forcing them to act against their self interest.
  19. I'm not going to play this word game with you. No one here, no one in American law, and no one in Objectivism defines speech to include the use of force. What you are claiming is speech does not fit the definition. That should be clear by now, if it isn't it's not going to become more clear after a few more pages of arguing about it.
  20. Except that your premise that alcoholism is just another habit is false. It's a physical condition. Instead of bothering to understand the Objectivist position on volition, EC is applying it dogmatically and poorly (because he apparently can't be bothered to take time off poker and think), and you're buying into it. Please, get OPAR, and read the appropriate chapter (http://www.peikoff.com/opar/volition.htm) instead. You'll find that free will does not contradict the notion of being an addict. An addict is still objectively an addict even after years of not using the substance. His physiology is still that of an addict, and not that of a non-addict. I know for instance that if I went on a smoking binge, in a few days I would be back where I started before I quit. That's in contrast to a person who is not a nicotine addict, who would not become addicted if he smoked the same amount I did. With heroin and other dangerous substances, this is true even more. The addiction is so strong that most people will simply never be able to muster the mental effort needed to fight it. At least not without help. Free will only applies to the extent they can choose to agree in advance to being physically restrained (in a rehab facility) by others. The notion that any heroin addict could sit in a room next to a syringe of heroin and choose to go through withdrawal is ridiculous. Free will is the ability to choose to focus our mind or not (in the specific ways we are capable of doing so), it's not the ability to do anything we want at any time we want it, irrespective of our psychology and physiology.
  21. Louis CK sums up the conservative argument pretty damn well here:
  22. We don't have any agents behind enemy lines. We don't even have any on this side of the line. I didn't even know the US government was the enemy. If anyone in the government is reading this, don't shoot. That's me behind those boxes:
  23. You made a stupid statement: "Not condemning an action is just as bad as doing the action." I applied that pseudo-logic, to illustrate just how stupid it is. That's what. Now you're just making up lies to smear Ayn Rand. She had no inside information on the supposed prosecution of homosexuals and innocents under the guise of fighting the Soviets. Please just go away, troll some other place.
  24. You are suggesting that leaving it up to individual drivers to determine what is and isn't safe would make a public road safer than if it had rules set by a government. That has been proven false by empirical evidence, the rules make the public roads much safer.
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