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Posts posted by Maken

  1. But I'm not talking about just killing someone because they are bothering me. I am talking about ejecting someone from something I own. If I agree to fly someone on my plane, under the assumption that the person is not going to harass me, do I still have an obligation to fly him to safety when he violates that assumption

    Not all contracts have to be written in order to be valid.

  2. The axioms (Existence, Identity, and Consciousness) are not taken on faith. They can't be disproved because any attempt to disprove them is a contradiction. By this I mean that the only way to disprove them is by using them. It is the idea of the "stolen concept" that Rand sometimes referred too. Any attempt to disprove the axioms illustrates why they exist and why any attempt to prove or disprove them is futile. They are hardly issues of faith.

  3. This. It is the formation of the current physical universe. As far as I am aware the big bang theory has never been used as a suggestion for the start of the universe itself.

    So anyone have anything to contribute?

    Also, could someone explain this "universe does not have a beginning" thing to me in a simplistic fashion, or better yet, either link me to or otherwise explain the Objectivist view of the nature of the universe (if it is finite or not, and so on)


  4. I suppose I have a few questions so I will delve right into it!

    What is the difference, if any, between being ignorant and not knowing certain things?

    If there is no noticeable difference, then is ignorance a metaphysical fact or a man-made error? Being that man cannot possibly be omniscient and learns through condensing knowledge through concept formation, is it right to call ignorance a vice? If one cannot possibly know everything, would that not make everyone ignorant of something at all times? It seems as if ignorance is a metaphysical fact given to everyone, as we cannot possibly NOT be ignorant about something.

    This has been bugging me today and I think my error lies in my failure to differentiate between ignorance and not knowing everything.

  5. When I say that life is self-sustaining, I don't mean automatically so. I mean it in the same way that Rand spoke of it, as "a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action." Self-sustaining here means that the continuance of life depends on the actions taken by the organism in question. In the case of man, this does indeed mean making conscious choices while keeping one's own life in view.

    Oh OK I see what you mean. We MUST make choices in order to live, that is an automatically given fact about reality. If we don't make choices we can't live. If we make the right choices we are self-sustaining but if we don't then it will lead to destruction (in the way Rand meant destruction).

    Thank you for clarifying.

  6. Well, in my opinion, transumanism is not a full philosophy, and rather denotes certain agreements with a few philosophical positions, and certain values (long healthy lives, technological advance, that sort of thing).

    Alright I see what you are saying. The issue I was arguing was whether Transhumanism was viewed or taken as a philosophy on its own or if it was movement based on some other philosophy.

  7. Sorry for the long quote on the last one, didn't think about that :dough:

    As for Transhumanism and ethics, I would be curious as to what Transhumanists base their beliefs on. I haven't done much research outside of looking it up on Wikipedia but it seems like most of Tranhumanism is based on a Utilitarian calculation that it would be best for everyone.

    If you can hold Objectivist values and seek out Transhumanism, I don't see where the problem is. I think the problem arises when Transhumanists try to have values without ethics and ethics without a base. I think that is the main problem with what Hotu has said in previous posts.

    If you divorce Transhumanism from any sort of ethical structure and want to say that Objectivists should seek to maximize their life span then I would agree that it is compatible.

    As soon as you start bringing in strict Transhumanist values you are venturing into ethics and that would lead you into a whole mess of trouble (mainly circular logic and ethics that can't be compatible with Objectivism).

    I also struggle with the idea that all Transhumanists respect reason and science when you said yourself that many are altruists and Utilitarians. These are not philosophies founded on reason.

    Hope that made sense.. lol

  8. I am trying to be healthier because I think it will benefit me in three ways: 1) I will be able to do more in the present and 2) I will be able to do more and for a longer period in the future and 3) I will physically feel better doing it. This is, presumably, why everyone wants to be healthy. I am not now, nor have I ever, advocated survival as the only point of life. That wouldn't make sense. I have to survive as a human being, i.e. I have to pursue rational values and produce, etc. You seem to believe that having as one of many goals (granted an important one) living a good long time (and healthily and happily as a requirement of this) as somehow nonsense. Why? Why not eat yourself to death? Or bother taking preventive measures if, for example, one were to find out one was genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's or diabetes or heart disease? Precisely because you want to be able to be around to continue to pursue your values. And because you want to pursue your values, you will, as a result, include as one of your values your health. I don't see why being supportive of big-time improvements in medicine is found to be so ridiculous/horrible to some people.

    As for the charge that anything resembling "immortality" (by this I mean the effective defeat of aging and disease as a cause of death, not some magical immortality attributed to vampires or invincibility or anything akin to such nonsense, and so it would properly be called "indefinite lifespan") will not be possible in my lifetime, I think that is pessimistic. I am quite young, only 20 years old. If I am in good health, I can reasonably expect to live to roundabout 80 or so, giving me 60 years. That's an awful long time. Why, 60 years ago we barely had computers. We didn't know what DNA was. We had only a vague idea of the workings of cells. We had essentially no idea about the causes of aging. Organ transplants were rare at best and extremely risky. The list goes on. We've learned a huge amount about how the cell and body works, and are even now beginning to apply this knowledge to new treatments. So I don't see why my life expectancy couldn't be several decades longer than 80 years. And in those decades new advancements would come. I'm not saying I'm guaranteed to live to 1000, but I think I have a shot if I take good care of myself. In any case, I like living and intend to use whatever science can give me to maintain a healthy life so I can go on doing what I want to do, whether I live to 80, 100, 200, or 1000+.

    Let me repeat something I have said before: No one believes immortality is possible. We will die. We already have an idea when it will be literally impossible for anything to survive- around 10^120 years from now, at the latest, ~30 billlion years at the earliest. So literal immortality, i.e. never dying, is impossible. No one says that dying from accidents can be eliminated either, merely reduced in likelihood. No one even says that disease can be completely eliminated as a cause of death. What transhumanists say is that we will one day be able to live enormously longer than we do currently thanks to the advance of science, and that such a prospect should not only be looked upon with eagerness, but that ideally one should do something to help that day happen sooner, if one values one's life and has a general respect for life. So let's be clear: transhumanists argue for the desirability of an indefinite lifespan, so that, barring accidents, one may live as long as one likes to continue living. They also argue for many other things, but that is one of their big pushes.

    No one has given me a reason why one would NOT want the ability to live as long as one likes, and why one would wish to campaign against the advance of medical technology in order to avoid such a fate (of having that ability). That just seems crazy to me, but is what is necessary if one is to say that transhumanists are bonkers for thinking such a thing to be desirable. I really do think that one's health would be a major concern for Objectivists (not an overriding one, perhaps, but an important one), and so support for the advance of medicine would be something we'd all like to see- and campaign against those who say it is a bad thing. Not saying it takes a separate philosophy, or movement, at all. Just saying that the advance of medicine is almost always a good thing, and maintaining good health would be something important to most rational people.

    I think there is a big difference between Transhumanism with Objectivist influence and Objectivism.

    You are advocating Objectivist ethics and Transhumanism which is what I find to be incompatible. Objectivism ethics would have to take precedence over Transhumanism in this case. I can agree that Objectivism would hold that it is good to extend one's life and to seek to live as long as possible, but don't let Transhumanism blur the lines between its own ethics and Objectivism ethics.

  9. Although I have to say that immortality is impossible and would be undesirable to me if possible, I think this circularity argument fails. A lot of the same arguments are often made about the Objectivist ethics; that it is ridiculous to think that the goal of one's life should be to further one's life. One should use one's life to attain... one's life? It seems to suffer from the same circularity. The resolution for both is the fact that life is by nature a self-sustaining phenomenon; the ends and the means are one and the same. My productive activities, for example, are means of sustaining my life, but they are also part of the ends for which I strive (they constitute "my life.") Life isn't some abstract thing that we spend our time pursuing; it is constituted by the very activities we undertake. It is both end and means, and by its nature it couldn't be otherwise.

    I disagree that life is self-sustaining. One must make choices in order to live, an evasion of the necessity to make choices cannot lead one to sustain his life.

    If the purpose of one's life is to achieve immortality and to prolong life and that that was the value above all other values, then there definitely is circular issues. Transhumanism, at least the position taken by some in this thread, holds that all values are impossible without life and that, therefore, man must look to prolong his life above all else. This means that the value of "prolonging life" implicitly rises above the Objectivist values that life is an end in itself. This can lead to rights violation and neglecting to enjoy one's life for what it is.

    Correct me if I am wrong, please, I am trying to learn :D

  10. First, any chance of actually achieving such a goal is far in the future, beyond any hope of bringing anything resembling immortality to you. Such a goal, if ever to be reached, would benefit those not yet born.

    Second, the whole concept seems circular. Your life's goal is to live longer so you can pursue your values further, but your top value is to live longer.

    The whole concept is fixated on what happens at the end of your life and is focused on the evasion of the reality of death…rather like religions without the mystical garbage.


    I agree. Circular logic that defeats itself.

  11. CapitalistSwine, and most importantly, the moderator have called attention to the forum rules and as such I am not allowed to respond to the responses to my arguments. Further debate appears to have been disallowed because I have apparently not displayed the required deference to Objectivism by having "honest questions about Objectivism". Whatever that means. Apparently, I am not challenging Objectivism according to the moderator but merely spreading propaganda. Therefore, this concludes my participation in further discussion in this debate and my participation in this website.

    I concede nothing.

    You merely displayed an extreme lack of understanding on Objectivism and why Capitalism is the only moral economic system in the world.

    I am surprised people wasted their time debating with someone who used so many baseless assumptions. Those arguments never end with any productive discussions nor with any side conceding.

  12. What is that SOMETHING, Make?

    Duty? Heavens? The common good? The Ten Commandments?

    What is that "something"?

    It is life...a happy life.

    But corpses cannot have a happy life.

    So you first avoid becoming a corpse.

    The fact that you are clearly putting "prolonging" life above all other values shows how this can lead to right violation. You would steal the cancer cure from the man because you put all values below prolonging your life.

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