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Everything posted by Dante

  1. Can you quickly define what exactly you mean by subjective, in this case? Under my understanding of the term, there is nothing subjective about the result that occurs when two physical objects interact. The event simply happens, and what results, results. The fact that, with the events we're talking about now (perception), these events produce information in our brain does not make perception an exception to the general rule, any more than computer programs which produce informational results are thus exempted from causality. It is the direct causal connections involved in the process of p
  2. Certainly I would acknowledge that a volitional being's actions are caused by previous events. What I would not concede is that they are necessitated by these events. My ability to choose differently than I do is directly observable to me.
  3. I must assume that the idea of our sensory perceptions working perfectly seems ridiculous to you indicates that at some level, you associate perception with a volitional process. However, there is no element of choice in immediate perception. Let me elaborate. Objectivism holds that the integration of single stimuli into perceptions happens automatically. Billions of photons hit my eye, and this causes a reaction and a flood of information. The initial stages of the transmission of this information is non-volitional; our will has no involvement in it, we cannot choose anything about it,
  4. Objectivism holds that the claim that our sensory systems act "imperfectly" is not tenable. This can be seen by considering the causal connections that give rise to our perception and how our sense organs interact with outside stimuli. Let's (very briefly) examine some common objections to see if they hold up. Most objections to the reliability of our senses stem from instances in which our perception appears to be faulty. A common example put forth of this is the fact that a stick which is partially submerged in water will appear bent. This occurs because light passing through the wate
  5. Dante

    Virtue Ethics

    What is the deal with "virtue ethics"? After reading the Wiki page on it, it seems that Objectivism falls under it in a lot of respects, but obviously it's a lot broader of a philosophical position. Are there any scholarly Objectivist discussions of virtue ethics and its relation to Objectivism? (Other than Tara Smith's short commentary on a few virtue ethics theorists in the beginning of Viable Values) Are there any threads on OO.net already discussing virtue ethics? (I didn't find any in a preliminary search)
  6. Regulations such as those governing financial institutions in America become necessary only when there exists some possibility that companies can retain profits while socializing losses. The existence of both private institutions and government-sponsored enterprises with implicit government (i.e. taxpayer) guarantees creates the need for regulation of these companies. Regulations were required for entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac only because they were allowed to play with other people's money. In a truly private financial system, one in which private property rights are enforced
  7. The absence of "thou shalt" simply means that no moral imperatives can arise prior to a choice made by you. For Objectivism, this refers to the fundamental choice to live or die. However, once that choice is made, it is not the case that "anything goes," productivity and loafing alike. The reason for this is that reality is a certain way, and a bohemian lifestyle undermines your ability to sustain your life in the long term according to the standards of reality.
  8. By the nature of a force, it has to either be attractive or repulsive. An atom, the solar system, and a galaxy are allkept together by an attractive force, which is why they have similar forms. A cell is not similar to either; that observation is just silly. Same with an "organism;" I mean, really? What organism other than a single cell even remotely fits this description? Is he trying to argue that God designed the American government? Anyone who says that different religions all worship the same god is operating off of the wishful thinking that, "wouldn't it be nice if almost every
  9. The Objectivist ethics holds that "good" and "evil" are concepts which arise out of the relation between external reality and the requirements of man's life. Man is a specific type of entity, with a specific nature. If any particular man chooses to live, then ethics tells him what course will be beneficial or harmful to him. Thus, what is "good" is neither an overriding moral absolute, true regardless of context, nor a social convention. The good does not consist of commandments or categorical imperatives because ethics originates in a choice: an individual's choice to live or die. Howeve
  10. I would not state that. Everything that exists, exists, and thus is part of the universe. The concept of different "bubbles" of space and time is what seems to me to be what the idea of a multiverse is. I would certainly argue that there is no evidence and quite possibly can be no evidence of such objects, but if they existed, they would by definition be a part of the universe. Our knowledge of what exists has indeed grown, but the idea of our knowledge of stuff extending beyond that which exists is nonsense.
  11. The definition of "universe" as "everything that exists."
  12. This would seem to justify any act of theft that would be committed by the majority of people encountering the situation. Your basic argument seems to be that when someone uploads media to the Internet, they MUST expect that people are going to copy and share it, because that's what people do; thus, uploading content surrenders your rights to it. Let's say I drive my expensive car out into the ghetto, or any poor part of town. I leave the windows down and my iPod in plain view, and I just leave it there for a few days. Any rational person must expect that the iPod (perhaps even the car)
  13. According to my understanding of Objectivist epistemology, it squares. Every logical step in the formation and elucidation of concepts does not need to be related back to percepts (let alone sensory information); one must just be sure that the first step originates in sensory information and that logic is applied correctly from there. Thus, taking a higher-level concept (such as a power-seeking individual) and applying logic to it (what the possible motivations could be, and what the outcome of an individual acting on those motivations would be) is perfectly acceptable. If I've always only
  14. I’ve recently become very interested in the ideas of Objectivism. I have been reading this board for about a month or so, having posted very infrequently (as you may see), but I have a rather complicated question that I’d like help exploring. I’ve found Ayn Rand’s ideals and conclusions incredibly appealing, but per Objectivism I am attempting to derive/validate them for myself, step by step. Okay, so my question basically concerns the use of principles to guide moral action. As a particular example (the example that brought me to this question, in fact) let’s take the Objectivist princi
  15. The first thing to understand is that there is no "optimal" supply of money. If there are a certain amount of goods moving around the economy at a certain velocity, both 1 trillion dollars and 10 trillion dollars are perfectly acceptable as a money supply (or, talking gold, either 1000 pounds or a million are perfectly acceptable). Prices will simply shift to clear the market. The relationship between the amount of value and the amount of money determines the overall price level, but the specific level is irrelevant. It makes no difference to me whether I pay a dime for a Coke when the CPI
  16. Nothing resulting from this scenario can have anything to say about Objectivism's application in this universe. Certainty about a future event is not possible in reality. In reality, the point at which we are CERTAIN someone will violate rights is the exact same point in time at which they BECOME guilty for doing so, because this is the instant they ACT in order to do it. One might find it interesting to contemplate the given scenario, but such lines of thought do not really say anything about practicable Objectivism.
  17. No, its premise is not nihilistic. It is evil, though, and that's why I'd list it here.
  18. No one has said anything about John Q yet? A desperate father who can't pay for his son's medical treatment takes a hospital hostage in an attempt to force the doctors to treat him? Ranks pretty high on my list.
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