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freestyle last won the day on August 19 2010

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  • Birthday 02/02/1973

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  1. This is not the basis for an Objectivist's defense of property rights. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/property_rights.html Your productive effort is what sustains your life. Your rights to the products of your efforts are essentially the right to your own life. "Commercial" use of the idea is the issue.
  2. I've been thinking about this a lot. For this example, I think "self-entitled" is the accurate derogatory term. "Entitled" can imply that there is an element of expecting the "unearned". Here I would go with "self-absorbed" (while self-entitled still works too). "Absorbed" here can imply a short-sighted individual who is what Rand might call a whim worshiper, as opposed to a "self-interested" person who is rationally concerned with themselves in a wider, full context, long-term view.
  3. I've read it once and listened to the audio book once. Coincidentally, I also just purchased this book over the weekend: Who is John Galt?: A Navigational Guide to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged I had seen a lot of the source material for this book in searching online. It started from a book-club reading that launched a long forum discussion and then the authors turned it into a book. So far it is an interesting read-- seems well researched... Kinda like an extreme version of "Cliff Notes" but with more detail, discussion and depth... (so far).
  4. Thanks... I found that same site after I posted. Not sure what to make of it, but it doesn't appear crashed.
  5. Very prescient! It seems there is now an opportunity to validate this prediction. Where can you check the "price" (over time) of Bitcoins?
  6. I missed the LP reference to "plenum" (if it was there in those links), and I definitely did not take away from those discussions that he is saying the world is literally "filled" with matter (or, "existents") and, further, that voids in space are impossible. This is just to say that I still don't understand the source of this "plenum" question. But, if I am correct,you are disputing a supposed claim that says, (paraphrasing), "No measurable or definable aspect of the universe is without some entity." Perhaps this is both a physics and philosophical question. Best way I can say it is going back to my two hands analogy: If you wish to discount distance as an existent, then how would you answer the following question: If "nothing" exists between my two hands, then why aren't they touching each other?
  7. I was, yes, for the purpose of illustrating something. When I say to imagine nothingness not being, it should be read as an obvious contradiction. While it doesn't make sense, it does (for me) make it very clear that I cannot have an "edge of," or the "outside of," the universe. That is also a contradiction. The plenum argument, as I think you're representing it, would take into account your hands (ie. the entities that allow you to identify the measurement of "the" space) and therefore would account for the existents you mention. But I was most definitely not affirming that non-existence exists. The opposite is true. Existence existes. But just to be clear: When you say, "I don't understand, however, why the universe has to be a plenum", can you point to exactly where you got that from (if I missed it above). I'd like to read it in full context.
  8. I think of it by imagining myself floating in outer space and holding my hands about a foot apart from each other. Looking at the "space" in-between my hands, I try to imagine what it would mean for that space not to exist (or not to be possible, if you prefer). As you mentioned, the "empty space" does not exist as an entity. Its identity is a relational measurement. So, for as many events that are known, you have a definite (not infinite) size of the universe. So, perhaps the answer to you would be that the "infinite amount of events" you mentioned is simply a contradiction in terms because an "amount" is, by definition, finite. You could also flip it and go the other way (kinda like your example of scaling the universe down). Take a grain of sand and you can measure distances smaller and smaller across that grain for as long as you have decimal points. In that case you're measuring an actual entity the whole time... and you can still measure forever. *Disclaimer on above: I think. :-) Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but there was a lot of discussion around this subject in this thread: The Potential Infinity Contradiction
  9. Mackey said, "Parents routinely sacrifice their own self-interests for the sake of their children." This strikes me as odd since, if he has read Rand, he would have known very specifically the Objectivist view on sacrifice. If he doesn't accept the context in which Rand explains selfishness and sacrifice, then what is the point of the debate? From Galt's Speech:
  10. It does if determinism defines choice as an illusion. It clearly shows the infinite regress of that thinking. If something is "determined" to happen, then it must happen. If something is (supposedly) "determined" and a human choice can alter that, then it proves free will. If determinism stands on the principle that no matter what choice you make it will always (retroactivley) have been determined AND there is no way to prove it by allowing for an experiment in human choice that can be validated, then the concept is meaningless.
  11. No. But (as far as I'm concerned) the following disproves determinism: Consider someone being told in advance what trivial choice they are about to make. Consider the fact that they would be told in advance was also known. Now try to imagine a human being unable to go against what was "predetermined." (If one defines determinism without the "pre" aspect, then they are really only saying that things cause other things.)
  12. freestyle

    Animal rights

    Wouldn't that be like saying you have a right to swing a baseball bat? But since you swung it at random person's head, you'll be held responsible? The essence of my question is whether or not it waters down the Objectivist definition of rights to include "anything" outside of infringing on other's rights. Perhaps some of these things are simply free actions one can take, but not "rights".
  13. freestyle

    Animal rights

    I am questioning whether or not it is correct to call certain things "rights" as Objectivism defines rights. Rand states that there is only one fundamental right (the right to life) and that other "rights" are corollaries. How do we delineate which corollaries to that fundamental right are valid? Given that, it seems that you could say: The only right you have is your right to life. It is the "source" of all rights. Then you could follow: You have a right to your property because it is an implementation of your right to life. (easily shown) But I cannot see how I could make this one work: "You have a "right" (as defined in Objectivism) to torture animals as an implementation of your right to life." softwareNerd: Given Rand's theory of rights, and what you posted, aren't you bound to agree with the statement in bold? But you don't have a right to free speech (outside of the constitutional right). And even that is limited. That one is famously batted down by the example of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Your right to free speech is not absolute. In the famous example, you can use your free speech to cause direct physical harm to people. Your right to your own life is absolute.
  14. One idea is a widget or rss feed of all news articles that mention Objectivism or Any Rand. I like to check these a lot and sometimes like to comment on the particularly vicious or erroneous ones. (and there are good / positive occurrences too)
  15. Yes. Great work. The dates are definitely more readable now when using the Statue of Liberty background image. And, going to .net now redirects to .com and shows me as logged in. Well done!
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