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necrovore

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  1. Like
    necrovore reacted to DavidOdden in Reblogged:The Impotence of 'Owning' Trump   
    Of course not. I am addressing the fact that fascists of both types generally base their entire "argument" on emotion, on declarations that "we don't want X" without any rational basis for opposing X. An immediate personal emotional reaction in response to a murder is to be expected, and it tells you if you didn't already know that that there is something wrong. The problem is when the emotions are the argument there is no accompanying reasons. There are a few fascists who also proffer arguments. his upcoming election season, it will be interesting to observe the actual rational arguments set forth in support of or opposition to either of the two fascists running for POTUS. At that political peak, we would expect to observe the highest standards of rationality and fact-based discourse respected, unlike for example the miserable level of discourse that you observe with city councilmen and county sheriffs. We should come back to that question in a few months once the knives are fully out.
  2. Like
    necrovore reacted to whYNOT in Reblogged:The Impotence of 'Owning' Trump   
    David, the OP's general gist is that "we" have a political class in every part which has run out of control. I can't agree more, I noticed this slide in every free-ish country - (my own of course, unmentionable, well beyond the pale). The time of the pandemic solidified their controls. The "double standard" plays an active part, but there's more - It seems they, your/my public servants, now consider themselves an untouchable aristocracy, having assumed for themselves the status of moral-legal rulers of the people, and above censure. While they pay lip service to rights, freedom and "democracy", they are fully in charge through divide and rule ("Identitarian politics": collectivism).
    And too many fellow citizens surrendered their individual agency and are happy for our ~servants~ to wield that power - for "them", they would wish, against "the others". Double standards.
    The objective standard, by which tight controls, keen oversight and swift censure are kept on government officials has already been subverted and inverted. It is good to return my mind, if little else, to that standard. From The Nature of Government:
    "A private individual may do anything except that which is legally *forbidden*; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally *permitted*"
    Couple of pages on:
    "...instead of serving as the instrument of ~objectivity~ in human relationships, the government is creating a deadly, subterranean reign of uncertainty and fear, by means of non-objective laws whose interpretation is left to the arbitrary decisions of random bureaucrats; instead of protecting men from injury by whim, the government is arrogating to itself the power of unlimited whim--so that we are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion:
    ...the stage where the government is *free* to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by *permission*; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history..." [1967] 
  3. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from tadmjones in USA v. Donald J. Trump – Indictment 8/1/23   
    So the deciding factor is what was in Trump's head... which makes this thoughtcrime.
    Rationally, it would be a tough case to prove, which is why I don't think the approach they have in mind is to prove Trump guilty by rational means.
    Life is lived first-draft and by successive approximation. Further, one's opinion can change as evidence comes in, and as people's statements come in and sometimes are not properly evaluated until later (where somebody might say something, and you might believe it at first, and then you think about it, and decide they are wrong).
    It's one thing to have reached a conclusion and another to have thoughts in progress, and an active mind usually is more like the latter, so that even conclusions that have been reached can be tentative and subject to revision if more information comes in. Information about the election continued to come in over a long period of time. So Trump could easily have been listening to a lot of people, and there was no shortage of people around him on both sides of the issue, and so he could have been going back and forth about whether he should believe this or that statement and whether he was cheated out of victory or not. There may have been times that he leaned toward thinking he had lost the election fairly.
    Even if they have him on tape saying something, it's hard to say that he knew that what he was saying was absolutely true. He may have been considering it possibly true at the time, he may have been seeing if he could get used to the idea. Sometimes you "try out" an idea to see if you have any subconscious doubts.
    When I'm editing posts like this, I frequently put sentences in, then decide they are wrong, and take them back out. I cannot know before I put the sentence in that it is wrong. I have to write at least part of the sentence before I can judge it. In speech it is not possible to delete sentences. I'd end up saying wrong sentences and then having to contradict them later. It would be easy to play a tape of those wrong sentences and then say that I "knew" something that I later decided wasn't true at all.
    There are also cases such as sarcasm where what you say isn't what you believe. I don't know if that applies here but it might.
    Further, Trump didn't seem to know what options were legally available to him, which might lead to conversations like "Can we try X? Can we try Y?" and maybe X is illegal and Y is debatable. Since he's not a lawyer, he has no way to find this stuff out except to ask. Further, in a case where you don't know if the election is fraudulent or not, and you are going back and forth about it, it might still be legitimate to see if there are ways of winning. (Lawyers also are known to look for ways to try to win cases for their clients even when their clients are guilty, and that by itself is not fraud.)
    Ayn Rand also wrote about the danger of psychologizing, where you attack a person's subconscious instead of addressing their conscious mind. This is particularly pernicious when the person is still thinking and working out conclusions about events that are still in progress.
    Of course that's a non-sequitur; one does not have to be delusional to question the credibility of statements made by DoJ officials. (I am not sure you meant it that way.)
    I think the impression of Trump as a maniac has been manufactured by the media. In the media's opinion, the Democrats are always right about everything, they have science on their side, and the only way you can disagree with them is to be delusional. The more you disagree, the more delusional you are. This applies not only to Trump himself but to everyone who thinks independently (i.e., without Leftist guidance).
    The Left (especially in the media and such) uses ad hominem attacks and social pressures and intimidation. Not so much rationality. If the election was not affected by fraud, then people who believe it was affected may be rational but mistaken. However, there is a certain specific proper way to address a rational but mistaken mind, and this is not it.
    The Left's approach to disagreement is very alienating, and as for me, it makes me more likely to believe that the election was stolen. Their approach is less like "Here's how you can see the election wasn't stolen," and more like "You can't prove I did it because you'll never find the body." I am not the only person alienated in that way. So if the election really wasn't stolen, they aren't doing themselves any favors. (Even though it's true that I can't find the body.)
    This prosecution makes that situation even worse. It's saying that "deep down, everybody knows that Leftism is true (or that the election was fair), including people who claim to deny it, in which case, they're lying to themselves and defrauding everybody else." Which seems like a religious argument.
  4. Thanks
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Reblogged:The Impotence of 'Owning' Trump   
    Ayn Rand wrote a little about "power-lust," for example that "Power-lust is a weed that only grows in the abandoned lot of a vacant mind."
    Power-lust is lust after a specific type of power and not just "potential action" or work divided by time (the physics definition) etc.
    The specific type of power she had in mind is the power of coercion. This is exactly the type of power that the government has too much of and that the power-lusters lust after.
    The power-lusters want to be able to use such power whimsically (which makes them tyrants over everyone else).
    However, they are often willing to cook up complex and sophisticated rationalizations for such usages. These rationalizations can fill volumes and can be the basis of numerous PhD theses and so forth. For example I've read that over 100 PhDs work for the Federal Reserve, determining how to regulate the economy by maintaining price controls on interest rates and other things. (And of course if you want to get rid of such price controls entirely, you are throwing away the hundreds of volumes of books they've written, and saying that their PhDs are worthless, and that all the Federal grants funding them were wrong, so you must be some kind of anti-intellectual.)
    Power-lust is why the American Founding Fathers wanted to limit the power of government, by saying that government power could be used only for certain specific purposes and no others.
    Of course nowadays the courts are willing to entertain rationalizations on the grounds that the government sometimes has "interests" in achieving certain goals, so that the limits of government power are "not absolute." That's one reason why the country is in trouble.
  5. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from tadmjones in Reblogged:The Impotence of 'Owning' Trump   
    Ayn Rand wrote a little about "power-lust," for example that "Power-lust is a weed that only grows in the abandoned lot of a vacant mind."
    Power-lust is lust after a specific type of power and not just "potential action" or work divided by time (the physics definition) etc.
    The specific type of power she had in mind is the power of coercion. This is exactly the type of power that the government has too much of and that the power-lusters lust after.
    The power-lusters want to be able to use such power whimsically (which makes them tyrants over everyone else).
    However, they are often willing to cook up complex and sophisticated rationalizations for such usages. These rationalizations can fill volumes and can be the basis of numerous PhD theses and so forth. For example I've read that over 100 PhDs work for the Federal Reserve, determining how to regulate the economy by maintaining price controls on interest rates and other things. (And of course if you want to get rid of such price controls entirely, you are throwing away the hundreds of volumes of books they've written, and saying that their PhDs are worthless, and that all the Federal grants funding them were wrong, so you must be some kind of anti-intellectual.)
    Power-lust is why the American Founding Fathers wanted to limit the power of government, by saying that government power could be used only for certain specific purposes and no others.
    Of course nowadays the courts are willing to entertain rationalizations on the grounds that the government sometimes has "interests" in achieving certain goals, so that the limits of government power are "not absolute." That's one reason why the country is in trouble.
  6. Like
    necrovore reacted to whYNOT in Israelo-Palestinian Conflict: 2023 Edition   
    Sent on by my wife's old friend. Ralph Lewinsohn had moved many years ago to a kibbutz, Kfar Aza, one of the first to be hit in October. Several neighbors were killed and 5 are still in captivity, while he and his family hid in their safe room and were overlooked. (He was one of those "lefties" (in the Israel context) inhabiting the "Gazan envelope" of an organization who volunteered to regularly pick up sickly Gazans at the border checkpoints and drive them to hospital in Jerusalem for (free) medical attention and back. Doing so, they believed, was building bridges with Palestinians. He has since had to review all he once believed. Only now are he and other kibbutzniks contemplating the return to their burned-out homes.
    This essay is long but one of the best analyses with honest introspection out there.
     
     
    JOSHUA HOFFMAN - MAY 22, 2024
    In Israel, we do not deny the destruction currently taking place across Gaza, the unfortunate civilian casualties, the living hell that much of the Strip has become — all, of course, as a result of Israel’s response to the unprecedented Palestinian terror attacks on October 7th.
    We are fully aware that Israel’s incursions into Rafah will make daily life throughout Gaza even worse for the enclave’s people, and we do not lose sleep knowing that they are undergoing immense suffering, regardless of who is to blame.
    What’s more, we are not trying to sugarcoat or circumvent these inconvenient truths. We are very much at peace with the consequences. Why?
    Because, after witnessing the testimony about a woman murdered by a sharp object inserted into her genital area, our empathy evaporated.
    After seeing the testimony about an 8-year-old girl whose hands were amputated and left to bleed in fear — and by the time help arrived, she couldn’t be saved — our empathy evaporated.
    After hearing about another woman who was raped in the terror attack, had to undergo an abortion, and is now hospitalized in a mental health facility, our empathy evaporated.
    After learning of an infant who was placed in an oven and baked to death, our empathy evaporated.
    After being told that a pregnant woman’s abdomen was cut open, her fetus beheaded, and then she was murdered, our empathy evaporated.
    After seeing footage of a children’s room splattered with blood, perhaps from babies who were beheaded, our empathy evaporated.
    After hearing about a woman who was raped during the massacre, her breasts mutilated and used as a football before she was shot in the head, our empathy evaporated.
    And then, just mere days after one of the world’s most heinous terror attacks engulfed Israel, we were made out to be the “bad guys,” the “bully,” the “oppressor,” the “occupiers.” Crowds across the world celebrated this so-called Palestinian “act of liberation” and even called for our deaths and the destruction of our country.
    Ironically, the Jews have done more to “liberate” the Palestinians than Palestinian leaders have done themselves. In one anecdote, the Arab population dramatically increased after Zionists eradicated malaria from the region in the 1920s.
    Since the State of Israel’s founding in 1948, we’ve tried to accommodate the Palestinians every which way — territorial concessions, peace agreements, financial aid, work opportunities, and more — but nothing seems to work. If anything, these gestures had the opposite affect: more vile terrorism against mostly innocent Israeli civilians.
    So we put up checkpoints and walls to better protect our borders, just as any country would reasonably do. Our politicians and security establishments let us down on October 7th, but we know that doesn’t change the very intentions of so many Palestinians: to exact as much hurt and spite on as many Jews as possible. This wasn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last one.
    When terror groups hijack territories like they have done in Gaza, using it as a launchpad for Islamic jihad, significant military action is the only way, despite the risk to innocents. If Israel did not respond in the ways it has, there would also be a paramount risk to innocents — the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in towns that border Gaza.
    If you’re asking us to deny our own citizens the same right that you would fight for on behalf of others, well, that’s an awkward act of self-sabotage — and more of a you problem than an Israel problem.
    Surely, we understand that this will make some people feel uncomfortable, particularly those who were raised within the constructs of “safetyism” — where parents endeavor to overly protect their children from potentially harmful situations.
    As these children mature into adults, they become acculturated to avoiding anything that may seem challenging or burdensome, ultimately putting them at risk of developing what social psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls “fragility of mind and emotion” — lacking resilience in life and in relationships as a result of being protected from anything difficult or uncomfortable.
    Israelis have literally been born into difficulty and hardship. Many of them know that, despite their most sincere intentions, the idea of true peace with the Arabs is an illusion, an imaginary assumption that has no basis in reality. Partial peace is possible, meaning peace mixed with terrorism, which will exist provided Israel has sufficient deterrent power.
    On October 7th, this deterrent power either collapsed or was on a lengthy hiatus.
    The closest Israel and the Palestinians got to “partial peace” was in 1993 and 1995, when they signed the Oslo Accords, a pair of agreements aimed at achieving peaceful coexistence and fulfilling the “right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians’ leader at the time, said of the Oslo Accords:
    “I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our Prophet Muhammad and Quraish, and you remember the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and considered it ‘Sulha Dania’ (a despicable truce). But Muhammad had accepted it and we are accepting now this peace accord.”1
    In other words, Arafat compared the Oslo Accords with the Hudaybiyyah peace treaty, a 10-year truce between Muhammad and the Quraish Tribe of Mecca, which Muhammad broke two years later when he attacked them and conquered Mecca. Arafat even went as far as to tell a Palestinian journalist:
    “I am entering Palestine through the door of Oslo, despite all my reservations, in order to return the Palestine Liberation Organization and the resistance to it, and I promise you that you will see the Jews fleeing from Palestine like mice fleeing from a sinking ship. This will not happen in my lifetime, but it will happen in your lifetime.”
    Still, Israel adhered to the Oslo Accords, withdrawing its troops from Gaza in 1993. The Palestinian National Authority was promptly created to administer self-rule over 98-percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza, while receiving an estimated $25 billion in financial aid from the U.S. and other Western countries, the highest-per-capita assistance in the world. But the money ended up going to places not named peace or prosperity for the Palestinian people.
    “Instead of creating the independent and robust civil institutions necessary for good governance, promoting peace with Israel, and improving the lives of its people, the billions of dollars of international aid were used to create a corrupt dictatorship focusing on enriching its elites, inciting its people against Israel, advocating terrorism, and waging a massive international campaign to demonize, delegitimize, and destroy the Jewish state,” according to Ziva Dahl, a Senior Fellow with the Haym Salomon Center.2
    Then, in 2000, at the Camp David Summit, the Israelis were willing to give up 92 percent of the West Bank, as well as its sovereignty in parts of Jerusalem’s Old City and in Jerusalem’s Arab-majority neighborhoods — unprecedented concessions.
    Arafat not only declined; he refused to make a counteroffer, and the Palestinians launched the Second Intifada, marked by an onslaught of suicide bombings against Israelis, resulting in more than a thousand Israeli casualties, the third-most in Israel’s history, and 70 percent of which were civilians. It was at this time that the Palestinian Authority started incorporating Islam into its political rhetoric, adding jihad to its agenda.
    Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, Hamas continued to gain steam after being founded in the late 1980s. Following Israel’s complete withdrawal from the enclave in 2005, elections were held in Gaza. Hamas reportedly won and violently expelled the Palestinian Authority from the strip in 2007, en route to creating a deeply Islamic society rooted in ambitions to establish a caliphate in the Levant.
    For example, in Article 7 of its charter, Hamas describes itself as “one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders.” The charter also includes a hadith (an Islamic commandment) suggesting that the Day of Judgment would not come until the Muslims fight and kill the Jews.
    This is all to say: The assumption that real peace is possible between Israel and the Palestinians, peace like the one between the U.S. and Mexico or between Spain and France, is an assumption that has no basis. The Jewish enemy will always be present, and they will always wait for us, while examining our weak points, waiting for revelations of our weakness, and then attacking.
    Hence, October 7th. Hence, the destruction, civilian casualties, and living hell in Gaza. And hence why many Israelis, myself included, accept the situation for what it is.
    But the impetus for our position does not stem from being “pro-Jewish” or “pro-Israel.” Our position is rooted in knowing that the Israeli military is deeply grounded in humanitarianism. As the joke goes, we thought about responding proportionally, but our soldiers didn’t want to go into Gaza to rape women, behead babies, mutilate bodies, and burn entire families to death.
    The Israeli response has been robust, yet surgical. If we truly wanted to erase Gaza, we would have done so just a few days into the war. Such capabilities are not in question.
    Of course, this does not mean that there are not evil Israelis and lovely Palestinians, but this is not a dispute between two peoples. It is a dispute between two cultures, where ethno-social constructs are the primary source of conflict.
    Our culture celebrates life. We get excited when flowers bloom in the desert and when a new museum opens. Unfortunately, we cannot say anything remotely similar about our enemies and their supporters, who predominantly cheer on death and promote boundless antisemitic hate.
    As Golda Meir, the former Israeli prime minister, used to say: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”
    Until that day comes, the tragedy unfolding in Gaza is the least of our worries
  7. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from Repairman in HOW CAN OBJECTIVISM BECOME A DOMINANT IDEOLOGY?   
    What bothers me about this thread is the assumption that Objectivists are people to be ordered around, like an army without a general.
    That's not how it works.
    If you see an opportunity to help make Objectivism "dominant," and it's legal and moral, then feel free to do it; you will not be stopped.
    If you blaze a new path, then others may follow. But you cannot just give orders and expect others to do all the work.
    (Unless I am misinterpreting your intention...)
  8. Thanks
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in HOW CAN OBJECTIVISM BECOME A DOMINANT IDEOLOGY?   
    What bothers me about this thread is the assumption that Objectivists are people to be ordered around, like an army without a general.
    That's not how it works.
    If you see an opportunity to help make Objectivism "dominant," and it's legal and moral, then feel free to do it; you will not be stopped.
    If you blaze a new path, then others may follow. But you cannot just give orders and expect others to do all the work.
    (Unless I am misinterpreting your intention...)
  9. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from rohintest in HOW CAN OBJECTIVISM BECOME A DOMINANT IDEOLOGY?   
    You'd have to be able to defend it militarily, not only from full-on invasions but also from foreign countries abducting people, or robbing banks, or destabilizing your new country in other ways.
  10. Like
    necrovore reacted to Gus Van Horn blog in Reblogged:Capitalism Fought Jim Crow From the Start   
    I have long praised a happy result of the free market: It discourages racism. Two memorable examples I have brought up here include commercial desegregation in Houston (when segregation was called "bad for business") and the universal reach of the Sears catalog across the South.

    Both of these show capitalism blunting the force of segregation, or helping end it outright.

    Notably, thanks to a recent John Stossel article, we can now add a historic example of capitalism actively resisting Jim Crow due to the power of self-interest:Notice that capitalism, the system that respects individual rights, strongly penalizes racism, because it is antithetical to a person's actual self-interest: It took the active abuse of government, in the form of fines and imprisonment, to fully implement the costly folly of treating customers badly, or forfeiting them altogether.

    I have not myself read Norberg's book, but on this evidence, it appears to be worth consideration by any serious advocate of capitalism or racial equality.

    -- CAVLink to Original
  11. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from Mthomas9s in Reblogged:Left 'White'-Washes Anti-Semitism   
    Yes, it can.
    "Challenge reality's authority?" On the basis of what, exactly?
    It's only because of looking at reality (e.g., Copernicus and later Kepler looking at the motions of the planets) that people learned that the sun does not revolve around the Earth.
  12. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Reblogged:Left 'White'-Washes Anti-Semitism   
    It's supposed to be the "primacy of existence," not the primacy of physical existence.
    The primacy of existence is a corollary of the law of identity. Things are what they are. Consciousness can perceive what things are but, aside from physical action, cannot affect what they are.
    But "things" are not just physical things. The primacy of existence also applies when consciousness perceives an idea or an emotion or another consciousness or any other non-physical thing. An idea, or an emotion, or another consciousness, is what it is, and you can try to discover its nature, but you cannot change its nature by will alone.
    Nothing is different on account of non-physicality.
    Also, the primacy of existence is also derived not only from the fact that physical objects have identity, but from the fact that consciousness has identity. Consciousness is a means of perceiving or understanding, it is a means of choosing whether to act and what action to perform, but it cannot, apart from action, change anything. Once an action is taken, the results also come from reality, from the nature of the entities involved, and are not controlled or determined by consciousness.
    It even applies when one is perceiving one's own consciousness, through introspection -- and although, with effort, you can change your habits or your ideas, there are certain things about the nature of your consciousness, of any consciousness, that cannot be changed.
  13. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Reblogged:Just Say No Thanks to POS Panhandlers   
    I think he was being sarcastic.
    "Rational altruism" is a movement that Sam Bankman-Fraud Fried was involved with.
  14. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Objectivism: my fall from reason??   
    There is a flip side to this, namely, that some subjectivist-minded people think that strict adherence to reality is the same thing as adhering to dogma. So while they claim that they are rejecting the "dogma" of Objectivism, what they are actually rejecting is reality. They are rejecting the notion that A is A.
    Reality doesn't give any commandments; it is not a dogma; it simply is what it is. The requirements of man's life are what they are, too. You can't cheat reality, you can't fool it, and you can't get around it. Some people have problems with that. They want to be free to fantasize. They want to be free to reject facts they don't like. They can fantasize all they want, but it won't put food on the table. Even writing fiction requires dealing with reality in various ways.
    The main difference between reality and dogma is that, if an idea based on reality is mistaken, people can look at reality and see how it really works, so that they can correct the idea.
    That is not possible with dogma, because dogma isn't rooted in reality at all, so there's no way to tell if it's right or wrong, and nothing to appeal to except authority. It's just a question of which authority you believe, and there's no basis for any particular choice.
    That makes a reality-based philosophy fundamentally different from a dogma-based one, but it's a difference that some people don't want to deal with. They want to reject the idea of "absolutes" and have everything be negotiable. But without reality, they have nothing.
  15. Thanks
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in You Can't Think for Yourself? The Contradiction of Ayn Rand's Moral Theory   
    I didn't say her principles were correct because she identified them. I said she showed how to derive them from objective fact.
  16. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from tadmjones in 2020 election   
    Here's a good article from John Eastman, who represented Trump before the Supreme Court concerning the 2020 election, about some of the information he was given in the course of doing his job:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/most-secure-election-american-history-john-eastman
    Interesting read!
  17. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Unveiling Ayn Rand's Misinterpretation: Kant's Noumenal Realm and the Fallacy of the Consequent   
    PWNI doesn't mention Kant by name. It does illustrate the practical consequences of certain philosophical ideas -- if and to the extent that you take them seriously and try to apply them in a given situation.
    Even Kantians can somehow manage to make it to the store and buy groceries, even though their minds allegedly are incapable of understanding the store and the groceries as they really are, and can only understand them as they appear to be.
    In a sense the astronaut is an exaggeration just to make the point.
    In another sense, though, the whole problem with certain philosophical ideas is that you can't take them to their logical conclusions without causing disaster to ensue... and if that's the case, there must be something wrong with those ideas.
    I don't think that's "vilification." That's just calling attention to a problem.
    (Of course I don't think the real intention of those bad philosophical ideas is for people to go all-in with them -- rather, it's to use them as an excuse or an escape hatch whenever they want to do something irrational.)
  18. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Unveiling Ayn Rand's Misinterpretation: Kant's Noumenal Realm and the Fallacy of the Consequent   
    I am not going to say that it is, because it would require a very large scale full-text search of both Rand and Kant.
    Peikoff did say that Kant had "occasional fig leaves," which means we can't say that Kant was wrong about everything. (I suppose a complete lie would be more easily rejected than one that verifiably tells the truth some of the time.) We can say that Kant was wrong about fundamental ideas -- like the whole division into noumenal and phenomenal worlds. On fundamental ideas, Rand and Kant are completely different.
    If Kant were right about something, his fundamentals would tend to undermine it (sort of like if someone were saying that 2+2=4 because of extraterrestrials).
    Rhetorically, at least, I'm sure there were places where Rand would take the other side of one of Kant's formulations. But if she were to say that 2+2=4 she would probably (rightly) leave Kant out of it, even if he said the same thing at some point or other.
  19. Thanks
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Reblogged:Left 'White'-Washes Anti-Semitism   
    Productivity itself is context-laden, and in fact it is you who are taking it out of context.
    Something that causes a loss is not productive, it is counter-productive.
    False. There is no such thing as excessive pride. Arrogance is false pride, it's a pretense, because it doesn't have the reality to back it up.
    False. Emotional repression is false rationality, it's a pretense that consists of evading one's emotions.
    False. A workaholic lifestyle is a pretense, not an excess, and it does not lead to productivity.
  20. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from Pokyt in Reblogged:Left 'White'-Washes Anti-Semitism   
    Productivity itself is context-laden, and in fact it is you who are taking it out of context.
    Something that causes a loss is not productive, it is counter-productive.
    False. There is no such thing as excessive pride. Arrogance is false pride, it's a pretense, because it doesn't have the reality to back it up.
    False. Emotional repression is false rationality, it's a pretense that consists of evading one's emotions.
    False. A workaholic lifestyle is a pretense, not an excess, and it does not lead to productivity.
  21. Like
    necrovore reacted to DavidOdden in Reblogged:Both Parties Wrong on 'Globalization'   
    I suppose the article does an adequate job of addressing the standard political complaints about jobs in relation to imports (though I don’t accept the claim that “Manufacturing output in the U.S. is near its all-time high. We make more than Japan, Germany, India, and South Korea combined” on the simple grounds that this is a factual claim which deserves actual numbers and sources rather than an unsupported assertion – but facts apparently get in the way of reasoning). One issue which does indeed figure into Objectivist reasoning on this topic is the question, what is the proper response to initiation of force?
    Governmental force can be justified as a response to the initiation of force, therefore if the government of China initiates force against its citizens to compel labor or to subsidize manufacturing (etc.), it is not immoral for the US to retaliate by restricting the aggressors from profiting from their violations of rights. We have no duty to retaliate when the force is not directed against us, but it is morally allowed.
    Not all international trade is voluntary, a proper analysis of the issue has to include whether or not some nation operates on free market principles, or does it use slave labor and government subsidy to allow their goods to better compete against goods traded under free market principles? Of course, there are no nations operating under free market principles – our goods are at a disadvantage because of price inflation resulting from government regulation including minimum wage laws. Our own government puts American goods at a disadvantage because it initiates force in order to create a supposed social benefit.
    Even though all goods are tainted with the stain of force, we cannot therefore forbid all trade (hopefully this is not a controversial proposition). On the opposite side of the continuum, is it ever proper to limit trade in goods created by initiation of force? A kind of case that should be obvious is that it is proper to restrict trafficking in stolen goods, e.g. I cannot break into a warehouse, take goods, then sell them at a discount. But what about the case where the vendor did not himself steal the goods, instead, the government confiscated the goods and gave them to a vendor, who then sold them at a discount?
    At the level of theory, all we can say is that initiation of force is improper. At the level of practical law, it is far from clear what degree of initiation of force can be ignored, when it comes to the governments (proper) function of protecting rights. A simple principle that could be applied is that it is proper for the US government to protect the rights of US citizens, and only US citizens. I am referring to the sketchy realm of the morally optional, when it comes to government action.
  22. Like
    necrovore got a reaction from Boydstun in Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand   
    All I have is my own history, which is only one data point. I was raised with Christianity, but ended up rejecting it. I went through seven or eight (philosophically) tumultuous years before discovering Objectivism, and I discovered Objectivism by accident.
    I never went through a phase where I thought the two were compatible.
    The lack of such a phase could have been in part because the flavor of Christianity I grew up with was fundamentalist; it guarded itself jealously against other flavors of Christianity; it rejected the other flavors as "people making up watered-down versions of Christianity in order to allow themselves to commit their favorite sins." So I could not entertain the idea of compromise. I had to be "in" or "out." I could not unsee the problems I saw, so I was out.
    I did try to hang on to the idea that God might exist, even if not the Christian conception of God -- until Objectivism showed me otherwise.
  23. Like
    necrovore reacted to KyaryPamyu in How To Be Happy   
    It seems like Galt is suggesting that life is an emergent property of matter, with the property being wholly distinct from what gave rise to it (matter). However, we could say that all the emergent properties in the world come into existence and cease to exist, depending on the state of their substratum (matter), so this is by no means restricted to life alone. That was my point.
  24. Thanks
    necrovore got a reaction from EC in Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand   
    There is such a thing as "agreeing to disagree" but this requires both sides to give up the use of force.
    Giving up force means that persuasion has to be used instead, which gives the long-term advantage to reality and reason.
    Some people don't want reality and reason to win.
    Others just don't want to wait; they think they have the advantage when it comes to force, so they seek to use it.
  25. Thanks
    necrovore reacted to Boydstun in Selfish Christians Citing Ayn Rand   
    This is incorrect and a very dangerous idea many have taken away from reading Rand. (A related incorrect take-away, which Rand later, correctly, denounced and clarified, is the idea that evil is impotent.) Evil is not always dependent on a sanction, and when it is, sanction from most anyone will do. Sanction from the (forum-shopped) witch doctor is common. Navalny did not sanction the evil of Putin, and he was brutalized and murdered by Putin all the same. Realistically, sanction from the victim is generally not a worthy sanction to the evil doer. To the evil doer, the sanction of the victim is generally as irrelevant as the sanction, were such possible, of a rat or insect.
    (Aside: Stalin fooled people into the "sanction" of not realizing that he was the reason they were forced onto a train to Siberia. They wrote him letters thinking that if he knew what was happening he would intervene.)
    Ayn Rand introduced the idea of the sanction of the victim and the dependence of evil on it in a situation in which evil was an ongoing parasitism on the victim. I'd leave validity of the idea to that sort of situation, nothing broader.
    One bad idea some readers take away from Atlas Shrugged is that they and their philosophical comrades are the Atlases holding up the world as in the book (kind of an iffy metaphor of the book, really, because of our modern conception of gravity) and that everyone else is significantly a parasite on them. No, our philosophical circle is not in that role. There are other real people who are in that role in this the real world.
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