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Everything posted by Boydstun

  1. What is Good and Why – Stoicism and Ayn Rand
  2. Existential Possibilities Drained of Real Potentials . . .
  3. Let me join to this topic, some fine thoughts from Leonard Peikoff concerning Descartes' method in fundamental philosophy: first six minutes here.
  4. I should locate this work and its Addendums in this collection of works. I expect to be adding yet another addendum, this one on Descartes and Rand in their relations to Aristotle's metaphysics and philosophy of mechanics and biology. Foundational Frames: Descartes and Rand
  5. That link is no longer any good. The following link is still good. (Scroll down) The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies - Summer 2021
  6. Eiuol, do you mean claim of the existence of God is arbitrary or that coming up with the idea of such a thing is arbitrary or both? I think you mean the first. Although, I'm pretty sure that a Scholastic philosopher, say, who thinks they have a good proof for the existence of such a being and its principal characteristics like and unlike ours doesn't think anything at all is arbitrary about it. My first philosophy professor, as you know, was a Thomist. He began his proof for the existence of (and some character of) God by holding up his hand and having us observe him crooking his little finger. He would then trace back causes from that alteration, invoking various philosophical concepts and propositions along the way, and though I did not know of any an the class who were persuaded by the elaborate argument, I doubt the professor could see anything wrong at any step of the argument, and surely not anything arbitrary. Eiuol, we can go further. ". . . idea of God is that God is a somewhat human-like being, a personage." Rather than this God making humans in his image, as the Genesis account had it, Rand had it (in AS) that humans made up God in their image. I think she is right. Believers refer to it as a him, indeed as a father or a son. For a great many, it is a constant human-like companion, just like say an absent loved one present in all one's moments of consciousness. Popular songs say "God is watching us"* as a person-like intelligence and "he walks with me and he talks with me and tells me I am his own."* Much human. We do not capitalize God out of reverence or out of respect for someone else's reverence. We capitalize it in general secular culture as a proper noun, as David has mentioned. From the Chicago Manuel of Style: "Like all proper nouns the names of the one supreme God (as Allah, El, God, Jehovah, Yahweh) as well as the names of other deities (Astarte, Dagon, Diana, Pan, Shiva) are capitalized. "The one God. Other references to deity as the one supreme God, including references to the persons of the Christian Trinity, are capitalized. . . ."
  7. Correct. Only an entertained concept and not any existential instantiation of it.
  8. The part of the reply by the former Governor you quoted is obviously false if the medical profession will not participate in not resuscitating. Hypotheticals are lazy BS when real cases for such a circumstance can be researched. Double BS when posed to and answered by frat-brat politicians. By now there are months of actual practice in those six States that have in fact put abortion decisions into the hands of the woman and medical professionals throughout the pregnancy. What has actually happened subsequently in medical practice in those jurisdictions? (There was lots of dire speculation from Sen. McCain about what would happen were gays squarely accepted into the US Military services. The actual record after the change shows quite a different story.) I stated upstream what I think the law should be in post-viability cases and why. Has ever on your mind been "What is correct law concerning abortions?" I'm not looking to attack your conclusion, whichever it is. I'd just like to hear—would be delighted for such a square statement of—your sincere thought on the substantive issue itself.
  9. From your "I am one thousand times more comfortable with people who would ban every abortion than . . ." I'd have surmised that was your position, perhaps only by "least bad option" in your assessment, but your option: ban all abortions. Caginess is disrespectful, and your general fellow human beings, such as we, authentically communicating our positions and reasons to you, do not merit caginess in response. State your position. Square up.
  10. Welcome to Objectivism Online, QpQ! What about limit concepts such as a frictionless plane? The common denominator is friction of physical plane surfaces, but they come in different degrees of friction, which we can imagine extending on down to zero, and that could be useful in our thinking. Although, we would not ascribe concrete existence to such a plane surface. Similarly, one might predicate of the concept God the feature of being all-knowing. That feature could be a limit concept having common denominator with how much the deer know, how much I know, how much people a century from now will know, and on up to being all knowing. Offhand, I don't see "a being who is all-knowing" as failing to have a CCD, which would be degree of knowing. Of course, it would be a further step, one needing argument, to proclaim the existence of such a conceived being. Additionally, there might be thermodynamical and information-theoretic reasons and limitative theorems of logic (I'd have to research it) that might bear against the validity of the concept all-knowing.
  11. Somewhat in step with necrovore's comment, it has seemed to me that various areas of knowledge warrant continued trials for disproving, others not. And this does not seem to be simply a function of the level of one's certainty about one's present conviction. We know ways to continue to improve our measurement of the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass, and we know ways to continue to test whether the speed of light in vacuum is a single value that is measured to be the same in any inertial material frame of reference regardless of the speeds those frames themselves are moving relative to each other. Those two principles are often thought of as axioms in general relativity and special relativity respectively, although not in the sense of philosophical axioms in metaphysics and epistemology. They surely are basic premisses of those physics theories GR and SR, and they have enormous experimental confirmations to date. Yet we subject them to further test. On the other hand, at this point, and indeed really after about 1908, we don't have any idea how we might experimentally challenge the atomic theory of the chemical elements. From my 1991 paper Induction on Identity: So within science, it seems we may have no reason to doubt the correctness, although in some cases it is sensible to keep challenging the well-established, and in other cases, we'll have better work to do. Reliance on experiment and observation and mathematics and computers, as we do in physics and chemistry, is justified, in my view and I'd say in Rand's also, by philosophical reflection informed by ordinary and scientific experience. Doubting the correctness of such reliance is not philosophically tenable. That is, the logical refutation of such doubt is feasible. Concerning philosophical fundamentals, from my 2022 paper "Existence, We": HRSD, Rand thought of the ability to be self-critical of one's thoughts, beliefs, and perceptual presentations as essential to the human level of mind. Other animals don't possess that ability, in her understanding, and I agree. Admittedly, that much does not give one guidelines on when it is rational to doubt and shuffle for possible alternatives. One regular occasion in which one has to detach for a while from the falsity one holds an idea to be is when trying to understand as fully as possible the idea as it is held for true in the mind of someone else.
  12. Those two quotes are sensible. The one from Bacon is perhaps a bit mysterious until one knows about his championing the experimental method in science. Those two quotes are not supportive of the stands of epistemological skepticism in the history of philosophy from the Late Academy and Pyrrhonism to Nicholas of Autrecourt (Hume four centuries before Hume) to Montaigne and Bayle. Rand could readily join Leibniz in rejecting the hobby of doubting for the sake of doubt. And fundamentals of her theoretical philosophy are diametrically opposed to those philosophical skepticisms, moderate or radical, I listed in that first sentence of this paragraph, as well as to Cartesian skepticism, whether in his enlistment of it for arriving at secure knowing or in subsequent wallowing in the Cartesian skeptical phase for lifelong sport supporting an academic salary in our own era. In fundamental philosophy, as distinct from her conception of proper science (most touched on in Atlas Shrugged, Rand put forth positive proposals and set out refutations of alternatives. That anyway, was her order of presentation—set forth truth first, not doubt about it nor doubts about everything—whatever may have been her personal order for discovery of philosophical truths.
  13. A thread concerning personal liberties and overlapping this one is here.
  14. Jon, sorry to hear that that is your position on law concerning abortion, but delighted to finally learn what is your position. Rethinking you. Where do you stand on the use of fetal tissue in medical research? Where do you stand on legality of birth control pills? Where do you stand on physician-assisted suicide? Where do you stand on legality of same-sex sexual relations? Our governor in Virginia is Glenn Youngkin. He defeated Ralph Northan in the most recent election. Youngkin is a Republican, and he has indicated that when both chambers of the Assembly become Republican, he will be willing to sign legislation prohibiting all abortions. One chamber is now Republican; the other needs to pick up one more seat to turn over to Republican. At present here in Virginia abortions are illegal in the third trimester of pregnancy, which is consistent with Roe and was also how our law was before Dobbs. During the Roe era, around the country, there were a few times that a physician performed an illegal abortion in the third trimester, abortions in circumstances that were prohibited by state law implemented in conformance with Roe. Those physicians were charged with murder or manslaughter (an actual case is discussed here; I concur with the authors concerning it), and that would be how it would go down were such a violation to occur here in Virginia. For those of us who regard prohibition of pre-viability abortions as involuntary servitude: The specific roles of Left- and of Right-congresspersons in THIS bears at least dishonorable mention, and really it needs to get to front and center of attention. Those massive expenditures of 7.6 trillion dollars are not covered by government revenues. Might that ultimately be why grocery prices have gone through the roof and the value of people's savings have shrunk? Since 2015, the Spending-to-GDP ratio has increased from 20% to 25%. Top questions to a candidate should not be "Where do you stand on the impeachment charge against so-and-so of inciting an insurrection?" or even "Where do you stand on the criminal indictment charge against so-and-so of corruptly obstructing a congressional proceeding?" In the criminal matters, naturally, violent acts at the Capitol on Jan. 6 have been prosecuted and will continue to be prosecuted as surely as the man who blew up the OKC Federal Building was prosecuted. We don't need candidates' opinions on those matters, though, of course it's thumbs down on any who praise such acts. Top questions to a candidate should be: A. Where do you stand on legality of pre-viability abortions? B. What is your plan for balancing the federal budget? If their answer is merely to oppose expenditures favored by the opposing political party, they are useless on this problem. They have to have a global view, such as when Obama and Boehner agreed to a "I'll cut this, if you cut that" process of reducing expenditures to match revenue. (They did not get to implement this reduction agreement because some of the caucus under Boehner were more set on simply opposing anything appearing as cooperation with Obama than on balancing the budget or any other substantive issue.)
  15. Jon, The Republicans who should not be voted for are those boosting the outlawing of abortions prior to viability ~ 26 weeks (during which 99% of abortions take place). Among the Republican Presidential contenders, that would be: Donald Trump – vacillating; promised voters in 2016 he would appoint Justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, opening the way for anti-abortionists to criminalize abortions prior to viability at the state level. (It was already criminalized after viability in every State, which was in conformance with Roe.) Ron DeSantis – criminalized abortions in FL after 6 weeks of gestation. Tim Scott – supports a national ban after 15 weeks of gestation, and even less if politically feasible. Vivek Ramaswamy – supports criminalization after 6 weeks of gestation. Nikki Haley – supports a national ban after 15 weeks of gestation. Mike Pence – supports a national ban after 6 weeks of gestation, preferably even less; supports federal ban of mifepristone. Chris Christie – vacillating. Asa Hutchinson – supports a national ban after 15 weeks of gestation. Doug Burgam – criminalized abortions throughout pregnancy in ND. Will Hurd – supports a national ban after 15 weeks of gestation. Francis Suarez – supports a national ban after 15 weeks of gestation.
  16. Jon, the freedom-contracting reforms are being made on the 99% as in the states listed below, not the !%. The deception is to distract from that fact and pretend it is not so. In Virginia there has been no change in the law since Dobbs: abortions remain illegal in the third trimester. Arizona Arkansas Florida Georgia Idaho Indiana Kentucky Louisiana Mississippi Missouri Nebraska North Carolina North Dakota Oklahoma South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah West Virginia
  17. Tad, I haven't studied the philosophy paper in the medical ethics journal thoroughly, but one thing that is sour about it to me is use of the idea of self-ownership, which on its face has always seemed to me a reversal of correct conceptual dependencies. I doubt that mixed-up concept is actually required for their conclusions. That individual life is an end in itself and that autonomy of autonomy-capable individuals is the value protected in protections of individual rights will do the job fine, pretty sure.
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