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Everything posted by Dante

  1. It should be noted that the OP isn't talking about sex at all. He's talking about seeing/touching a boob as if that's a significant milestone in and of itself. The claims of middle schoolers notwithstanding, it isn't.
  2. In this particular case, it seems to me like it would be in the service of a meaningless 'milestone.' The idea that touching breasts, regardless of the context, is some sort of milestone strikes me as ridiculous. The only people that take this conception of manhood seriously are middle school and high school boys who regard 'getting laid' as the pinnacle of their existence. Now, getting intimate with someone that you like for the first time, that can be a major event. But 'seeing boobs' or 'touching boobs' ripped out of this context is meaningless. Someone linked a clip from the 40
  3. To respond to the OP here, I agree with Nicky that emigration is probably the best alternative in the real world. I think that any kind of 'strike,' whether it's early retirement, the scaling back of one's businesses, or the destruction of one's factory, is highly impractical without the larger plan that Galt offered. If Galt had just withdrawn from the world after the Starnes' took over the factory, had withdrawn his new motor technology but had not set out on a mission to convince others to do the same, there would have been no real effect from his one-man strike. The strike isn't practic
  4. To me it's very clear that this is not what they did at the end of Atlas Shrugged. Throughout the book you see a number of indications that 'the common man' is ready to embrace rational ideas. Causes such as the John Galt Line and Rearden's trial draw large popular support, and there are many minor characters that object to the current state of things but can't give voice to an alternative. That is the point of Galt's speech, to provide a positive moral alternative to ideas that many are ready to reject. That speech serves to rally those that have sensed something wrong with the current sy
  5. Because it's literally the only example that you're citing, and you do it again in this post. Your original claim was that mainstream Objectivists will be unwilling to engage in critical debate within the wider context of academic philosophy for probably several generations. To support this, you've repeatedly criticized them for not doing so in JARS specifically, both in the original post I quoted and now doubling down here. The fact that they seem to have a problem with JARS specifically doesn't necessarily mean that they have a problem engaging the wider philosophical community. It may b
  6. Somehow I missed this when you originally wrote it, sorry about that. Anyhow, better late than never. Okay, but if this is your concern then I'm still pretty mystified. One glance at Tara Smith's CV, for instance, shows that she's been publishing in a number of philosophy journals not controlled by ARI or even anyone in the Objectivist movement: Social Philosophy & Policy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of Value Inquiry, etc. The same goes for James Lennox and Greg Salmieri, although their research focuses more on interpreting Aristotle than outright defense of Objectiv
  7. Yes, I haven't read that particular book so I can't attest to its quality. However, I will say that McCloskey is no doubt on firmer ground in 'Bourgeois Dignity,' where her focus is on economic history and she can draw heavily on her own professional work and expertise, than she would be in a treatise on philosophy and virtue ethics. At root, she is an economic historian, and I think that is where she can make the strongest case.
  8. Here you're conflating society with government. Rights presuppose other people, sure. Indeed, Grames includes treatment of others in his definition of rights. That doesn't mean they presuppose government.
  9. I just finished reading selected chapters from the book Bourgeois Dignity by Deirdre McCloskey, and frankly I loved it. More importantly, I think the book might be of particular interest to other people on this site. McCloskey is an economic historian, but more specifically one that is willing to affirm the central importance of philosophy in explaining positive economic developments (a rarity in economic history). Here, I'd like to outline the basic thesis and goal of the book, because its thesis is quite similar to Rand's thought in many ways. The book is an attempt to pinpoint the cause
  10. It seems, from the description of the webinar and the summary and comments on his book on Amazon, that Mark Henderson is not trying to form some 'Christian Neo-Objectivist' philosophy or achieve a complete reconciliation of Objectivism and Christianity on every single point. Rather, his goal seems to be to identify, in addition to the vast differences between the two philosophies, the areas of common ground between the two (indeed, his book's subtitle is 'Ayn Rand, Christianity, a Quest for Common Ground'). The following quote is taken from an Amazon review of his book: It looks like
  11. You need to go re-read the forum rules, and then seriously reevaluate your posting style. If all that you wish to do is hurl insults at people that disagree with you, or even ask you for references(!), this forum is not the place for you.
  12. Obviously you should not be able to, nor should you. Just because it looks like a market transaction doesn't mean that it's morally legitimate, any more than accepting a bribe would be for a policeman. The purpose of a democratic system is to give each citizen an equal say in the collective decisions that necessarily impact everyone. If you choose not to participate in that system, that's your prerogative; just stay home and don't vote. However, it's certainly immoral to participate only to subvert the purpose of the system by selling your vote. As I'm thinking about it now, purchasing
  13. Wait, so now I'm trying to ignore all the examples you gave because I mention another one? That's quite a leap, especially when I talk about Japan as the 'best-case scenario' example... implying that I think there are obviously other examples, that didn't go so well. Are you so determined to convince yourself that people who don't automatically agree with you are just dumdums who ignore everything they don't like? And not two posts above you're complaining about others having preconceived notions of you and not going off what you actually wrote in your post.
  14. And Japan... Oh, are we not going to mention that one? It seems like the most obvious historical parallel to what is being proposed here, and also a generally successful one. It should be noted that what followed from our actions there during WWII was essentially exactly what TOS is proposing would happen in Iran; the removal from power of a militaristic and totalitarian regime and its replacement by a constitutional republic. Of course, just because it worked there doesn't mean that it would work here; Japan's trajectory since World War II clearly represents a 'best-case scenario' when
  15. It should be noted that the horribly flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act exchanges only makes this 'worst-case scenario' more likely. Again, the fundamental concern is that too few young and healthy people will sign up for the exchange. Because the exchanges are designed to use healthier people to subsidize the cost of sick people, if too few healthy people sign up the exchanges will not be able to offer cheaper insurance to people trying to sign up with preexisting conditions. As I mentioned before, the individual mandate is an attempt to get more healthy people to sign up, by fining
  16. But this is already happening; specifically, in the Ayn Rand Society Philosophical Studies series edited by Allan Gotthelf and James Lennox. The first book, Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue, contains essays by Objectivists which further flesh out Rand's philosophy, a series of responses by non-Objectivist philosophers, and rejoinders by Objectivist scholars. This seems like precisely the type of exercise that you are asking for. For example, in his essay on 'Objectivism and Analytic Philosophy,' Irfan Khawaja states his purpose as "to identify [the Objectivist ethics'] overarching justificato
  17. But once again, it's about how to appear confident. Not focusing on how to actually boost one's confidence, but only on how to make a woman think you are confident. All the things that he lists, does he think that guys who actually do those things do them because they surveyed women to find what makes them seem confident? All those things are by-products of actually being confident. That should be the focus, not how to mimic the appearance of confidence. Certainly, if you are generally confident, but out of habit you do one or more of the things on that list, then paying conscious atte
  18. Under the ACA, any plan that is sold in the individual and small group markets (not just plans offered in the Healthcare Exchanges) must cover ten 'essential health benefits,' listed here. Plans in the individual and small group markets that do not meet these requirements do not satisfy the individual mandate. So, for example, if you have a plan from these markets that doesn't cover maternity services, newborn care, or pediatric services (because you don't plan to have children), you will have to pay the individual mandate penalty unless you add these to your plan. Also, as with everything,
  19. I seriously doubt that he would make that same statement today, in the wake of all the radical and unprecedented actions that the Federal Reserve has taken in the past five years, and the expanded role that the Fed has basically granted itself.
  20. Medicare and Medicaid are a separate issue from the medical costs of ERs. ERs are required to provide care to anyone coming in, regardless of their ability to pay. Thus, they treat many people that are ultimately unable to pay their medical bills, and are simply forced to take a loss on these people. This inflates medical costs for other patients of that hospital. This is a separate issue from Medicare and/or Medicaid, which are certainly paid for through taxes. Also, that wasn't me that mentioned choosing hospitals that don't take Medicare/Medicaid. You're confusing me with another p
  21. Explain to me exactly how you think this is happening; taxes going to making up for the cost of ER patients that don't pay, I mean. Because it was my understanding that the hospital picks up that bill, and has to cover the costs with their other procedures. This is one of the reasons that everything in a hospital is so expensive, which means that insurance companies face larger bills when they pay out, which means they have to charge higher premiums to everyone. It seems to me that the effect you're most concerned about doesn't happen through taxes; it happens through the premiums that you
  22. Sure, Medicare involves taxing the young to pay for the old, but it doesn't directly interfere with the ability of young people to get their own health insurance in order to accomplish its goal. It's not just about how much money each system costs, but what each system does to the system of private health care. A straight tax-and-redistribute system still leaves us with the ability to provide for our own unexpected health costs, at least. When the private health insurance system itself is used as a redistributive tool like this, it has the potential to screw up the provision of private heal
  23. In the most basic model of functioning insurance, a person's premium is set by his or her expected medical costs. If I have a 20% chance of needing a $10,000 treatment in the next year (and that's the only medical care I might need), then my premium for the year should be $2000 (or at least close to it; the simplest models don't factor in profit and such). The point of insurance is not for me to get a 'good deal' by riding off of someone else; the point is just to eliminate my risk. If everyone like me pays their $2000 premium, and 20% of us need this procedure, then the insurance company i
  24. What you're missing here is the simple solution to getting healthy people into the system, which is allowing insurance companies to charge lower-risk people lower premiums. The community rating aspect of the Affordable Care Act eliminates this, as I have described above. In its place, it establishes a watered-down 'individual mandate' which I think will be highly insufficient in getting healthy people into the system.
  25. Much of the coverage of the ACA's negative effects has been focused on side issues, such as the incentives that it creates for employers to favor part-time workers (under 30 hours a week) over full-time workers, or the regulatory costs that it imposes on businesses. While these are certainly issues, the core question is what will happen to insurance premiums over time under the system set up by the Affordable Care Act. The core problem rises from the combination of the 'community rating' regulations with the 'guaranteed issue' requirement. Under the ACA, insurance providers are forbidden
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