Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About wishbone

  • Rank
    Junior Member

Previous Fields

  • Country
    Not Specified
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Not Specified
  1. This philosophy says "Sex is Good". Discuss the morality of sex. And much more at objectivismOnline
  2. A Princeton philosophy professor has written a book named "On Bull...". He claims that a disregard for the truth is rampant in today's culture, at least in the US. Do you think so? Very briefly, this intellectual thinks that this indicate an "amoral" attitude, not an "immoral" attitude. People are not really lying these days, he seems to claim, they are merely making up whatever they like reality to be. This, according to him, is immoral. Does his own evaluation bear the seeds of the problem?
  3. wishbone

    The pope

    Does anybody know how liberal or conservative the current pope has been, in the context of the popes who preceded him? In the inevitable opening of the church to modern culture, was this pope more receptive than his predecessors were (to the modern ideas of their times)? Does anyone know about the short-list of successors? Who is the favorite, and what is the chance that the next pope will soften the church's stand on abortion and contraception?
  4. You really should move to Ann Arbor. That way, you achieve a short-term goal of associating with other Objectivists. You can continue your longer-term plans. Ann Arbor is a little expensive, but not exorbitant. Also, one can stay in some outlying communities that are very affordable (by SE MI standards). There are a good number of jobs around AA, and one can always commute down I94 to Ford. Schools are safe (if you have kids). The politics are very left-wing, but this does not have to be your final place.
  5. This is an example of humor that -- while funny -- is disrespectful. If you disagree with Mr. Laughlin's idea that humor has no place in the life of an objectivist, then explain why.
  6. I found some statistics on the site of the US Labor Dept. that indicate the the :participation rate" of all people above 16 years old has fluctuated between about 66% and 69% between 1994 and now. We are indeed at the low end right now, but were also around this point in 1994. I could not find statistics for before that. I also found this article on the web that calculated what the unemployment rate would be if the participation rate had not fallen after the year 2000. I think there is a "qualitative" aspect to employment that is not captured by all the statistics. From my personal experience, the employed people around me are far were far less sure of their continued employment last year than they were three years before that. Now, they are beginning to be a little more sure that if they lose their jobs they can get another that pays about the same. All this does not detract from the main point of the thread that there are jobs out there that are way, way better than welfare.
  7. I've also read the following (which I intend to research myself too); does anyone know if it is true: The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percentage of those who are looking for work. A lot of people stopped looking for work after the 2000 "bust". They decided to do more college, or to use the down time to start a family, etc. They are going to come back into the workforce at some point, sending the unemployment % back up nearer 6%. I figure that a good rule of thumb would be to look at the number of people who are employed as a percentage of the population of a certain age-range. Any thoughts?
  8. Today, the quotation on the home page of this forum was: "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." -- Thomas Jefferson Fits in well with this thread.
  9. A movie version of Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" was released this year (starring Al Pacino as Shylock -- ought to be fun). Warning: I guess I should warn that this post contains spoilers for anyone here who does not know the story. Disclaimer: The story is based in the past and I am not criticizing the play nor trying to crtiticize the different standards of the past. The play was mere a catalyst to make me think about this issue. Having said that... In the play, "a pound of flesh" is given as security against the repayment of a debt. The debt is in default and the creditor demands the pound of flesh. Question 1: Should such a contract be legally enforceable? In the play, the technicality used to let the warrantor off the hook is that the contract did not stipulate any blood being given. So, the creditor could be allowed his pound of flesh only if he could figure out a way to take it without shedding a drop of blood. Since this is not possible, the creditor could not get the flesh. Question 2: If shedding blood is a necessary condition for extracting a pound of flesh, shouldn't any contract stipulating the payment of a pound of flesh can be presumed to imply the shedding of the necessary amount of blood?
  10. This thread raises an interesting issue: how do we judge the extent of a crime? Suppose I consider the following crimes: 1) Robbery 2) Rape 3) Murder 4) Slavery Is there a way to rank them from least evil to most evil? If it is possible, but not with just this limited information, then what other information is required to make the judgement? If we base the extent of evil on the extent to which rights are violated, then how to we measure the extent to which rights are violated?
  11. Perhaps I'm misinformed about Luther's message being an encouragement to use one's mind and a tool of cognition superior to the edicts of the church. I will have to study more to make a judgement. What would you say would be a "standing on one leg" summary of Luther's message? (While I could believe that an aspect Luther's message was "listen to me", I find it implausible that "Listen to me" can summarize the crux of his teaching. In other words, when he said "Listen to me when I tell you to do the following...", what was he telling his followers to do?) BTW: Are you implying that being "tolerant of divergent viewpoints" a good thing, regardless of what those divergent viewpoints are? I apologize for the imprecise formulation. When I said "imperfect to perfect", I could also have said "perfect to imperfect". All I meant is that History does not move in a smooth progession. I suppose that if you considered the typical subjectivist college philosophy professor and compared his thought with "all past forms of understanding reality", the modern will lose. So, you'd have to consider a particular genre of ancient thought and a particular genre of modern thought. At any rate, there is a certain progession of ideas that build upon each other, or revolt against the other, but are still linked in a historical progression. Glad to see you agree with me that this is an oversimplification.
  12. Yes, I suppose that is another negative of an "anti-establishment" movement like the reformation. By saying "don't listen to the church, think for yourself" one is offering an epistemological approach, not an alternative ethics. In absence of a new ethics, it is not surprizing if subjectivism rules. So, Luther may have "fathered" Kant. However, we see this from our modern perspective. History doesn't move from imperfect to perfect in one jump. I think it is probably more correct to view Luther's ideas as a positive. It was up to subsequent generations to develop them further, and to show that one can have individual thought without subjectivism. Incidentally, I see a similar development in the deism of the founding fathers. I think they moved further into the modern world, by assuming that God made the world and that 's it... it is up to humans now... The Deists had no basis for an ethical theory. Benjamin Franklin comments on this in his autobiography. What I beginning to see, as a picture in my mind is this: a line running from Catholics, to Luterans, to Deists, and then... branching out to Kant. Meanwhile, another branch goes out and ends at Ayn Rand. This is over-simplification -- the reality is probably far more complicated, but I'm trying to picture the "essential" history.
  13. Dr. Peikoff has spoken about the "DIM Hypothesis" and has illustrated it in a few fields, e.g. Physics & Education. I see signs of "DIM" in the theories of software development. I think the "old school methodologists" represent the "M", the "modernist extreme programmers" represent the "D". I do not think a theoretical "I" has been expounded. However, some implicit "I" is what is practiced from day to day. I will post more on Software-development DIM as I develop my ideas further and will also try to make it so that people other than software developers can understand what I am saying. For now, I have a different purpose. I am interested in aspects of "DIM" in fields that I have not considered and that Dr. Peikoff has not mentioned. Do you see DIM in the theory surrounding your area of work?
  14. Nearing 50 years old, I cannot say that I have a CPL. I chose a career in software development. I find it satisfying, but I lack some "social skills" that would take me to the next level of management; and, I do not have the motivation to gain those skills (But, that's a different thread...)
  15. I agree that Elian should have been kept in the US. However, for illustration, if we were to modify some facts of the Elain case, it would be a good case-study to examine parental rights. I estimate that Elian's father would rather have let Elian be in the US (and would have loved to join him). I estimate that he said he wanted Elian back in Cuba because he feared his government. What if the father genuinely wanted his son back in Cuba? Would that change things? Would one it still be right to keep him in the US because that was obviously his mother's wish? What if Elian was clearly a minor (not a borderline case) and both his parents were alive and wanted him back in Cuba, but he had been brought here by a rational aunt? Would it still be right to keep him in the US because parental wishes is not the issue here, individual rights is the issue. Does keeping a child in Cuba amount a grevious harm of the type that negates rights that the parent may ordinarily have? In other words, would it be right for anyone willing to support a Cuban child to abduct that child and bring them to the US? I am hesitant to force others to accept my ideas of right and wrong, for themselves or for their children, except in the most serious of cases. Yes, it would be right to abduct a child if their parents were about to cut their arm off! I am uncertain if living in Cuba would rise to the same standard.
  • Create New...