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Everything posted by determinist

  1. Is it strange that Milton Friedman talked Alan Greenspan up in 2006? http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/21230.html There's no reason to suspect is corrupt or dishonest, right? Are you all sure that Greenspan is corrupt? I saw a video clip of him taking a lot of heat for resisting protectionism and defending the free market.
  2. *** Mod's note: Merged with an existing topic. - sN *** With all that's going on in the Federal Reserve, do you think Alan Greenspan has become an embarrassment to the names associated with the objectivist movement? Do you think Ayn Rand would disapprove of the Federal Reserve's activities or Alan Greenspan's activities if she was alive today?
  3. Hi Zac D. Are you sure free will is axiomatic according to objectivism? I specifically recall Ayn Rand saying that her philosophy only rests on one axiom, the law of identity. I haven't read everything by her so I could be unaware of something else she said. Did you arrive at this position because people claiming themselves as objectivists said it's an axiom? Or did Ayn Rand herself?
  4. Is this Anthem audio book abridged? http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/book/anthem-by-ayn-rand
  5. I'm reading Philosophy: Who Needs It? right now, so understanding Ayn Rand's philosophy is already a work in progress. Since I read "Man's Rights" from The Virtue of Selfishness, I've been absolutely fascinated by Rand. A general reply to some of the recent posts: I'm not sure where mentions of the short-term/long-term self-interest dichotomy came from. I have zero doubt that seeking temporary, instant gratification does not equate to acting in self-interest. I understand that people are saying theft is only a quick-fix and is not truly in long-term self-interest. However, from the start of the thread, support for that particular claim has been my only focus. I want to accept it but it leaves me with questions. For example, is it really logical to make the generalization that absolutely anyone attains less happiness because he or she steals? If so, what (specifically) is your basis for that position? Do you think that because you personally feel better by earning things without theft, this is sufficient evidence that everyone else's brain works the same way? If not, then what is your substance backing such a position? Merely stating that it's obvious, a no-brainer, or otherwise communicating/sub-communicating it's axiomatic fails to provide an argument for the position. Also, merely repeating what the position is also fails to support it. If you (any reader) concede that theft is even rarely in a person's self-interest, and that the basis for behaving morally is doing what's in one's self-interest, then it would logically follow that sometimes stealing is moral. That would obviously be a problem for objectivism. This is why it's so important to have a solid argument to support the claim. (Side note: My forum reputation has decreased 2 points since I started this thread. Considering I want objectivists to be correct and I posted the thread hoping to refute a moral relativist, it's sad my reputation was attacked. Most scientists I know love when I ask them questions because they're eager to share their logic. I am surprised it's not the same deal with this thread. Interesting.)
  6. In response to Hotu Matua: Stealing is irrational? Are you saying it's irrational because it's not in one's self-interest? Why did you say that stealing is irrational? Again, this rests on the assumption that stealing is irrational. Why is stealing irrational? How do you know that stealing is irrational? You could call it an axiom or "no-brainer" but we both know that Ayn Rand was only in favor of a single axiom, the law of identity. In response to Volco: Happiness cannot be reduced to reason? What is self-interest? Isn't acting in self-interest a person doing that which makes himself or herself happy? If not, what is it? Is it what you call a person acting in ways that it best helps his or her survival? Is the replication, propagation, and maintenance of an individual's allele sequences survival?
  7. Volco, where/what is the emprical data you were speaking of when you posted that? Thanks.
  8. You will personally gain more or everyone will? If you just mean yourself, that's subjective. If the rule is generally applicable to people and there are exceptions, that is called intersubjectivity, not objectivity. Are you suggesting that there are no people who benefit more from a combination of work and theft than work alone? If it's just a general rule and it's only true for some people, that's intersubjective. I really want you to be right because I am frustrated when people use relativism to try and justify China's government. I'd like for it to be the case that you can derive a morality based on hard evidence/reason. Where am I going wrong here?
  9. Nope, but he does. Let's not visualize the teenagers shoplifting or gang members hijacking cars while forgetting about legalized theft.
  10. There seem to be objectivists who say it's not in a man's self-interest to steal (and therefore immoral, according to the objectivist). In my subjective experience, it has held true that a sense of accomplishment is a remarkable feeling that cannot be replaced by other fraudulent feelings. I mentioned this idea to someone and he raised an interesting question I could not answer. He said a Christian could say he or she experiences something subjectively and this would not be good enough evidence to support the divinity of Jesus. Is the belief that stealing makes everyone less happy than earning based on subjective whims? Do you have any objective evidence I can pass along to my friend? Are there fMRI-based studies or anything?
  11. I am taking sociology right now because I had to take a social science elective. Do you think this class is a waste of my time? Does Ayn Rand think sociology is bogus?
  12. Supposedly, Benito Mussolini said the following quote. According to websites quoting that, he said that when addressing the Italian senate in 1931. One example is here. Can anyone confirm or challenge the credibility of this quote? Does anyone know of any dictator quotes on gun control besides Mao's quote about political power growing from the barrel of a gun? Thanks.
  13. Did Boris Spassky ever write Ayn Rand back? Did he ever mention her afterward. I am reading Philosophy: Who Needs It? and I absolutely LOVED reading the letter she sent. If Spassky didn't, did Fischer or anyone really famous (e.g. any presidents) ever comment on her letter?
  14. It's as bad as it gets: heroin injection. He is currently prescribed to a drug that reduces cravings and can be taken orally without the same sort of tolerance problems as heroin. It is called Buprenorphine. He said he's willing to attend NA meetings, try meditating, and read about ideas other than NA (e.g. Ayn Rand's mentions). Looking to a higher power to solve problems, when no higher power exists in objective reality that can save someone from an addiction, makes me skeptical. I once read articles talking about the founders of NA and AA claiming their intentions were to evangelize. I wish I could find the article. It was linked somewhere on Dawkins's website.
  15. I have a friend who has a drug addiction problem. I want to help him and I'm afraid Narcotics Anonymous has some faulty premises that may make its value questionable. Are there any free excerpts online about addiction, by Ayn Rand? I remember her briefly mentioning addiction as escaping reality.
  16. Wow. I simply cannot believe I'm reading these responses on an Ayn Rand forum instead of a Republican Christian forum. After all the talk about how the government should only initiate force against those who initiate force, people are agreeing with initiating physical force. I would have never guessed I'd find this thread. My mind is blown from this.
  17. I have been thinking about the idea of choosing the "organ donor" option for a driver's license. For all questions, I am ignoring the fact that it costs $1 in my state to become one (because it raises a separate issue about self-sacrifice that I'm not undecided on). If I am on the verge of death, could it be in the self-interest of a surgeon to not go out on a limb trying to save me? Is there a potential for a hospital or one of its affiliates to gain a profit something if I die? Do you think it's possible that a doctor or health care professional might not feel like going the extra mile to save you if they think your death could save a child? (My friend said his economics professor brought that one up.) Do you think Ayn Rand would have chose the "organ donor" option on her license? Do you think there's a higher probability that being an organ donor will be in my self-interest or against my self-interest (if I choose the organ donor option on my license)? If you are/were a parent, do/would you have any preference regarding your child choosing the organ donor option? Do you think choosing the organ donor option on a driver's license has any bearing on morality? Thanks.
  18. I just found this and the moral part of it is so similar to how I think: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/draft.html This is the sort of article that leaves me with a sense of "Wow. Ayn Rand is a divine lawyer."
  19. I'm trying to philosophize about the draft a bit. If there was not a draft in Russia or the United States to counter the drafts in Germany, Japan, and Italy, would the axis powers have won World War II?
  20. Actually, I think Ayn Rand (or someone else who coauthored Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal) passionately, passionately agreed with this first paragraph's description of methodological individualism, one of the most emphasized positions of Austrian economics that other schools dissent from. Someone in that book strongly disagreed with mainstream social sciences treating a collective as if it is a single entity and then trying to base a study off of it.
  21. If that is the case, then perhaps this page should be updated? The Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand is notable for its support of minarchism, believing that non-voluntary taxes that fund government actions are essentially theft. Objectivists argue that a form of the night watchman state is the only ethical as well as truly practical way of organizing the state. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-watchman_state
  22. I do not consider myself an objectivist, so i guess I fall into that category too. I'm a fan of Ayn Rand in the same way I'm a fan of Richard Dawkins. I disagree with some things they say but greatly enjoy a lot of their works. I did not merely mean federal prisons when I mentioned prisons.
  23. The title "Capitalism and Prison Rape" is a perfectly fitting title for a person who is trying to research whether there is any relation between the two (and what that relation is if one exists). The title is not an implicit assertion. Also, what you're referencing appears not to be an opening argument. I was under the impression that an argument (at least, according to a logic text book) involves a statement or statements claimed to support another statement. Maybe you meant argument in another sense of the word that I'm unaware of? The question you quoted in boldface specifically asks if there is a causal relation. Suppose you replied "no" and then I tried to make an argument like "see??? capitalism doesn't solve everything!" Then I'd agree with you that there's something flawed about what I asserted. Do you think I read Ayn Rand books for the purpose of stirring people up? lol. I like philosophy. I like learning. In fact, I find the arguments for capitalism in Ayn Rand's books very amazing. I am talking about them all the time to my father, friends, and coworkers. There's a reason I ask the opinions of these forum members and not fundamentalist Christian forum members.
  24. I never said it did. I was wondering that myself. The consensus in these replies is that it has little to nothing to do with it. No. I figured that much. I was asking because I wasn't sure if any ideas about how much could be nonarbitrarily speculated, and if so, what those speculations look like. If it were true that I supposed the reaction would be different, why would I ask if it would be different? Interesting. Thanks for the reply. I have often heard it said that "never snitch" is one of the most important rules for surviving in prison. I just Googled "how to survive in prison" and the first 2 links had mention of that rule: http://www.wikihow.com/Survive-in-Federal-Prison http://www.askmen.com/money/how_to_300/341_how_to.html It makes me wonder if the number of rapes you heard about are nearly as much as the real amount committed. Also, I'm not sure if counting numbers is the key to morality. That rings a little too utilitarian-like. I think the government ensuring protection of an individual is a bigger issue. Many drug offenders have not violated anyone's rights. That's not the only example. There are people in prison for refusing to pay taxes. Should the idea of a person who refused to pay taxes serve as the basis for an apologetic argument to justify excessively cruel and unusual punishments, like prison rape? Should disorderly conduct serve as the basis for an apologetic argument to justify excessively cruel and unusual punishments, like prison rape?
  25. Doesn't prison rape most often stem from the fact that inmates run the place? What does the inmate-to-prison-security-staff ratio look like? If there are more inmates than staff, might this contribute? If people are free to trade drugs and no laws prohibit it, would this cut down the prison inmate population? Would cutting down the prison inmate population allow a better handle on things? What would funds for prison look like in a laissez-faire economy? What would prisons look like? Why? What about the capacity for the government to do what is described what the first quote on this page explains? http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2008...on-prison-rape/ If the truly government was ever truly below the people, what would the reaction to this look like? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_of_Rodney_Hulin Do you think the same amount of prison rapes would occur if the market was liberated?
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