Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Eiuol

Moderators
  • Content Count

    5519
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    103

Everything posted by Eiuol

  1. People vote for narratives, whether they are true or false doesn't matter here. I get what you're saying, but votes in the abstract don't mean anything because there are an infinite number of reasons to vote for someone besides strictly support. That you find some communists in the ranks of various political campaigns isn't particularly interesting or concerning. It would be interesting if somebody was listening to them.
  2. It's a pretty weak assault if they aren't even controlling the narrative.
  3. What does eliminating mean? I mean, all you need to do is make them take a less position in your life than the thing you value more.
  4. It may be easier for a diagnosed sociopath to overlook emotional issues, sure. That doesn't mean the result is whatever binary decision the person is thinking about. The problem is you've defined values as just some emotional thing that you decide spontaneously. Starting with emotion at the base (perhaps valuing your brother because it feels like the right thing to do and you are "supposed to") isn't the only starting point to think about this, trying to reason out why someone is valuable in the first place helps to see what place that person holds for your purpose and self-esteem. What caused you to change your valuation? Why did you have that prior valuation? In what way is your life enhanced? Why do your aspirations have any conflict with your relationship with others? What changed about the person? What changed about you? Those are the types of questions you can ask yourself to see how your actions might affect your values.
  5. As you should, because even you see the stupidity of Hazony. You can ignore him by responding "ok boomer" as 2046 said, or pointing out his clear dislike of reason. I mean, that chapter might be the only thing remotely good and something to grab onto. You can still recognize him as an intellectual wannabe. If this clears the bar of being an intellectually valuable work to you so much that you will write out a lot of notes and post them for us and organize them, you are doing yourself a disservice.
  6. Yeah, and I read the book and criticized some humongous errors. In the process, you brush those errors aside and seem to suggest that somewhere he gives a good argument. Great that he uses sources, but what does that matter if he makes bad arguments with them? The points you make about nationalism are better arguments, and not the arguments he uses. They have a decent epistemology at least.
  7. I didn't watch the whole video so I don't know to what extent they are criticizing Hazony specifically, versus nationalism broadly construed. Something like civic nationalism (which Hazony specifically argues against) that enshrines ideals in documents themselves and the carefully constructed government would be a fine thing to choose. It is different than the nationalism which enshrines cultural values of all kinds (including religion, language, art preferences, etc). I don't think the reason 2046 posted the video was anything other than showing why we should ignore Hazony.
  8. Great if you want to argue that, aside from the imprecision of what you said, if you mean something along the lines of freedom to choose (and in that sense not to be subjugated to a political power). There is a good case for civic nationalism you could build from that. But that is not what Hazony thinks. He has outright skepticism of reason along the lines of that because we have volition, we can't know things for sure, least of all have any universals of any kind. Since our abstract principles cannot be certain, no abstract political principles can say that one nation is better than another - unless one nation asserts that they are correct and seeks to act on it. You are arguing from a perspective that certainty is possible with volition, Hazony thinks it isn't possible and relies on principles of the Bible (presumably because the word of God is certain). That's why the PragerU video is bad.
  9. I think you're just being pedantic. You said the strategy in war, so I answered that. You know, war strategy, the plan to win the war. This is a rationalization. You gave me your opinion about Iran, but now you're hesitant to give an opinion about Saudi Arabia because it's complicated. I don't have reason to suspect that Trump cares about Saudi Arabia at all, based upon his public comments. He thinks well of the country if anything. If he changes his mind, great. But it seems unlikely. I don't have a sense of who the enemy is exactly, and Trump often changes his mind even when things are going good. I'm more concerned that the assassination will end up a wash for what it was meant to achieve.
  10. I sure hope you don't consider that a long-term strategy. It's like saying the objective of chess is to capture the king. Yeah, that's a goal, and part of the strategy, but we can also see there's a wider consideration of what the other person might do, what might go on, and future games possibly. We can also see what kind of player they are based on the way they take their moves, who they have learned from, and so on. What does it mean to you that Saudi Arabia is basically a US ally to the president, but the president also wants to take a hard line against dangerous countries like Iran? The type of strategy that Grames talks about looks great to me, but it's hard for me to point out reasons to think that Trump wants to think of a long-term strategy like that.
  11. I already said it's not the killing per se that I have any issue with. I'm critical of a lack of any cohesive long-term strategy. I'm comfortable with assassinations as a tactical move (especially because it minimizes collateral damage and harming innocent people). I don't expect anyone to outright reveal a complete strategy to the public, so I'm expressing how I can't really piece one together even with many holes in it.
  12. What does this mean? Who is more comfortable? I was already comfortable with such a thing. But I have no bearing at all. Nothing changed at all. What you're saying doesn't mean much. Even what you said about Trump is so simplistic that you're just describing what most people would do. I agree on this point, I have no problem at all with the assassination. My criticism was 1) a president should not receive much praise or blame for the actions of the military, and 2) I'm not aware of any public foreign policy that this is supposed to fit into when Saudi Arabia is still an ally.
  13. But it isn't his will if it's a conclusion that a general or two provided. That's just following advice. Not very praiseworthy, just a basic expectation. To the extent he didn't take advice, and was using his will and military strategy skill that may have differed from a general, is the extent he didn't know what he was doing. And besides, I don't even know if this was in fact advice from a general. As far as I understand, it wasn't. I could be mistaken though.
  14. If that's the case, then we don't need to praise Trump for anything about this. That's actually how I feel about any president in recent history - they are relegating the military aspects so that they can bring focus to their political objectives. But we can be sure that the parts Trump is completely responsible for are not consistent with a coherent Middle East strategy. I'm not criticizing what happened, but my concern is that Trump doesn't demonstrate the political foresight that is necessary for successful strategy.
  15. I don't know about you, but assassination of bad people with the lack of any apparent long-term strategy is a marginal positive and possibly even a negative. That would go for any administration in the past who has been close to Saudi Arabia. So whatever positive there is, it doesn't matter as long as Saudi Arabia is an ally.
  16. Maybe, but it's doubtful that Trump is using strategic foresight here. Even if it is the right decision now, I doubt he has much of a foreign policy here. Still virtually nothing done about Hong Kong.
  17. Eiuol

    Santa Claus

    Surprisingly enough, the opposite is true (it depends what you mean by lying though). There is no empirical evidence that telling kids all about fantasy in any way harms their orientation towards reality or comprehension of what is real or not. Kids are quite able to do this on their own, they don't require adults to help them understand what is real or not when it comes to things they see (or don't see) in everyday life. If anything, this type of fantasy enhances orientation towards reality in the sense that they are practicing making the distinction between what is right there in front of them, versus things they don't actually have evidence for. They might not have a sophisticated way to talk about unseen versus unseen things, but they are never confused about what is real or not. Kids certainly have a sense of wonder about the imaginary, but they are learning over time exactly what it means for something to be imaginary. The same goes for imaginary friends. You can play along with the kid pretending that the imaginary friend is there, even going as far as to set up a place at the kitchen table. This isn't lying; it's pretending. It's not like you would be trying to convince the kid that the imaginary friend really is there. You don't have to remind the kid that it is pretend, they already understand that. The empirical evidence about this is that kids with imaginary friends have superior social skills to kids that do not, without any kind of cognitive deficit or issue whatsoever. Imagination is a very useful thing! Telling kids about Santa is no different than telling them about the Grinch, or reading any Dr. Seuss book. Some sort of extreme lying like very extravagant ploys or adamantly arguing that Santa really is real probably wouldn't be good though. Leaving out cookies, having them write a list, saying that the reindeer are coming at midnight, these are the equivalent of playing along for fun.
  18. What are you trying to convince me of? I understand what you're trying to say, the metaphor isn't helping me understand better. I understand perfectly fine. The more you say, the more I am convinced that you are making a collectivist argument. I wonder if Rand was a symptom or a catalyst?
  19. But if you want to continue with that metaphor, the ship doesn't go anywhere. Absolutely nothing happens. It's not pointless to have ballast of course (society moves after all), but it is inconsequential as far as who the ballast even is.
  20. Before I quoted you, I said there is no singular line, because they would be out of context quotes. I gave you some quotes anyway because you wanted something. But now you're saying you don't like that I gave you out of context quotes! They don't necessarily imply collectivism, but in context of everything you wrote and said, they do. If you don't really want to get into it, that's fine, I'm just be curious as to any related sources about what you think.
  21. Your argument does. It's not one sentence or a single point. I think disputing that the average person is inconsequential is itself a collectivistic position. It's your point in context of everything else. If you really need something specific to work with, take these: If my point is confusing or you think a point doesn't follow, just asking for clarification or point out what looks like a contradiction. The first quote is about the nature of rationality (that genetic fitness is part of rationality and in this sense is influence in a significant way by the collective patterns of society) and the rest are an expansion on the idea that the average person plays an important and significant role in the flow of history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_man_theory
  22. Right, you disagree that the average person is inconsequential. I do not deny that there is some degree of combined effort to at least a marginal degree, but those are inessential people. They, as individuals, don't make a difference. They provide nothing special. They are average. Not to mention that to say "the country is on average rational" is a claim about the average person. If I did that, then I would be changing your argument. I'm pointing out that your position is not consistent with individualism or what you wanted to be consistent with. I'm representing the position exactly as you put it. You can deny that it is collectivist as much as you want, you can try to say it isn't, but it is. If it's a misrepresentation, then you've misrepresented your own position. Just because you don't realize the implications doesn't mean the implications are not there. I don't think you're trying to make it sound collectivistic, but that's what's happening. Let me fix up what I said. What I intended to convey is that the only people we can see shaping history are historic people. We can observe, like an anthropologist or archaeologist, how people have lived in the past, the sort of lives they lived. Looking at that, we know across all civilizations that people had some general level of rationality. It would reaffirm what I'm saying about the level of rationality being the same across history. Archaeology and anthropology don't tell us about the progress of history though. It would reveal how the historic figures lived, but it can't tell us much about why the Inca Empire collapsed, why the Roman Empire collapsed. We need historic figures for that. I grant that there are great and important people below the level of creative genius, yet they are still anything but average. The upshot of all this is that we don't need vast swaths of people to create a cultural revolution. Maoist China thought they needed vast numbers of people to create their actual cultural revolution. Objectivism may be a philosophy which few people subscribe, but that doesn't mean it is a philosophy for the few and elite. In case it sounded like I was arguing for some type of aristocratic moral hierarchy. Still, it is a philosophy where one needs to be a hero to make a difference.
  23. That's what I'm saying, you're talking about the utility of ideas to society, and the quality of an idea in terms of the value society sees. The more people who agree with it, the greater it is. You haven't claimed just that other people can help make an idea into reality, but that historical political trends point are the trends of the average person. I know you dispute that the average person is inconsequential, so I'm saying your claim is a type of collectivism. Most people will live and die without consequence to the world. Doesn't mean that they are worthless, or that acknowledgment from society matters for being rational. But they don't shape their world, they don't shape their politics, so whatever they do has no bearing on how rational the country appears. Voting is of minimal consequence, it's basically a means of distributing resources in a vaguely equitable way in terms of preferences, not a means of efficient and self-interested rational action. All you really get to see is the actions of historic people. At the margins people might be consequential, and might deserve a lot more respect than they get, but you won't see the consequence of their actions in aggregate form because so few people care. By creative genius I don't mean "the only truly rational individuals". They are individuals of the highest degree of rationality and individuality. It's the difference between Eddie Willers and Dagny Taggart. Eddie is average, a good person, and generally quite rational. Dagny is above average, an actual hero, and much better at applying rationality to her life (and because it's fiction, we know what goes on in her private life and don't need to wonder if she is privately a pretty nasty person). It doesn't matter if Dagny became a towering figure in history, but creative genius like hers is a necessary requirement to alter the world in a consequential way.
  24. What do you mean? Of course they can, that's the point of the government initiating force in those regime. Consent doesn't even enter into why those regimes last or collapse. The changes in power structure are shaped by the great actors of history, whether they be revolutionaries or people who change the system from within. It's not the masses at work here, or the average person. All that changes is the visibility of rational people the visibility of rational actions because proper political systems make it possible for them to act rationally. Keep in mind that I'm not saying the average person is fundamentally irrational. They are to some degree rational, but may fail to be rational in other ways. Most people fit here, most people are quite average, and people who say they are rational are often less rational than they claim. When we look at progress, these average people don't matter. They are inconsequential for grand trends that we've been talking about. So that's why pointing at progress has nothing to do with the degree of rationality among people in society. All you'd be doing is saying that the creative geniuses were able to do something. Then you're also claiming that the average collective (and therefore the lowest common denominator) is more responsible for the course of history than the great actors of history. The leaders are just the embodiment of the people. You're making the same mistake, just in the other direction. You aren't measuring what the average person does when you look at the actions of political regimes. EDIT: The artistic culture of society I think is the one area that can cause people to choose to be rational more often. It's the area where we can in fact see the patterns of the average person. Creative geniuses may be responsible for artistic creations, but the average person consumes them.
  25. There is no trend either way for people as a whole. The proportion is stable. I don't see why.
×
×
  • Create New...