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Everything posted by freestyle

  1. That's the very straightforward Objectivist way of answering the question. Another is dream_weaver's logical point... i.e. If we're in a simulation, then what is the "thing" running the simulation? @dream_weaver I remember Ayn Rand said this in some form (maybe in a Q&A), do you remember the source? I think it was in the context of showing that even if we were in a simulation, it wouldn't disprove existence because a computer would have to be running the simulation.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Thanks... I found that same site after I posted. Not sure what to make of it, but it doesn't appear crashed.
  6. Very prescient! It seems there is now an opportunity to validate this prediction. Where can you check the "price" (over time) of Bitcoins?
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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:
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. 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".
  14. 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.
  15. 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)
  16. 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!
  17. freestyle

    Animal rights

    I'm responding to softwareNerd's statement that one has a right to harm an animal. I don't believe that because someone is free to do something that it is necessarily a right. (but maybe it is) This shouldn't confuse the fact that animals do not have rights. I would agree that statement 1 is correct. However, I'm not convinced that it is unconditionally correct. Meaning, I am considering that there is a possible rational argument to prove that: A. Sadistic animal torture is not a corollary to the right to life and therefore is not a right (as Objectivism defines rights) and then B. A private community (I'd keep government out of it) would not be infringing on any individual's rights if it had a rule that restricts animal torture by anyone, even on their owned property within the bounds of the community. (whereas, they would be infringing on someone's rights if they enforced a rule banning the reading of romance novels on their owned property) You could assume a government too -- and say that banning dog torture does not infringe on anyone's rights. HOWEVER, the proper standard for what should be a law is NOT whether or not it infringes on one's rights, it is whether or not it protects individual rights. (And no, banning dog torture does not protect any individual's right to life)
  18. freestyle

    Animal rights

    Well... I'm working through this thought, so bare with me... According to Rand: So this is a moral principle we're talking about. The only right is the right to one's own life (to self-sustain and self-generated action for the furtherance, fulfillment and enjoyment of one's own life). I don't see a way to draw a corollary to just "anything". If your rights are a moral principle as defined above, I don't know that I can agree that there is an inherent "right" to do anything. I think I'm quibbling with the idea of saying you have a right to dog torture... as opposed to saying that no one has a right to stop you from dog torture. It is a choice (a bad choice), but I don't think it falls into the Objectivist concept of a "right". I've searched and I've never seen Rand say that you have a "right" to harm animals for no rational reason. Does anyone know if she's ever been asked a similar type of question about whether one has a "right" to literally anything they want (so long as it doesn't infringe on other's rights). I wonder how she'd word her response. For instance, I remember reading (or hearing) Rand make the distinction between a constitutional RIGHT to bear arms and it being conceivably being legitimate for a government to require registration (i'm searching...). I guess it comes down to whether or not your ability to choose to do something (anything) is always, legitimately termed a "right" to do it.
  19. Yeah... I read through that too fast... I just thought you meant you had that control on your end... I read it wrong.
  20. OH! I just noticed the background selection feature where you can pick different backgrounds... That will make figuring out the right font color a little more difficult. The white looks good for darker backgrounds. The light backgrounds need a darker font. Or, again... the outline/stroke text solution could work. (if that's even possible)
  21. I updated my bookmark to .com -- so it isn't a problem. On your domain though. I think it is called a "permanent" redirect. That's the kind that changes the url in your browser and directs you to the intended domain. I think you can do it from inside your hosting account tools... You can probably also do it with a .htaccess file on the root of objectivismonline.net. Attached is a pic with the dates changed to black. That works better because it never scrolls over anything dark. The names (white) are still hard to see. They look better in black but when you scroll over Liberty's crown it will disappear. If there is way to make a light grey stroke around the text, that would solve that. Not sure if CSS does stroke or outline.
  22. Yeah-- I like the pic too. The style is nice and the clear icons and banner bars is neat. Just change the color of the text. The names can be seen because they are bold white with a shadow and scroll over the darker area of the picture. The times are in the white area... so I'd go with a black or dark gray color of the font. Another issue is that when logging into objectivismonline.com I am remembered and recognized. When coming to objectivismonline.net I am shown as a guest... You'll need to probably put a permanent redirect on whichever you want the official name to be. I'll post about some of the other issues in a second...
  23. There are some issues with the new theme. (for instance, the post time on individual posts is not readable).
  24. freestyle

    Animal rights

    Would you say that one has a moral right to torture an animal? Such as a moral right to your own life?
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