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Everything posted by determinist

  1. I'm in the process of trying to learn about economics right now (reading Capitalism: An Unknown Ideal at the moment). The invisible hand seems to have a remarkably awesome series of logical arguments (e.g. monopolies, child labor laws, federal reserve/currency, etc.). Are there any laissez-faire capitalism explanations for how it could solve prison rape? I couldn't find anything about it anywhere else on the forum about it.
  2. I'm in the midst of reading Ayn Rand's (and Greenspan's) Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. She was talking about monopolies and the Great Depression. It has me interested in more details. I listen to audiobooks rather than reading hard copies because I have long rides to my college and limited free time. I'm also looking for something that assumes no prerequisite understanding of business terms. Is it realistic to understand without visuals of graphs or heavy math? Any recommendations? Thanks.
  3. Does anyone know if this box set is unabridged? http://www.amazon.com/Ayn-Rand-Box-Set/dp/0451947673
  4. If you already told this girl you love her, she gives it up on a regular basis, and you have doubts that she would go polygamous with other guys, then I think it would be cold to act on the fantasy. If she was declining you for sex over and over, I might see the justification for seeking a physical relationship elsewhere.
  5. To paraphrase Sam Harris: Every cell in your body with a nucleus, given the right manipulation, is a potential human being. Ignoring the situation or attempting to verbally persuade a sadist/sociopath seems at least equally doubtful. The majority of the world is religious. What does that say about how rationally dominated humanity is?
  6. Minarchism implies anarchy? How did you arrive at that conclusion? I realize this is Wikipedia but it appears to reasonably cite sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minarchism Even after what I quoted, it elaborates on how it differs from market anarchy. It sounds like Ayn Rand's ideal government vision perfectly fits into that description of minarchism.
  7. If you have enough free time, I'd love to read text replies too. Thanks!
  8. OK. YES!!! Right!!! lol I meant that light-hearted. I'm glad you used that punctuation. It makes me feel like I'm not the only one who gets excited in discussions. Despite the possibility of true random quantum indeterminacy (which would not necessitate choice and physicists like Weinberg find it a less preferable explanation), I don't see any viable contender to determinism. I don't think we are just like animals. We are animals. We are in the anamalia kingdom. I was stating a biological fact. Well, I had no choice but to judge him because I'm determined too. But that's actually irrelevant to my main response to your main point. The semantic, metaphysical truth operates at such a vastly complex level that the truth is entirely impractical. In practice, I implicitly speak of deliberations as action driven by frontal lobe activity of someone with a reasonably functional brain. (That's at least a rough sketch of a description for now. I might be able to find a loophole in the semantics of that I tried hard enough.) The difference between me and Ayn Rand is that I'm not claiming moral truths can be discovered via metaphysical philosophy. I am realizing this topic alone could branch off into a huge discussion. Maybe I'll append to a determinism thread. That last argument you implied is actually similar to one used by Christians a lot. Natural selection can select for brains that model reality better than others. I have a pretty lengthy response for that and I'll post when I have more time.
  9. I have no doubt that most men do, but all men? Does every last human alive have, or at some point will have, more advanced cognition than every last chimpanzee that exists?
  10. Well, you haven't provided a logical reason (yet?), and if you consider it axiomatic without logic to support it, could it be anything but a whim? Let's examine the structure of: Let's try plugging something else in for X: If you say a 1-month-old, retarded baby has rights because it is a human, and an animal with more advanced cognition does not because it's an animal, you have not explained why on purely logical grounds. You have just asserted a conclusion without presenting an argument to support it. People who argue for taxes (for the record, I dislike the idea of any taxation whatsoever) sometimes assert their conclusions that "of course we need taxes," as if it requires no justification. Thanks. (I wasn't sure whether I should double-post or edit because my last post was so long ago that it was probably read by people. Sorry.)
  11. Can you explain, by logic alone, leaving all whims out, why a retarded orphan cannot be owned? What rational faculty does a retarded, 2-year-old orphan have that a complex chimpanzee does not? In the last chapter of The Virtue of Selfishness, Rand thought that assertions without logic are insufficient. Perhaps at 2 years old a child may have more advanced cognition than a chimpanzee, so I should revise this to a 1-month-old, retarded baby. My point is simply that if a human at any point in development has less reasoning ability than an advanced chimpanzee, and Objectivism holds that a human has rights because of rational faculty, precisely where is the logic in that? Anyone can claim it is an axiom that a baby deserves rights over a chimpanzee, but what I like about Ayn Rand is that she finds claiming something as an axiom as insufficient. I like how she tries to look strictly at the logical reasoning behind something. Thanks. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.
  12. According to objectivism's proposition for government, would it be illegal to torture a retarded, 2-year-old orphan in the privacy of one's own home? Does a retarded, 2-year-old orphan have rational faculty?
  13. So, according to objectivism, man has a right to torture a dog? Interesting. According to objectivism, man has the right for himself not to even be pushed, yet the right to mercilessly torture an animal as he pleases, so long as it's declared as his "property?" If you claim rational faculty as the difference between man and a chimpanzee, then what purely logical, unemotional grounds can you declare it morally unacceptable (according to objectivism) for a retarded, 2-year-old orphan to be owned as property? Any?
  14. Feel free to assume Y worked for money and handed his money to another man who called the dog his "property," and there was mutual consent. The question I'm wondering is whether Objectivism contains any clearly-stated content in opposition to a man physically torturing a dog for sadistic pleasure for weeks (and not based on any principles of property, rather, somehow related to the torture of the dog itself).
  15. I would too. Nonetheless, I like to learn about Ayn Rand, read about capitalism and explore moral philosophies. Is it logical to think the only reason one would be on an objectivist forum is because a person is an objectivist?
  16. I didn't literally mean the fallacy of begging the question. I simply meant that it made me wonder that question. I admit I used the wrong word by accident, as I found out by checking here: http://begthequestion.info/ I admit that my desire to free a dog from torture is based on emotion, but a logical fallacy exists only when a person claims premises reflect the truth value of a conclusion. I never stated any conclusion based on emotion or claimed anything about any conclusion's truth value. If I like blue cars, it may be a preference based on emotion but it's not a fallacy. Additionally, if we follow pure logic then Chapter 1 in that book collapses. Humans are animals. The way Ayn Rand spoke about consciousness as some sort of separate entity in humans reminded me of the way Descartes and Christians spoke of it, as a ghost in the machine (although hers was implicit). Emotion is interesting. For example, the whim of free choice in a deterministic universe is one that I've seen existentialists and Rand-objectivists embrace. It seems that, just like socialists use the phrase "right to health" and ignore the infringement of rights, many objectivists also try to have their cake and eat it. That is, they maintain the position of compatibilism. I like how Richard Dawkins (I do not endorse his political views) admits the contradiction between how we behave as a human and what's technically, philosophically accurate. If you approve of legalizing the merciless torture of animals (in and of itself, despite the property idea), why not leave all emotions out and be a nihilist? When Nathaniel Branden talks about "pleasure," isn't he talking about the emotion of pleasure? @DavidOdden: Was "absolutely" a reply to both of my questions? Thank you for your replies. (I'm purposely cherry picking the parts I disagree with rather than the majority of the book that I do agree with.)
  17. I just finished reading The Virtue of Selfishness, and despite the first chapter, I loved most of it. It begged a few questions, so I start with these: A man, X, spots another man, Y, sadistically torturing a dog and realizes it has been going on for weeks straight. X initiates force against Y by pushing him out of the way and allowing the dog to run away. Should Y be allowed to call the police to initiate force against X for violating his individual right? Was X behaving immorally (according to objectivism)?
  18. Prospectivist_Objectivist, Ayn Rand has said she is against religion because it puts emotion and intuition over reason. Early, in this thread, I have seen people make arguments based on intuitive feeling (of free will) as a rebuttal to you. You will not get that from me. I will concede that we are all determined, choice is an illusion, and arguments for compatibilism (in respect to choice) are often made from of fear that someone's morality will be challenged. I find it unnecessary to want to evade determinism in arguments, due to one important fact: Determinism of the brain happens at such a complex level that it is utterly insane to treat it as if it has any bearing on practical, macroscopic matters like capitalism/politics! Another thing is that while choice (free will) is illusory, freedom is not. Your will itself, to do something, is determined. And you are also determined to do that something. But, so long as the path to fulfill your will is not barricaded, you are free to fulfill that will. Determinism is actually the cause of freedom (not choice). I recommend this very honest video from Richard Dawkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kCxn7lHnBc If you have time, here's another interesting one by Steven Pinker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A_r6_GGv3U That's my 2 cents.
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