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Boydstun

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  1. Tad, I think a tremendous advantage we have in the US is the very long tradition of democratic process under rule of a constitution concerning law-making and law-enforcing. I mean really, the fact that these ways here are so widely accepted by the citizens as wise. It's harder for prosecutions to happen here without due process of law under our constitution, at least in recent times. At times, vigilanteism has been a problem. German Americans were terribly persecuted during the WWI era. An uncle of my stepmother was tarred and feathered by a gang in that era (he could not speak English). Steinbeck writes about it, as adolescent persecutors, in his own family history within East of Eden. I have been able to dig into old newspapers online of violence against American Black people in the '20's and '30's in the South and in the "Little Dixie" area of my birth state of Oklahoma. It seemed as if no allegation that a White woman had been unwillingly touched or had been raped, but what a Black man would be accused pretty quick out of thin air. I saw one case in OK in which an accused Black man in custody in such a case was gotten out of the custody of the law and lynched. The law was not always in collusion, thank goodness. At least in that case, a couple of the men who took the law into their own hands were tried and executed.
  2. Do you mean a literally corresponding counterpart or do you mean something akin to the actions of those governments that leans in the same direction?
  3. In Putin's Russia, the Arrests are Spreading Quickly and Widely "Mr. Kolker, the physicist, entered the hospital in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk last week for treatment for late-stage cancer, so weak that he was unable to eat. The next day, agents for the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., the successor agency to the K.G.B., arrived and, accusing him of treason, flew him to a Moscow jail. Over the weekend, he died in custody."
  4. Note on Rand, George, and no-God is here. GHS Bibliogaphy – also Bio The System of Liberty (2013 Cambridge) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Carriage" –S
  5. Yes you are wrong and in no position to be speaking about such things. You are exactly in the arm-chair floating in la-la land as Nathaniel Branden when he pontificated that gay people were of low self-esteem necessarily, could note of them only what he wanted to see, exclude them by fiat-, subjectivist-definition of being incapable of romantic love, and remained ignorant of what he was pontificating about. My response to your post was not on what you had brought up therein, because your post was a diversion, an evasion of the plain main points I had raised in the post preceding yours. Yours are one cover-up after another of your denigrations of other people's sexual activities that are purely for the purpose of pleasure and love. I was by nature a monogamous man. That was personality, not some aimed-for choice of false nobility. The same is true of the men and the women I've known who are not of my personality in that respect. "The Pill; the IUD; the condom—conspicuously absent from Mr. Grames' list of preventatives." May you remain alone and without family! you with the insolence upstream to pontificate that we gay people should not be allowed adoption of children.
  6. Human brain is for improving nature, improving lot of human individual and fellows in nature, because it is possible to us and we choose it. In a hundred years humans are unlikely to leave reproduction to sex. They will put reproduction to production, though the joys of bringing up infants and children will remain. Many functions of human brain areas and functions appearing in ancestral species were repurposed in the evolution of the human brain arrived at by 25,000 years ago. And what the species did by their inventions and cultural developments since then is fantastic, including better health, less hunger, and rising treatment of women as first-rate self-directing human agents, not reproductive chattel for direction by the tribal witch doctors, and including liberation of humankind from the tribe for the enjoyment of individual life and bodily pleasure and choice in bonding and a liberating recognition of the virtue of those. Even by his time, Kant recognized and welcomed that with humans, sex had repurposed primarily to sexual enjoyment (Lectures on Anthropology). Some moral constraints have rational bases, and to find them, we don't need intonations of demands and brute-law left over from the witch doctors (Kant was a step more decent than that, contra Rand's caricature), still sprung from the same primordial suspicion that someone is actually happy in and with life from brain down to the fingertips and the same primordial urge for domination. Nature's evolutionary purposes are something to keep an eye on, including on the urge to domination, and all the while humans have and do and should remake the materials supplied by nature; do our own engineering (the Pill; the IUD; the condom—conspicuously absent from Mr. Grames' list of preventatives) for us. The regressive, subjectivist, fantastical hearing Nature or God disapproving human redirections of natural teleology by human intelligence and choices are delusional and deaf to the glory of human being, however much bolstering they get from Notre Dame or the Supreme Court. There is nothing modest or decent about those drums.
  7. Have you been so fortunate as to have had a wife? Does she know you wrote that? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A man not getting enough sleep last night and dozing off at the wheel while driving home today AND NEGLECTING TO FASTEN HIS SEAT BELT OR HAVE A FUNCTIONING AIR BAG, fails to avoid the consequence of going through the windshield. A woman voluntarily having penis-in-vagina sex . . . desiring to have that particular manner of sexual activity, AND NEGLECTING TO TAKE THE PILL; INSTALL IUD; DEMAND HER PARTNER PUT A RUBBER ON HIS WILLY, AND IF THAT RENDERS HIM WITHOUT AN ERECTION, GET A NEW PARTNER; OR WAIT UNTIL AFTER MENOPAUSE, thereby avoiding pregnancy, "is dishonest. Pregnancy is so easily avoided . . . " BEING BORN MALE OR BECOME ELDERLY.
  8. Leaving aside knowing of private experience of others and leaving aside mathematical theses that have been proven to be unprovable, can we show that, for humans, there is nothing unknowable? That is, can it be shown that there is nothing empirical that cannot be known from the “third-person” perspective? By empirical facts, I mean ones at a level not all the way down to particularities, the level above particularities that is usually aimed for in this issue. The fact that the next guest to step through the front door will lead with either the left foot or the right foot, together with the circumstance that I don’t know who will be the next guest nor which foot will lead is not the level of empirical knowledge of significance and interest, not the level of empirical knowledge of concern in our question. We firstly should prove there are things at present unknown to us, a precondition to the question of whether there are in fact empirical things unknowable to us. That there are things presently unknown to us seems to be a point on which all interlocutors agree; so it should require no argument. I think, however, when one’s concern is having the fullest possible truth and not merely having enough to convince someone in argument concerning points of disagreement, then we should show there are things presently unknown and how we know that. Might we show that the reason no one bothers to establish this circumstance as preface to making an argument is that it is derivative from axiomatic truths that everyone mentally competent accepts even though they do not know they know them? That is, let us try for a demonstration from “Existence is Identity, and Consciousness is Identification” to “There is empirical knowledge we do not yet have.” The concept ‘identification,’ I say, presupposes the idea that there are things we do not yet know. That there are things we do not yet know is a presupposition of the endeavor to construct an argument or make an investigation by empirical observations. So, we safely do have a sensible question if we ask if all significant empirically unknown things are knowable. Some will say that due to the indeterminacies discovered in quantum mechanics, we have a counterexample to the thesis that all unknown empirical things are knowable. As a counterexample, this is just confusion. That canonical dynamically conjugate quantities in Hamiltonian classical mechanics were found later, in the 1920’s, to take on simultaneous values jointly determinate only down to a certain minimum value not zero, as a physical fact, is part of our physical knowledge and not a counterexample to the thesis under question here: are there significant empirical fact unknowable to us. Knowing that there is no contiunuum of quantity on down to zero in amount physically occurring in instances of the quantity called action in physics (action being any quantity having the same units of measure had by angular momentum), which yields the Heisenberg Indeterminacy Principle, is a case of empirical knowing, not unknowability. The absence of counterexample to the thesis does not mean we have shown the thesis true. So I don’t yet have a proof that all unknown significant empirical facts are knowable. Rand’s thesis that, for all existents, part of their identity is that they stand in some external relations would seem to at least pile on support to the thesis that all unknown significant empirical facts are knowable. It does more than that. There are things we already know of all empirical things unknown to us at present. We know that each is a particular and specific identity. We know that each is its complete identity. We know that we ourselves are also in that condition in the existence of our bodies. If we add Rand’s thesis that any existent stands in relations to existents not itself—let us say that the universe as the whole of existence stands in external relations to its parts and to its past phases—then among the components of the identity of each unknown empirical existent are its external relations. All Existents not us standing in such relations to other existents and our own bodies standing in such external relations, yields a network of relations. If our minds are able to grasp one relation between two of those existents not us, there is at least the potential of our minds to grasp all such relations. Beyond two existents not us having relations between them and to us, there are yet other relations they have to other existents not themselves and to us, and so forth, such that all told, they constitute all the part-to-part relations constituting the whole of relations within the whole of physical existence. That includes us. Our own bodily relations to some existents not our bodies connects us indirectly to all existents not our own bodies. Knowing one relation between existents not our body and their relation to our body entails a potential, given far more time than we actually have, to know all presently unknown significant empirical facts. A counterexample is an example. An example is in relation to other existents. There can be no existents in a counterexample that are not capable of being in relations to other existents. Then there can be no significant empirical fact for counterexample to the thesis that all significant empirical facts are knowable, given Rand's external-relations thesis. Therewith, all significant empirical facts are knowable.
  9. Yes, there is plausibility of that, and whether such things are unknowable by others and in what senses of knowledge have been much debated in philosophy of mind, such as the famous articles on Mary with only black-and-white vision, but extensive knowledge of color vision and "What is it Like to Be a Bat?". When I see a deer limping, I may think I've some knowledge of what that is like because I have been in the limping condition myself. But that might include a big dose of anthropomorphism. And perhaps brain scientists would know ways in which a deer's experience of things must be enormously different than human experiences. But if I visit a friend and she is limping and using a cane, I'm more sure I know what her private experience is like, and can sort of share in it. On the other hand, if I see someone doing a good cartwheel, I really have little notion of what they are experiencing as I never learned to do that anywhere near success. There is some echolocation ability in humans, evidently, as here.
  10. ET, traditionally, it is correct that an omniscient mind would have no unknown, and therefore no unknowables. Leibniz thought that in God's understanding, the contingent occurrences in the world are knowable entirely in an analytical way, or anyway in the way in which we know pure mathematical truths. In medieval and early modern philosophy, when there was talk about limitations of human knowledge, it was mainly about knowledge of those contingent truths, past, future, and present. You are right to talk of omniscience in connection with the idea of God; that was the context of the deliberations. God was thought of as having mind and having life, but of sufficient difference with those things in us that we cannot really know much about their nature. Safe to say, God does not die or undertake actions to remain alive, and for we naturalistic heads in the shadow of Rand, that means that such a conception of God as living is fundamentally without basis (and we suggest that the gravitation to the notion of God as living is due to an underlying knowledge that life is the source and context of all goodness.) God was conceived as unchanging and to the point of having no internal processes. God and his knowledge were thought of as an "eternal instant." That puts any talk of God having analytic knowledge of all contingent realities into really an eternal-instant grasp of that analytic structure, and such, I should say, with Rand, is fundamentally not knowledge at all. I do not myself think there is any knowledge at hand at all in an "intelligence" that never makes errors or that just has knowledge without processes through time in which it acquires the knowledge. Leibniz's conception of God's knowledge was as an "intellectual intuition." Kant maintained that such an all-knowing faculty would have to be creating the things it knows; he took that as part of the notion of an intellectual intuition. (I think I once came across that angle in Leibniz also.) Kant maintained we humans have not a drop of intellectual intuitions, only sensory intuitions, and he questioned any physical, philosophical, or empirical-psychology knowledge we claim to have that does not go back to or project to sensory intuitions. On our mathematical knowledge, though not all-knowing of all mathematical truths, we have creation of the object and their inter-relations in a creative way, according to Kant, in all of it we do know; they are made by us (a sort of miniature of God knowing-plus-making all the world, I notice.) Human scientific knowledge and metaphysical knowledge has to be within those bounds of sensory intuitions, according to Kant. That is a good direction, but instead of saying that although we cannot know there is a God or an afterlife of rewards and punishments, these things are thinkable and things to rationally hope for, he should have confined right thinking and hoping to this natural world and life within it. And ruled out omniscience as a rational construct.
  11. It's the rights-angle at a practical level between the adults, namely the pregnant woman and adults who, by the law, want to have a say in the pregnancy. It is to those adults, with their metaphysics and moral ideals, that the pregnant woman can become enslaved, impressed into the service of their projects for her body, and indirectly her future, instead of her own projects and ambitions in life. This can happen only if she is a pregnant woman trying to procure an abortion in the term before the fetus/baby is capable of sustained life outside the womb, with or without artificial support. The judgment of that capability has been in the province of the attending physician, so it is a decision on the development at hand, although there tends to be a clustering of the become-capable ones around a certain time in the term, given the particular stage of medical technology at the time, that is, given the present capabilities to artificially sustain the life of the delivered little one outside the womb. You probably know that capability for sustained life outside the womb, with or without artificial support, is the definition of viability (Colletti v. Franklin 1978). It is not a definition of personhood or rights-bearing of the little one. The significance of the viability stage was that people not the mother could after that point carry out there project of continuing the development to infancy, childhood, and adulthood, without impressing the mother into the service of their project. When I talk of impressment for services, it means forced labor, which is slavery—like in military conscription, but for another sort of endeavor. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PS – I'm sorry this repeats what I have said before in somewhat different layout of presentation. But it is very hard for people who have always thought of this issue in terms of rights of the potential human being in the uterus versus rights of the mother. Reorienting to the rights in play over this, realistically, as between adult citizens is apparently difficult, so much repetition is in order. Pushing the picture that what is at issue is whether the fetus (or earlier) has standing for rights to the house, the mother's uterus, versus the rights of the mother to her body, to her autonomy in devising her own life, reminds me of the way religious people push the picture that in every moral issue, say whether to commit adultery, they are only carrying out God's directions for proper living. So you get these parties to the issue, namely God or the potential human being, that are really a mask for the believer's own values, and a distraction.
  12. "Considerate Selfishness" may exclude the foul element of concern. I don't much care for it, however, because it is defensive right out the gate and not getting at what Rand was illustrating in The Fountainhead, which was various sorts of characters whose behaviors are commonly regarded as selfish, but are not, due to absence of definite self or are not because they are, furthermore, predatory, which is not self-sufficient. In contrast to those, she has a model selfishness of Howard Roark, which, for one having read the novel and not for other people, could sensibly be called "model selfishness" / "genuine selfishness" / "objective selfishness." These are what Nathaniel Branden was getting at in his writings "Counterfeit Individualism," in his answer to the question Isn't everybody selfish? and in his distinction between being selfish and being self-centered. And Rand's preference for "egoistic" over "egotistic" and her later essay "Selfishness without a Self."
  13. KyaryPamyu, I think there are many enticing schemes for rhymes to occur and many more affecting rythyms than the conventionally established rhythm-patterns we learn in high school. And there is much fun to have with sounds and ways not usual of making meaning from words. Thank you for your observations on this topic you brought forth. And thank you for the links to the poems from Poetry Foundation. In Chicago, I worked for some years at a printing and mailing firm. One of our customers was Poetry magazine. It would come onto the dock as one great skid stacked about five feet high with the entirety wrapped together in a single cardboard surround covered with a strong plastic, as I recall. We mailed them out to the subscribers. The management at our firm would make sure to snatch a copy for me, because they knew I loved it. Some of my gems there were "The Giant Who Took the World for a Pill" by Patti-Ann Rogers and "Potpourri" by Gerald Stern. There was another—by poet I don't recall name just now—titled "Two Deer". I have the issues still, on a shelf in the basement. I may not remember always the name of the poet, but the feeling for the land the poet made can yet remain. I don't know if you have seen any of my poems here. They are not for everyone. I have learned, however, that at least here and there there is a poem of mine that grabs a reader and it is of terrible importance to them. Mine have quite a bit of difference between each other, and that is something I have enjoyed exploring. Yet, there is something elusive that is common to them, I don't know what, and that is about my only evidence that Rand might be right about a person having a sense of life, I mean for real, a real person. Topically, I can't imagine me ever writing a poem about public life, only the personal, for whatever reason that might be. Those are collected here to enjoy or not.
  14. I think you are on to something, ET. If we are thinking of things unknowable because they are things-in-themselves in Kant's strongest sense, then we can make a case that there are no such things. However there are other things, things that had plenty of identity, that we nor anyone can know. Those are certain particularities of the past that have left no traces in the present because nature with its second law of thermodynamics has rubbed out all the traces they left. We are unable to find any traces of them not due to some feebleness in our observational instruments and inferential abilities, but because of an inconsiderateness of the natural world. I've not found any such unknowable particularities of the past a great loss to intelligent life. I mean like where were the particular carbon molecules that are part of the composition of my body over the entire course of their history since those molecules were first formed? When it comes to fiction, there are things unknowable because there just is no there there in the matter. Did John Galt usually part his hair? Future particular facts in the real world seem rather like that one. Not only because we haven't the capability of projecting all the potentials of present actualities into the future, but because which of those potential will be actualized is not yet set. Not even whether next year will be so good for strawberries as this year. There are some unknowable things in mathematics, of course, because knowledge there is restricted to proofs, and some mathematical theses have been proven unprovable. We can live with that just fine.
  15. I gather there were 17 minutes in which the universe was everywhere undergoing nuclear fusion. From what we know of life and its cells and their chemical requirements and environments, and from what we know of any organization of nature we have been able construct as an instrumentation and control device, which seems necessary for being a possible acquirer of knowledge, I think it is safe to say that at that interval, the universe had nobody to know it. Good thing we came along latter and identified it.
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